Pause the video game, hit 'play': Summer activities to keep kids occupied without screens

Justin Udo
May 27, 2019 - 2:17 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of summer, it's time for parents to start thing about different games and activities they can use to keep the kids entertained while they're out of school. 

But getting them off the couch and away from the TV or electronic devices may be a tough task.

"More and more studies are showing we are really doing our children a detriment — emotionally, physically, mentally — when we're allowing them to just stare at devices for hours, hours and hours," said Meredith Sinclair, an expert in the art of playful living.

Throughout summer break, the amount of time kids spend in front of screens can skyrocket.

She said you do not have to overthink or spend a lot of money when it comes to ways to get kids out and active. Sometimes the old-school play things are best.

"Getting your kids out there in that homemade sprinkler set up that you have in your backyard (that) you don't even have to buy, kids love that," she said. "We forget that sometimes, so I think we should not overlook those homemade things as well."

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Any activity that gets kids outside and playing, Sinclair is content.

"Kids should really be having at least 60 minutes of physical activity every single day," she noted, "so the more that we can sort of pre-produce those moments now before our kids are out of school and really set some things in place, we as parents — that is our job. We need to be the leaders of that."

Sinclair, author of the book "Well Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family's Playful Spirit," added that parents also need to think ahead when it comes to road trips.

"They're always asking, 'Are we almost there, how much longer?' so we can nip that in the bud and give them something to play with each hour."

Sinclair suggests putting together mentally stimulating game packets the kids can rotate through, and a lot of the toys and games parents grew up with can be recycled and just as fun for kids nowadays.

"Something that I love is card games," she added. "It really gets kids and parents interacting again, playing together again, and also what I love about a card game is that it's portable."

It's simple, affordable, and gets the whole family involved.