Ways to reduce kids’ screen time these school holidays

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The school holidays are almost here again, and many parents dread how much time their children will spend playing games or sitting on social media. Use these tips to get them off the screen and out in the real world!

1. Get into nature

The best way to distract children from their screens is to go places that are so beautiful, they forget to even check their phone (it helps if there’s no Wi-Fi or limited reception, either). Easy options for this include Queens Park where they can see the animals, Japanese Gardens or simply play on the state of the art playground, the Robelle Orion Lagoon (if it’s not too cold to swim!) whilst more adventurous families may opt for a hike at White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estate. Not only will it distract them from technology, but it will create life long memories to cherish.

2. Encourage green thumbs

For something inexpensive, fun and challenging, why not get the kids in the garden? Pick up some vegetable seedlings from North Tivoli Nursery and work on a veggie patch with them. The process will not only be a learning curve for them, but will also provide them with mood-boosting benefits that will hopefully mean less bickering!

3. Get them to the library

Gone are the days where the library is just a quiet place to read or research. The Ipswich Central library has recently undergone a transformation that saw the creation of the STEAM Powered Makerspace, which will have your kids begging to come back time and time again.

Designed with a focus on STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and maths – the digital zone includes a virtual reality room, augmented reality sandbox, collaborative jigsaw and children’s gadget bar.

The international Makerspace movement brings people together to use technology in hands-on displays of exploration, innovation and education. The areas are community-focused and offer outlets for creation and collaboration rather than consumption.

4. Take a day trip

Many parents are under the notion that they can’t go on a holiday due to time or money constraints. What they don’t realise however, is that kids would be more than happy with a quick day trip escape – and it’s bound to take them away from their iPhones and iPads.

Catch the train to Southbank and explore GoMA and Streets Beach before venturing onto the Wheel of Brisbane for the best birds eye view.

Explore the Scenic Rim by researching some of their waterfalls, hikes and foodie destinations. It’s not too far of a drive for a day trip!

5. Shopping centre activities

Dreading to go do your weekly shop during holiday time? Most local shopping centres have activities during the holidays, so do your shopping kid-free while they make new friends!

6. Use screentime wisely

If there’s really no prying their eyes away from the small screens, get them to use their devices in a creative and educational manner. Have them create a short film or download educational games that mean they’re not just consuming pointless social media.