Must try hacks to a screen-free routine for your preschooler
Is your preschooler using gadgets like a crutch in this lockdown? OR should we blame the parents who feel overwhelmed at the prospect of enduring a day without a screen to entertain their children? Well , it all bottles down to how much is too much and where do we draw the line of control. A day without screens is probably the longest day of your life. Isn’t it? Worry not. There is always something called Plan B! Or let’s say Plan P- Plan “Plan”.
In simple words just plan your child’s day in such a way that he or she has very little to no eyes on screen through the day beyond the unavoidable online schooling.
Art & Craft Hour
It is one of the most therapeutic ways of keeping your child engaged and calm. Doing one art or craft activity with your child every day not only increases your bonding with your child but also helps increase your child’s attention span and focus. Some of the activities you could do with your child are:
- Finger painting
- Thumb painting
- Simple Origami
- Puppet making and much more
If you are a working parent and cannot engage physically with your child, go for coloring books, paper collage (give them child friendly scissors and glue and let them explore the art of cutting and sticking), join the number dots or alphabets books etc.
Stories should be an integral part of childhood and growing years. Early preschoolers are not literate enough to read books. While some hard books with sounds and pictures are a great way to calm down and enhance their curiosity, how about listening to some audio stories?
HeyCloudy is an audio learning app designed especially for children aged 2-8 years. In a screen-free and ad-free mode this app acts like a walkman of short stories that help engage children for longer hours and boost their vocabulary, listening skills, focus and overall brain development.
If your child can read books then introduce him/her to the stories from:
- Bubbles books
- Pepper Books
- Amar Chitra Katha and many more.
Keep aside a fixed hour in the day for story listening or reading. Afternoons and bedtime are the best hours to engage children in stories.
Music & Dance
Music and Dance are great stress busters for any age. Simply play their favourite music on alexa or any other audio player and encourage them to dance. You can also do music based exercises with your children. Exposing children to music during early years helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression.
HeyCloudy has musical tunes that cater to various moods of children. A simple music in the background even when the child is playing on his own can leave a positive influence on his or her brain.
Engaging children in activities that can help trigger their logical thinking and enhance hand eye coordination should be part of their daily routine. Some examples of these activities are:
- Sorting pulses with tweezers
- Building blocks
- Simple board games like snakes and ladders
- Brainvita (for little older children) and many more.
Some of these activities may require your involvement. But it’s worth spending that time in their early years.
Involving children in everyday chores is another way of keeping them engaged and developing their life skills. Never underestimate your little one’s capabilities. However, never judge them for their efforts. Rather motivate them with praises and small rewards. Involve them in everyday activities like:
- Watering the plants
- Organizing the shoe rack
- Helping with laundry folding
- Dusting the house
- Setting up the meal table
These activities help them develop their life skills and get alert about their surroundings.
Self Play Time
Children should always be left on their own for sometime in the day to discover themselves. They have immense potential to find ways to explore themselves and keep themselves busy. You can give them props like toys and a couple of household things and ask them to figure out a way to use them to engage themselves. Self play can lead to pretend or make believe play which is a great way to their social and emotional development.
Outdoor play time
While letting children play outside the house is the last thing parents want in today’s pandemic world, it is important to expose children to some outdoor time.
- Set up a play corner in your balcony
- Let them run from ends in your apartment corridor
- Let them ride cycles or kick ball in outdoor space where there is no crowd
Children can set their imagination free when they play outside and have fun without the need for various toys or electronics.
First 5 years are critical for every child. The brain has the maximum capacity to absorb in these first few years of their life. Technology is definitely making things go out of control for children in early years. Setting up a definite learning centric screen free routine for your child can do wonders for your child’s overall holistic development. It’s time to switch off that screen and operate in a screen-free environment. Happy Parenting!!!
Listen to some amazing stories & music from HeyCloudy here.