If you’re one of the many parents looking for ways to reduce your kids’ screen time, you’re in luck! We’re sharing our favorite fall activities to do with kids to inspire families to get off the couch and have some fun.
How to Reduce Screen Time
While it might be tempting to set strict rules or even take away your kids’ devices, there’s a different approach that can save you a lot of family strife—and might even be more effective!
Think of the old example of a cart driver and his stubborn horse. A swat on the rump will work…For a while. It will probably also tick off the horse in a major way, and could lead to even more stubborn behavior! Dangling a carrot in front of the horse, on the other hand, will achieve the same desired outcome without resentment. Of course, the carrot has to be sufficiently attractive in this case, and the horse has to know that it will actually get its reward in the end.
OK, OK, we know your kids aren’t horses and you aren’t a buggy driver (despite how many carpool shifts you’ve pulled over the years). But the point is that when you provide more attractive alternatives, even the most social media-savvy kids can’t resist the pull away from their devices and into the adventures of the real world! This fall, why not try some of these family-friendly fall activities?
Fall Activities for Kids
Go hiking and geocaching.
Fall is the perfect season for hiking in Maryland, with beautiful fall foliage and cooler weather. Check out one of the many awesome parks nearby, like Greenbelt Park, Bladensburg Waterfront Park, or Schrom Hills Recreation Center. If you want to add a little extra adventure to your family outings (and more incentive for your kids), you could try geocaching.
Geocaching is basically a huge, communal scavenger hunt in which people use GPS to locate “caches.” These hidden caches usually contain a prize for the next geocacher to find. Your family can create your own “signature” item to leave in place of what you take from the box. Painted rocks, small toys, finger puppets, figurines—just get creative!
Do some fall crafts.
Speaking of getting creative, a fall craft day is a nice follow up to a nature walk. You can have your kids collect leaves, stones, etc. to create anything from a pinecone owl or acorn doll to pressed leaves or a gourd tea light holder.
Go roller skating.
Does your family have roller skates? Roller skating is an awesome year-round activity that’s good for you, and the great thing is that with the proper equipment, you can do it indoors or outdoors! Come skate with us at Lanham Skate to get your kids (or yourself) on a roll at our spacious skating rink. You can also change your wheels to outdoor skate wheels and go out in your neighborhood or local park.
These are some ideas to get you started, but remember that including your kids in the planning will make them more invested in the activity! Have a family brainstorming session at dinner, or create a list of ideas and let your kids take turns choosing one to do each weekend. Good luck, and we hope you have a fabulous fall!