Ideas for turning off video games and turning on creativity for kids!
Jeannie Nguyen
July 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi Houzzers!

We recently published an Ideabook about fostering more self-play time for your kids without stressing. The comments came rolling in with great tips and ideas.

Do you find yourself trying to get your kids to spend less time in front of a screen by planning extensive activities for them? If you have fun ideas on how to get your kids more active, share them below!

See the full Ideabook here (1st photo):
Ideabook: Turn Off the Video Games and Turn On Your Kid's Creativity

Summer
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Emily Hurley
Video game zombie time drives me crazy!!! I've been known to make them march around the block several times to earn some time in front of the screen, just to keep them active. Hopefully, they take in a little bit of nature a long the way!

I will say though that you can sometimes get pretty creative while using technology as well. My daughter spend the better part of an evening creating an elaborate survey to test the musical taste of everyone in the family, marking off on a chart their ratings of the iTunes samples that she had put together to test them with. I loved her creativity and experimentation.
July 16, 2013 at 3:52PM     
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kathleen MK
I wonder how my son survived boys scout and church camp without Mindcraft. Keep pushing him to help in the yard or do chores to earn screen time but wish he would show interesting other activities.
July 16, 2013 at 9:37PM     
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hparks74
My kids are bug enthusiast especially my daughter.... Future etymologist perhaps? I give them a Tupperware dish with holes and send them out to find as many different bugs as they can. Then we return them to their families by dinner time.
July 16, 2013 at 9:41PM     
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Stacy Manns
Mine are teenagers so they hate anything that we make them do. They used to stay outside all of the time but now that they are older, have cell phones, don't require a babysitter and have their own computers.... I can't get them out of their rooms! One thing that I have found that they love doing is going to the drive-in movie. We are lucky enough to live in a place where it is only about 20 minutes away and it has three screens. We pack a cooler, load up the air mattress for the back of the truck and head out. We get there early to get a good spot, toss a football around and make memories.
July 18, 2013 at 10:00AM     
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Jeannie Nguyen
Great idea Stacy, they're also more affordable than regular movies too! Too bad they're not as readily available.. :(
July 18, 2013 at 10:21AM     
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Emily Hurley
@hparks74 That's awesome!! I'm actually an Entomologist by education. :) Love to hear that!
July 18, 2013 at 10:55AM   
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Stacy Manns
Kathleen MK, I know how you feel. I work in IT so I am stuck in the office all day in front of a computer and all I want to do when I get home is to get outside and do something in the yard. My kids seem allergic to the outdoors. I decided to put a stop to the internet for them by getting a wireless router that I can create their own wireless network and shut it off when they need to do chores or when it's time for bed. I give them a certain amount of time and after the time is up, they have to find something constructive to do. I have tried suggesting things for them to do but they think I have the dumbest ideas (teenagers think they have the world figured out....). Good Luck!
July 18, 2013 at 11:03AM     
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Emily Hurley
Right? The biggest issue of taking away all the electronics is that painful period where they are so bored and have no idea what to do. If you can get through that part, I think they start to get creative.

That said, we all played Monopoly together last weekend and I was trounced for the first time ever by the 15yo. Sad and thrilled at the same time. :)
July 18, 2013 at 11:16AM     
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Stacy Manns
I think once they realize that there is a life outside the virtual world they start to actually enjoy it. Just takes time. I attached a picture from the drive-in last weekend. I think America need more of these for sure! Good times!
July 18, 2013 at 11:20AM        Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen
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feeny
Theater. The only thing that will get our teenaged son away from screens is taking him to theatrical performances--the more comic and outrageous (think Spamalot, which we're going to next weekend) the better. When we can't go to a performance we have him read novels and plays out loud to us, with different voices for all the parts. He used to be a nature kid, but then adolescence kicked in.
July 18, 2013 at 11:22AM     
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PRO
Fenstermann LLC
Growing up I was one of those kids that played a lot of video games. The one thing I loved however was sports. Getting kids involved with sports at an early age is a great way to teach them life lessons, and get that extra energy out.
Consider my little brother, he is now 21 years old, and always had a lot of energy and creativity. Recently, he turned his passion for extreme sports into his career. About 3 years ago he met a girl doing gymnastics and cheer professionally. He helped them out and learned all kinds of flips, and won 2 National Championships with them. He found a way to combine his love of urban sports, and gymnastics through Parkour. Now, he does stunts and videography. Show your kids this, and they will be outside trying to learn new moves in no time.

July 18, 2013 at 11:44AM        Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen
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Emily Hurley
WOW!
July 18, 2013 at 11:49AM   
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PRO
Fenstermann LLC
I know, he is really talented and creative. Speaking of video games, he did the stunts for Call of Duty Ghosts, and designed the first level of the game. I use him for video work, he is a great editor.
July 18, 2013 at 11:54AM     
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Emily Hurley
That's so great. I love watching Parkour but I am admittedly terrified that one of my kids would want to jump from building to building!
July 18, 2013 at 11:59AM   
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PRO
Fenstermann LLC
I hear you. He trains kids starting at age 6 in a huge gym with padded floors and foam pits. Kids always start on the flat surfaces and work up from there. If you see in the video, it has a section that is modeled to look like a level in Super Mario Bros. His gym is only one of 3 in the world like it. Located in the San Fernando Valley. Josh is the one in the backwards hat.

July 18, 2013 at 12:39PM     
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