Inspiration for Offline Family Fun
With so much exciting content at their fingertips, kids sometimes need a nudge to put their screens down and get active in the real world. Thankfully there are loads of amazing things to do and a heap of resources available to inspire.
Make an offline list
But before you dive for your mobile to Google' play ideas', why not try brainstorming with your family first? We have our 51 Things to do Before You're 12, why not come up with 100 things your family can do together? This list can become your go-to road map of real-world activities. Post this list in a prominent place in your house and encourage your children to refer to it when tempted to pick up a device or when they've been online too long.
If you're looking for some ideas to stimulate your creative juices, Nature Play WA has some useful tools to get you started:
Don't forget the tried and true family activities that have stood the test of time:
- Build stuff from recycled materials
- Get crafty
- Learn card games
- Experiment with science
- Teach them outside games
- Family board game night
Organised sport never goes out of style
Footy, cricket, netball, soccer…there are myriad organised sporting activities on offer. If you are looking for recreational pursuits and clubs in your area, but aren’t sure where to start, check out the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ Every Club Hub for a list of clubs in your area or for details of Recreational Camps on offer.
Go on a micro adventure
For something a little different, why not break the routine and try a small and achievable local adventure. A micro adventure is one that is low or no cost and requires little to no specialised gear or provisions. Stop for a picnic on a deserted beach, sleep in your garden, follow a stream, take a night walk. Get some ideas the Play in WA section of the Nature Play WA app.
Engage in community parenting
It may not be enough to have fun activity ideas if there are no other kids around to do them with. In this case, we need to look outside our immediate family and engage in a community-based solution.
Our sister organisation Nature Play QLD has created an exciting new app - Digital Doorknock - designed to help parents connect with other neighbourhood families to facilitate outdoor play.
Imagine your kids coming home from school together, checking the app play signal to see who can play and then getting outside to have fun. Set up your family profile securely, connect to other families where you live, see who is free to play, send messages to arrange play and call your kids home.
Meet their need to be connected
Children and young people don't see digital technology as an "extra" thing in their lives; it is just part of the many ways they connect with the world around them. If you are going to ask your child to forego an outlet that satisfies an intrinsic need, you need to fulfil that need in other ways. Go outside and have fun with your kids. Put down your own devices and enjoy your children, build your relationships as a family. At least once a month, have a tech-free family day and enjoy each other without disruption.
- Brainstorm active play ideas with your family.
- Introduce activities like outside games, cards, board games, crafts, etc.
- Break the routine - go on a microadventure.
- Meet their need to be connected by building strong family relationships.
- Try one tech-free day each month.
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries 'Every Club Hub'
Nature Play WA Resources for Families