Back when I was a kid, there wasn't much in the way of screen time aside from giant box TVs and the early generations of Nintendo systems, so my friends and I spent the duration of our summer vacations outside on our bikes, running through sprinklers, and climbing trees. Times have certainly changed, and with the sheer amount of tech available to both us and our kids, who would want to go outside and ride a bike when they could sit in the air conditioning and ride a bike on a game on their phone?
To ensure your kids accomplish more this summer than tending to their islands in Animal Crossing on their Nintendo Switch, or playing Fortnite with their friends until all hours, employ the help of a checklist, which requires your kids to complete personal tasks, chores, and activities before using their tech each day.
We'll do the legwork for you and provide ample examples for what your kids' checklists could include, but you can also create a personalized version tailored to them (see printable versions of both below), or have them accomplish a few items from each category in the following list.
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Personal Tasks to Complete Before Using Screens
- Brush your teeth
- Bathe/shower/wash face
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast/lunch
Household Chores to Complete Before Using Screens
- Clean your room
- Make your bed
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper/washer
- Tidy any toys/books/crafts you've played with today
- Set the table for breakfast/lunch
- Clean up after breakfast/lunch
- Feed the family pet
- Water the flowers/garden
Screenless Activities to Engage in Before Using Screens
- Read for 30 minutes
- Paint, color, write, and/or build for 30 minutes
- Play outside for 30 minutes
- Ask parent/nanny/grandparent if they need help with anything