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Unfortunately, the image above of a kid immersed in technology as a type of pacifier, is all too familiar in today's world. When your kid is crying screaming bloody murder in the car, sighing and slamming his (at one point) cute little head on the tables in restaurants, or making a huge ruckus on the flight to go see grandma, it can be HUGELY tempting to simply hand your smartphone over to said kid to chill him out. But here's the downside - glazed over little zombie children who have no ability to calm down or be quiet unless you give them an iPhone or iPad. Additionally, there are major negative consequences of supporting screen addiction in kids. Further, smartphones don't belong at the table or in cars. When you let your kid have your phone at a meal or while driving, you're just allowing bad habits to form. You can keep your kid calm and entertained without the smartphone -- we know you can. To help you turn over a new leaf, here are over a dozen screen-free, creative ideas that kids will enjoy and you'll appreciate the peace and quiet these activities provide as well.
Reusable drawing boards are a great on-the-go activity that’s not just screen-free but encourages many fun games and activities. My son’s favorite reusable board is a very basic little whiteboard I bought. We take it everywhere we go along with reusable pens and a reusable cloth. When my son was younger we used it for tic-tac-toe. Now we play older kid games like hangman and sometimes he’ll just use the board to draw on.
I feel like parents have forgotten books exist. It’s just as simple to carry a book along when you go out as it is a smartphone. Except a book entertains without the screen and if you go the library or used bookstore route, books are very reusable and inexpensive. You can easily take a book into a restaurant, in the car or to a play date and there are tons of excellent books out there for all ages and all personalities.