Wednesday, March 11, 2015

No Electronics? No Problem!

I'm one of those weird moms who has almost no electronic devices for my kids.

They are nine years old, and only just this past Christmas did they each get their own controller for my husbands Xbox 360, and their first games, Minecraft and Lego Star Wars.

Yes, it is odd in this day and age, I know.  And there are several reasons why we haven't given our kids any electronics.  The main being is that they are expensive, and since we have twins, we would really need to get two of whatever device we decided they were responsible enough to have.  And since they have inherited my unerring gracefulness, I can guarantee that the screens would be cracked, or it would be broken, in no time flat.

I have had some moms ask me how I keep the kids occupied without electronic devices.

At home, the boys build and play with Legos, Lincoln Logs,  and other building toys.  Or they spend hours drawing, and creating fabulous comic books.  (Someday when I can find it, I'll post the classic of "Super Foxy and Super Radar Against the Poop Monster".  Seriously.  It's a classic in the making.)

When we travel, or have to go somewhere where there might be a waiting time, they read.  A lot. We have been reading to them since they were born, and both boys are addicted to books, almost as much as I am.  A big deal for them is going to Goodwill and getting "new to them" books.

I have also come up with a notebook for "Travel and Waiting Games".  Some are fun, some are educational, but they all pretty much are things that help pass the time and keep them occupied.

I bought a three ring binder at my local dollar store, and made a really classy cover for it.  

I also bought a pencil bag, along with some dice, dry erase markers, and threw some rubber bands in there too.  (I'm not sure why the rubber bands, but better to have them and not need them....)

One of the games I put in was a game I cut off the back of cereal box.  Heck, it might be a simple game, but it will occupy them for a while.

I also scored a bunch of Mad Libs pads.  When I was a kid, I was always disappointed when we would finish a Mad Libs pad.  I remedied that by tearing up the pad, taping the pages together, and slipping them into page protectors.  The words can be filled in using the dry erase markers, and then erased later on.  Reusable Mad Libs!  How cool is that?

I also have a bunch of shapes that have been cut out of cardstock.  I believe they were used in one of their math classes, but the boys love playing with them, creating little scenes and characters.  If you look close, there are also flash cards in there.  You wouldn't believe how attractive a simple board game looks when being offered the opportunity to run through the flash cards.

Other things I have been known to throw in with the notebook are colored pencils, an odd coloring book, a sketch pad, or a graph paper pad.  Graph paper pads are great for Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, or Dots and Lines.  Pretty much any pen and pencil game.  

So, there you have it.  Simple ways to keep kids occupied when having to wait or travel anywhere.  When all else fails, we talk.  I love learning about my kids' lives, their dreams, their goals.  

How do you help keep your kids occupied without electronic devices?