“Mummy, I want to play games!”, “Mummy, can I play with your tablet please?”, a kid nudges a mother while waiting for food to be served. Does this scenario sound very familiar to you? Or are you in fact the protagonist in this scenario?
There must have been times you were scratching your head about steering your kids away from gadget addiction. However, the kids would not budge on your refusal to entertain them with mobile devices. What’s worse is when they are so engrossed in their own digital world that they slowly become oblivious to their surroundings.
Now that you've come across this article, it’s not too late to expose them to more non-digital-related activities yet! Did you know that activities or games for kids cultivate creativity which can build your child’s developmental skills and nurture their imagination? So what are the great alternatives to those “alluring” screens then?
At age 4 to 6, children experience rapid growth in brain development. More important functions will be required in their brains, such as memory, sensations, hand-eye coordination and more. Brain teasers are entertaining games that allow your kids to exercise their brains and imagination. By experimenting with wooden jigsaw tangram puzzles or wooden Tetris puzzles, it prompts children to think outside the box when arranging those geometric shapes. Both types of puzzles render endless possibilities, thus can be solved with numerous solutions. Your child can think up all sorts of designs using geometric shapes - animals, boats, houses, letters, people and more. Since brain teasers involve lots of trial and error, they play a big role in developing the kids’ hand and eye coordination. Observe how this happens when kids discover that the puzzle piece does not fit and alter their arrangement to try other possibilities.
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If your kids enjoy playing with Lego bricks, then they would love the mini version of it - nanoblocks! How can one small packet of nanoblock benefit your child’s growth? Similar to brain teasers, nanoblocks will build their logical thinking and hone their fine motor skills. The nanoblock packaging comes with assembly instructions to follow. Although those tiny pieces look challenging to put together, there are varying levels of difficulty. Nanoblock Mini Collection Series as pictured above is suitable for parents who are just trying out for the first time. Treat this as a collaboration project with your kids. Guide them through the assembly process. By doing so, you’re making good use of quality time with your kids while strengthening your bond with them!
Many experts have highlighted the importance of arts and crafts for child development. Arts and crafts encourage kids to work with their hands while expressing thoughts and imagination. Whether it be constructing a clay figure with Play-Doh or splattering paint over a canvas, kids are able to explore, discover, and create more. When your kids have completed their art or craftwork, do engage them by asking questions like, “What is this drawing about?”, “Why is this dog blue in colour?”, etc. You will be amazed by how wild and fascinating their imagination is. Sometimes, you might even get silly but funny responses from them! Kids will also feel a sense of achievement from completing artsy and crafty projects, especially if parents show appreciation and validation for their effort.
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Of course, art and craft supplies can be a hassle to bring around everywhere. Want to keep your kids entertained with something productive while outside? An alternative to the supplies would be an LCD writing & drawing tablet, which works as a great replacement for a digital tablet! Gone are the days when children used to doodle on a classic erasable magnetic doodle board. Now your kids can draw and write on a thinner, lighter version of drawing tool with a built-in stylus. Unlike digital tablets that emit blue lights, the LCD tablet’s matte screen does not hurt kids’ eyes. Your child can erase drawings on the LCD writing & drawing tablet for more than 5000 times with just a click of the erase button. The thickness of the doodle art can also change based on the pressure exerted from the stylus. Try the Xiaomi Mijia LCD Writing & Drawing Tablet that stays active for 365 days without recharging. Bet your kid will scribble on and on whilst living in their own fantasy with it!
Remember our younger days when we used to exchange Pokemon trading cards with friends at school? We had gained so much joy from collecting and trading them! Nostalgia aside, you can still introduce your kids to Pokemon cards with the basic categories and various ways to play the deck. Other card games like UNO, Exploding Kittens, Sushi Go, or even something as old school as poker cards are great card games that can teach them to build strategies for winning a game. Without following a certain guidebook, it leads kids to come up with their own strategies that spark their inventiveness. Besides, card games can also train kids’ social skills when it comes to asking questions about game rules.
Depending on your child’s interest, familiarize them with all sorts of activities and games that don’t necessarily involve digital devices. Show them that digital devices aren’t the only things that bring fun and joy to their entertainment time. With that being said, it also starts with parents’ bonding time with kids to make the aforementioned activities much more memorable. Goodbye tablets and phones, and hello to more family time!