HOW TO ENTERTAIN YOUR CHILD WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY?

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HOW TO ENTERTAIN YOUR CHILD WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY?


Published Date: Jun 04, 2013

 

Technology is now a central part of children’s lives: TV, DVDs, computer games, the internet, social media networks, and mobile phones all make for a vast array of constant activity. There is no escaping it—digital devices are everywhere and they are an integral part of social activities, education, and leisure time. However, I would argue it’s equally important for this generation of children to experience the varieties of life.

1. Paper Airplanes

To get things rolling, we have the legendary process of making sheets of paper fly. Paper airplane-making sessions can start with simple dart designs, and then encourage your children to develop their design skills; folding the nose tip adjusts weight and momentum, experimenting with flaps on the wings to add lift, and change direction and trying out different airplane designs.

Although paper airplane-making offers a huge amount of fun, it also introduces the principles of aerodynamics and develops design and craft skills.

2. Science Experiment: Mouldy Bread!

Science experiments at their most basic can be great fun, and educational. For this simple experiment you will need sliced bread, sealable sandwich bags, locations with different conditions in which you can leave the bread, and a magnifying glass. This experiment also requires around ten days for a proper investigation.

For the first stage, get the kids to place single slices of bread into sandwich bags, seal the bags, and then find places to store them where they will not be disturbed. These areas should provide a variety of conditions: warm and cold, light and dark, dry and moist, indoors and outdoors. The children should check the state of their bread samples at regular intervals over the course of ten days, studying them with the magnifying glass and noting the presence of mould and the different conditions that encourage its growth. The bags should remain sealed. The results they find can form the basis of a conversation about why mould grows, what microbes are, which conditions are best for mould to grow in, why we refrigerate food, and other related issues.

3. Write a Story

This is one of the simplest tech-free ways to entertain your children. It’s a simple process that promotes creativity and inspiration—vital activities for young, developing minds.

4. Perform a Play

Holding an impromptu play is a terrific way to entertain children. You can use favourite toys to create characters, include the family pets as additional support, and generally make sure you have a fun, silly time of it. The play could be anything from a simple monologue to more elaborate productions that would encourage further creativity, such as script-writing, set-building, making costumes, singing songs, and dancing.

5. Science Experiment: Make a Sundial

This is an outdoor activity that requires the ever-useful Sun, a clock, a compass, and a stick. Push the stick into the ground, angled towards north on the compass. Use the clock to mark where the stick’s shadow is at the passing of every hour. Now you can use these marks to tell the time on any day when there is enough sunlight to cast a shadow. This is a handy reminder to any child of our ancient ancestors’ lack of access to digital clocks!

6. Science Experiment: Plant Seeds

This is the perfect way to introduce children to how plants grow. You will need fresh seeds such as sunflower, cress, or pumpkin seeds. Next, find some good quality soil or compost, and a few plant pots. Water, sunlight, and heat will also be handy for this experiment!

Place the soil in the plant pots, plant the seeds in the soil, and place the plant pots on a warm windowsill that receives plenty of sunlight. Keep the soil moist by watering daily. Kids can keep a record of how the seeds germinate and the plants grow, developing an understanding of biology and farming.

7. Painting

This is a cheap, and rewarding, way to promote creativity. From watercolours to acrylic paints, all you need is a sheet of paper and some artistic flair.

8. Science Experiment: Experiment with Static Electricity

This activity is not only great fun, but also introduces children to ideas about how physics works. Here’s what you need: two balloons, a woolly jumper/sweater, an aluminium can, and a head of hair. Once in possession of these, rub the balloons on the woolly jumper and then experiment with trying to push them together—they will resist one another. Next, rub a balloon on your hair and gently lift it away from your head—it should make your hair stand on end! Rub the balloon on your hair again and then, with the aluminium can lying flat on its side on a table, hold the balloon close to the can—it will be pulled towards the balloon.

The kids can try out these experiments and you can explain what is happening: rubbing the balloons creates static electricity. When you rub the balloon on hair or wool it becomes negatively-charged because it has taken some negative particles (called electrons) from the hair or wool, leaving the hair or wool positively charged. The positively-charged hair, or aluminium can, are attracted to the negatively charged balloon. The two negatively charged balloons are not attracted to each other so resist being pushed together.

9. Play Some Retro Games

Classics such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit are still great fun to play and promote intelligent thinking, whilst games such as Jenga can provide fun shocks, and Twister will have everyone in hysterics. These games are also useful in promoting social interaction and communication, so dust off your old versions and get playing!

10. Make Sock Puppets

An item as simple as a sock can be a tremendous source of fun to a child’s vivid imagination. Sock puppets, which can easily be made by adding eyeballs and silly bits of wool for hair, immediately become ‘lively’ beings with children, and they can even make up a number of characters to form a play.

Technology can be given a holiday too while you enjoy these great summer time ideas with your kids. Get their imagination to roll too and you will be amazed at the great ideas they come up with!


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