Remember a time before every child under the age of 10 had a tablet computer? It seems like forever ago now, and when my kids come back from school to tell me about the newest app their friends are playing, it makes me want to smash them all. Whatever happened to practical fun?
As a child, my mum used to bring home sheets of paper from work for me to draw on and colour in. I was artsy and I had fun listening to my stories on tape while I coloured outside of the lines and drove my other relatives crazy. When I see colouring book apps and games, I wonder, does that even count as arts and crafts?
So, I did some thinking about physical activities that you can do with your kids that will be fun for the whole family. And surprise! Not a single one involves technology.
These days, when you search for scrapbooking items, you’re more likely to get links to PDF and PSD files to download into Photoshop. What I’m talking about is real scrapbooking; it’s you, it’s your mini-yous, it’s safety scissors and the cool glue that you can both peel off of your fingers. With scrapbooks, you can make one that focuses on your child’s interests alone. I mean, who doesn’t want a Spider-Man scrapbook complete with pipe cleaner webs? I know I do.
Photo albums are a lost art now, it seems. Like scrapbooking, the physical act of putting pictures into albums to look at in the future has been replaced by endless SD cards full of blurry photos and those on our phones, too. That’s why I love services like Mixbook so much. They createthe best online photo books that are totally customizable and can turn your online galleries into something better than even albums: books! The kids will have so much fun picking out the photographs to use in them, and, as a bonus, they make great gifts for family members.
Halloween, Christmas, Easter… I remember being in primary school and, every year, we’d have an Easter Bonnet competition. I don’t even wish I was lying. We’d have to get real crafty with our parents and guardians to make the best hat. The best bit was the judges were teachers and, therefore, immune to bribery. But these days, holiday decorations are coming back. Halloween literally takes over our shops as soon as October comes, and they do some great decorations. However, something better? Making them yourself. The little ones will have so much fun. You an even include pumpkin carving and Easter egg painting in this, too. Who wants to carve a pumpkin with your finger on an LCD screen? Not I, said the Dormouse.
There are just loads of activities you can do with your kids that don’t involve technology. Most of them don’t even involve all that much cash, either. Cheap, cheerful, and forever memorable. What’s a better bonding experience than that?