Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Keeping Your Kids Positively Occupied

During the summer and any other break most parents have a hard time keeping their kids entertained without technology. Here are some ideas from a reader about non-tech ways to keep your kids entertained.

We all want our kids to be as happy and fulfilled as possible. We want to give them as much opportunity in life as we can. We want to get them started out on the right foot with well rounded childhoods that they can look back on fondly. Of course, this can all be easier said than done. Parenting can be difficult and sometimes, alongside the other stresses of day to day life, we can end up keeping our little ones occupied with simple things that don’t require too much of our input. This is understandable. We have work. We have relationships to maintain, fitness regimes to keep up and interests of our own to pursue. But it is important that you do your utmost to keep your kids occupied in a positive and productive way that you can get involved in too. Of course, different kids enjoy different things. You may find that one child prefers a completely different type of activity or area of interest to another. But what is important is that you find what each of your kids enjoys and that you nurture this. This will give them a source of joy in their lives and can aid with their overall development too! So, how can you go about keeping your kids positively occupied? Here are a few suggestions that will help you along the way!

Encourage Passions and Interests

Let’s start with passions and interests. Almost all kids will display interest in a particular subject and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for it. It could be a certain TV show. It could be a certain game. It could be a particular bedtime story. It could be an animal, a phenomenon, a historical figure, a fictional character… the list goes on. When you notice your child is interested in something in particular, encourage it.

Expand Your Knowledge

You may find that your little one becomes intrigued with something that you don’t actually know much about. Be prepared to answer their questions and give them the information they need to pursue this interest. This may take some research of your own. If they’re interested in planes, be prepared to answer what is the fastest plane in the world. If they’re interested in wildlife, be aware of endangered species they might want to talk about. If they like space, learn about the different planets. See them show an interest in Ancient Egypt? Make sure you’re versed on the pharaohs and pyramids. Having an understanding and insight into your kid’s interest can encourage them and help them to see that you’re interested in their interests.

Give Them Resources

If their interest in a particular thing is serious, find resources for them to dive deeper into it. See if there are books at the local library for kids on the subject. Check out magazines that may be available. Find free videos online that can teach them more. See if there are any cartoons that incorporate the characters or things they’re talking about. There are plenty of free or cheap resources out there that can encourage them.

Encourage Hobbies

In a similar vein, you may find that your kid wants to pursue a particular hobby. It’s a good idea to encourage this, regardless of what the hobby is. All too many parents hope that their kids will have similar interests to them, but this isn’t always the case. Sure, you might have wanted your child to share your love of baseball, but if they’re drawn to the theatre, that’s their calling and you should do what you can to get them involved in it.

Look for Local Clubs

Swimming, hockey, basketball, am dram, street dance… whatever your kid is interested in, chances are other kids in the area are interested in it too. You should take a look to see if there are any local clubs your little one can attend to engage with the hobby they love. This is particularly useful if their chosen hobby has a group element where having other kids involved can allow them to engage in the activities they’re interested in.

Invest in Equipment

Of course, some hobbies will require equipment. If they enjoy arts and crafts, you may need to find plasticine, glue, glitter and finger paints. If they enjoy tennis, you may need to get a racket, net and ball. If they want to play guitar, they may need a beginner's childrens guitar. Whatever their interest, remember that you don’t need to buy new. There are often plenty of high quality and almost new second hand options from kids who have tried the hobby out and not enjoyed it. Many parents will even give old items away for free to simply clear some space up in their home.

Trips and Adventures

Of course, trips and adventures are a great opportunity for kids if you have the means. Remember that days out don’t always have to be expensive. Instead, there are plenty of free or cheap activities you can get involved in that will expand your child’s mind, put a smile on their face and get them out of the house a bit to share some special bonding time with you. Here are a few suggestions that you might want to try out with them.

Museums and Art Galleries

Most museums and art galleries offer free entry, so take a look at ones in your local area and decide which look most child friendly. Some could be a little dull if they are aimed at adults, but the majority will have sections or exhibits specially aimed at kids and designed to be more child friendly. This could feature interactive elements or talks from guides.

Nature Walks

Kids have a lot to learn about nature and the way the world works. Consider a nature walk in a local beauty spot. This, of course, won’t cost you anything, but it can be an educational and fun day out for everyone. Save money by packing a picnic that you can enjoy on the grass together. Take a look at different trees with different shaped leaves. Point out interesting bugs. Talk about the seasons and show how different seasons affect the landscape. Spring brings flowers. Autumn brings red and orange leaves.

Animal Sanctuaries

If you live in an area with an animal sanctuary that is open to visitors, you may find that they offer free entry with a small encouragement for a donation that suits your budget. Animal sanctuaries can encourage compassion in your children. It can show the importance of looking after others who may not be able to care for themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce your children to some different animals that they’re likely to show intrigue in.


Most areas have some sort of kids park with all sorts of activities for your little ones to enjoy. Swings, roundabouts, climbing frames, monkey bars… the list goes on. These are free to use and usually there are plenty of other kids around for your children to make friends with.

Of course, there are other ways to keep your kids occupied, but the options outlined above are easy to get involved with and, most often, free or low cost. Hopefully, some will serve as great inspiration for your little ones and will help to stem some long lasting interests and happy memories. Give them a try!

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