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The mission of Sensible Cyber Parenting has never been about ridding our lives of technology. Is is good to have breaks from it? Do we ALL need to be conscience of how much time we spend with a device in our hands? Yes and yes! It is important to model the proper use of (and breaks from) technology. A big part of teaching our children the proper use of technology is helping them understand that it should primarily be about productivity so that they learn a good technology work ethic. Kids are first and foremost going to think about the fun that technology products provide. That’s easy. The challenge is in getting them to understand that we use it with purpose for work and other valuable and meaningful efforts.
So, let’s get to work! Actually, it will be fun too, because being a kid involves learning through play. A substantial part of their play needs to be creative, imaginative and completely devoid of technology. But, they can also work or create something of value using technology. Here are a few ideas for summer fun using technology on purpose:
- Counter the “selfie” obsessed culture by sending them out to take pictures of only objects, plants or animals that they like and talk to them about why they liked each of them or have them make up a story that includes all of them.
- Have them take pictures of something in nature and then use their favorite one as a guide to draw or color the image.
- Have a photo scavenger hunt to see how many birds, flowers, insects can be found in your yard or at a park.
- Use a stop-motion video app to make a video.
- Use a translation app like Google Translate to learn how to say please, thank you etc. in 10 other languages.
- Put them “in charge” of part of your flower bed, to care for and document the growth with photos several days a week.
- If you have a scanner, have them make coloring pages of their own drawings. Make several copies and take them along with some crayons to your local children’s hospital.
Please comment below with any ideas you have done with your kids!