5 Tips for Entertaining Your Kids Without Handing them the iPhone
A few years ago, our family was driving to Alberta, Canada for a mega family reunion. We caravanned with 3 separate cars, and somehow my 4-year-old nephew ended up in our car. My brother handed his little son his iPhone and said “have fun!”.
And we didn’t hear a peep for the next 10 hours out of this kid.
Not even when we saw the bear.
The highlight of the trip every year is finding awesome wildlife that we don’t see anywhere else. Most years we’re lucky to spot maybe one bear, usually as a speck on the side of a mountain. Not this year. We found a beautiful brown bear, barely (bearly?) off the side of the road. We parked, and oohed and aahed for a solid 10 minutes.
And my nephew never once looked up from his phone, no matter what we told him.
Now, I don’t have a problem with the kid having electronics to entertain him while in the car, because that can be a nightmare. But, the moment when electronics interfere with enjoying life, that becomes a problem… in my opinion.
For you parents out there looking for great ways to entertain your kids without handing them some piece of electronic gadgetry, here you go!
Museums get a bad rap – they’re usually seen as some tour of classical art paintings with an old man boringly explaining each picture. Clearly, that’s not ideal for kids.
Instead, take them to a dinosaur museum! Or a museum of ancient life. These were always my favorites that I still enjoy to this day.
2. Aquariums and Zoos
Kids love animals, almost without exception. They get to see the creatures they’ve seen only in picture books, and they get to be educated about the kinds of wildlife there are in the world today. Bonus points if you can find one with an animal petting area!
Another favorite of ours growing up – parks! My parents used to grab a picnic blanket, pick up some KFC, and take us for a picnic at the park. This is usually good for about 2 hours of entertainment, even after lunch is finished. We loved swings, slides, and jungle gyms and could go forever.
4. Teach a Sport or Outdoor Game
Games are one of the best ways to keep a family together – and keep the kids entertained. You can teach something like volleyball or tennis, or some type of game, like croquet or hide-and-seek.
This isn’t a one-time deal, either. Once you find outdoor games or sports your kid like, you’ve got a ready-made activity to turn to whenever you need some help entertaining the kids! Don’t be afraid to try a wide variety until you can find one or two all your kids like.
When I was a kid, there was this magical place called “outside” and it was virtually all the entertainment we had. When we started annoying Mom, she would just yell “outside!” and open the door.
Kids will always find ways to enjoy themselves outside. Just using our imaginations led to hours upon hours of fun for us, and it was all jump-started by mom shooing us outside.
There are so many fun activities to do with kids that don’t involve sitting them on the couch and handing them electronics. With a little creativity and effort, we can give our kids a more rewarding (and active!) child hood.