It is easy to fall into the trap of allowing the latest technological advances to play the role of babysitter when you're at home and have a million things to do! But we're here to offer you a few alternatives to flicking on the telly or handing over the iPad. These ideas will help keep your little angels entertained, while using their brains and imaginations too!
1. Colouring books. No I am not talking about the colouring book of the past - I am talking about the stunning works of art that have been created in recent years for children, and adults! Colouring has become really on trend and the colouring books on the market today are worlds apart from the boring simplified cartoon animals I used to colour in. Their intricate patterns and beautiful designs are enough to capture anyone's attention - I have even witnessed a 9-year-old boy totally engulfed!
2. Ask them to put on a performance or play. If you have more than 1 child, and even if not in some cases, the thrill of acting as a producer and performer in their own show is something most children can't ignore! You'll see them get swept away in their imaginations, not missing their tech for a moment, and depending on the scale of the production, you might find them preoccupied for up to a week! All you have to do is find time to watch it once they're done!
3. Get them involved in the kitchen. Age dependent of course, but for the bigger little ones, why not offer them a selection of healthy cookbooks and ask them to pick 2 or 3 dinners that they'd like to try, and then bring them into the kitchen to help too! Not only will this act as a distraction from the 'tech-tox', but it will also engage them in the food their eating, and chances are that by having chosen the meal and helped prepare it, they'll eat it with greater ease (and hopefully enjoy it too!).
It goes without saying that we can't guarantee these suggestions being accepted 'resistance-free', but we really believe that with the right prep and encouragement, they'll take the place of idle TV watching at least some of the time without too much trouble!