15 fun things to do with junior without using gadgets

Low on technology yet big on fun, your mini-me will have a jolly amusing time at home with these diversions!

You’re so tempted to place a tablet in front of your cherub and leave them to indulge in a Paw Patrol marathon, while you steal away for some peace and quiet

It’s okay to do this from time to time, but you should probably look for other diversions for your little one if you keep relying on gadgets to babysit your little ones.

Indeed, the prolonged use of smart devices can cause various physical issues such as neck and eye strain, trigger myopia and even longer-term health issues such as diabetes and obesity. Let’s not forget psychological issues such as addiction, which only spells more trouble. So, leave the gadgets behind and try these fun ideas to keep your mini-me occupied

1) Let your paper aeroplanes take flight Turn pieces of recycled paper — of varying thickness — from newspapers or magazines, as well as regular A-4 sized paper to form your own aeroplanes. Then compete to see whose plane will be able to “fly” the furthest.

Indeed, the prolonged use of smart devices can cause various physical issues such as neck and eye strain, trigger myopia and even longer-term health issues such as diabetes and obesity.

2) Teach them how to jump rope or hula hoop Use inexpensive equipment and get your munchkin to work up a good sweat while improving their body’s flexibility and hand-eye condition. If they’re already adept at the basics, add another hula hoop or try out different ways to jump rope, such as:

* Reverse Jump Change the direction of the rope so it approaches your feet from the back instead of the front.

* One-foot Jump Jumping on one leg at a time helps build your child’s calves, quadriceps and hamstrings.

3) “I Spy” with a twist Look around your room and pick an item you’ll like your mini-me to draw. Then say, “I spy something (blank)”, the blank is filled with an adjective — it can refer to the size of the item you’ve picked, its colour or shape. But instead of getting your child to say what they think you may be referring to, get them to look around the room and draw the item instead.

4) Work on a jigsaw puzzle Depending on how much time you or your cherub has to spare, you can choose puzzles that are fewer than 100 pieces to cater to novices, as well as those that are 5,000 pieces and above for those game for a challenge. 

5) Introduce them to some old-school games Take a trip down memory lane with your mini-me and show him the hottest games of yesteryear. From Five Stones to Pick-up Sticks or Hopscotch to Capteh, these games won’t just amp up the fun factor, it’ll boost their physical and motor skills, too. For instance, games like Five Stones and Capteh will put your child’s agility and hand-eye coordination to the test. Read our guide to find out which games to play.

6) Try “bowling” at home Gather up about 10 plastic water bottles and position them as bowling pins a distance away from where your child is standing. Let your mini-me toss a few balls at the “pins” to see how many strikes they’re able to bowl.

7) Play the memory card game Sort a deck of cards into four rows facing the ground. Take turns with your tyke to flip over two cards at a time to try and match the numbers. If a player makes a match, he or she sets the cards aside and goes again. If the numbers do not match, they have to be returned to its original position and it’s the next player’s turn. The participant with the most number of matching cards wins. Ease the game for your tot by playing with a smaller deck and getting them to match the shapes or colours instead of numbers. For your older child, you can make the game more challenging by requiring the card’s number, symbols and colours to match.