If you’re stuck indoors with family on a rainy day, looking for something to do, why not consider tearing your eyes away from the television and having some good old fashioned fun with board games and card games. Let’s face it the kids are probably watching the same program they saw the week before on CBeebies and if you’ve seen one episode of Jeremy Kyle, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
There’s a lot be said about encouraging children to interact with each other in face to face scenarios and this has been the subject of many childhood studies.
Throughout the past couple of decades we have seen news reports stating that video games, television, social media and the internet are bad for our health and the with the emergence of new technologies, year on year, things such as the internet are becoming easier and easier to access by more and more people.
An article from Forbes magazine talks about the effect technology has had on our children’s ability to read people’s emotions, due to the lack of real social interaction that many children miss out on when sat in front of a screen. The article titled “Is Technology Ruining Our Ability to Read Emotions? Study Says Yes”, tells us that in a test, two sets of children were sent to different camps. The first set of children were sent to a traditional camp where they took part in activities such as hiking, archery and learning about nature. The second group of children known as the ‘control group’ went about their daily activities as usual, including their time on digital media.
After spending five days under these conditions, the children who spent the five days doing traditional activities showed significant improvements in their ability to read emotions. However, the group who continued to have access to digital media showed little or no improvement.
Many people would say that this is stating the obvious, but many more people would find it difficult to cut out technology from their children’s lives. There is obviously a need for this to be addressed as a balance between technology and face to face interaction needs to be found, in order to ensure tomorrows children develop in a way that sets them up for a good future.
Encouraging Group Activities
If we think about the outcome of the test, we know that involving children in group activities can be beneficial for their development. So how can we encourage this at home? How can we do this without spending loads of money?
The answer is to look online. Yes we know that we have talked about how technology is taking over our children’s lives, but without much effort at all and a few searches using your favourite search engine, you will find an abundance of games that can be printed out on your home printer, put together and played for hours on end.
Children’s Games To Download
A good way to keep the kids entertained during weekends or the school holidays is to introduce them to exciting games in which they can interact with other children or the family.
Doing this is a lot easier than you might think and with a wealth of downloadable game templates that you can print out using your home computer and printer, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. What’s even better is that you won’t have to spend anything on these games as they are free to download.
Your children may also enjoy putting the games together as these will often require some level of cutting out, pasting on glue and putting together.
A website that has lots of games and printable activities is ActivityVillage.co.uk. The site has a large number of the classic games like Battleships, Dominoes, Bingo and a number of printable accessories for things such as Easter Egg Hunts. There is literally enough on this site to keep kids entertained for the full school holidays.
Some Useful Websites
- Tesco Living Printable Puzzles
- Disney’s Frozen Papercraft and Puzzles
- Kids Puzzles
- Activity Village
- Free Board Games and Card Games
- Free Printable Games
- BBC Games for Children
So there you have it. We’ve given you enough resources to keep your children and their friends entertained for hours, so there’s no excuse for sitting them in front of a TV set. See how much they enjoy themselves now.