Now that December is well and truly here, it’s time to start thinking about the Christmas break. The time when all the family comes together and celebrates a magical time of year…
Once your kids have opened their present and found the latest iPhone or tablet that you got them, you may as well not exist. They’re sucked into their screen time, and you won’t see them for the rest of the season.
So…to avoid that happening, we’ve created the list of 25 ways to avoid the screen-time hangover that comes with the seasonal binge.
5 outings to take
- Your local Christmas market. Set them a challenge of finding a new trinket for your tree and watch them become absorbed in picking the perfect ornament!
- A Christmas tree yard. Together you can pick out the right tree and make sure your house smells like a real pine-forest this year.
- A soup kitchen. It’s the time of giving and the time of giving back. Volunteering even just an hour of your time is valuable and can teach your kids the real meaning of Xmas.
- Round the neighbourhood singing Christmas carols. Spread some Christmas cheer with your neighbours, make a bit of money for charity or just do it for the fun of it.
- Church! Where better to spend some time in the holiday season than at church with family and friends, whether you go for midnight mass or the Christmas service.
5 top recipes to bake
- A gingerbread house. It takes a high level of skill to make a gingerbread house that can stand. Plus, once it’s made the real fun begins — icing!
- Rice Krispie Christmas Puddings. For those who don’t like real Christmas puddings…
- Yuletide Chocolate Log. In keeping with tradition, a yule log is a must-try recipe!
- Christmas cookies. Cut out different shapes — trees, stars, snowflakes — and have the kids ice them all afternoon.
- Mince pies. Or pies of any kind! Nothing like fresh pies out of the oven to warm you up on a cold winter’s day.
5 board games to play
- Smash Up! Forget Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, it’s time to try something new. This shuffle-building game will give you a solid hour of fun with less chance of a family argument!
- Risk. If geography is your kids favourite subject, Risk is a great game to keep them entertained for hours at a time. Be warned, you might just create a world-ruler though!
- Wits and wangers. This is the perfect game for those who enjoy trivia but aren’t very good at it.
- Codenames. If word games are your thing, this spymaster game will keep you on edge and is a quick and easy game for all.
- Telestrations. For those with a bit of an artistic streak, this game is well worth checking as it harnesses the average person’s inability to draw to hilarious results.
5 tasks to stay on Santa’s nice list
- Doing the dishes. Christmas dinner is a big affair and the more help you can get, the easier it is. Just because it’s Xmas doesn’t mean the kids can’t help around the house!
- A toy clear out. Right before new toys come along, it’s a good idea to get rid of the old ones! Make a bit of space and give them to charity for other children this Christmas.
- Tidying their room. If you have to sneak the stockings to the end of the bed, you don’t want to trip over anything! Get them to tidy their rooms the night before…
- Create Christmas shoe boxes. Pick the wrapping paper and a theme for your box, then get filling!
- Set the table. Get the kids excited for Christmas and knock a task off your to-do list by getting them to set the table with Christmas themed decorations!
5 screen time limits to set
- Screen time only allowed after all your Christmas chores are complete. That way, you know everything is done and dusted and you can enjoy Christmas!
- No screens at the dinner table. Make sure you enjoy your Xmas meal as a family and put the new devices away.
- No screens 1 hour before bedtime. The hype of Christmas day can be a lot for kids to handle. Make sure they have time to wind down before bed by putting the screens away.
- Screen time only allowed after the kids have done some exercise. We all think Christmas is a time to stay inside, but over the holidays it’s important to still get out and do some exercise. A brisk walk through the woods, a family game of tag…the options are limitless!
- Only 2 hours screen time a day. Yes, they might just have got the latest iPhone but that doesn’t mean they have to spend all day on it. They’ll be annoyed at the lack of instant gratification, but they’ll thank you for it in the long run.
There you have it! 25 ways to keep the kids entertained and off their screens for a little while at Christmas.
Do you have any other screen time tips that you use for Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!