Tips for Managing Video Game Time this Winter

Some say that the upcoming season is the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for parents with young, energetic kids at home, the feelings probably aren’t mutual. It’s tough when you can’t get outdoors to toss a baseball or head to the nearest park to release some energy. Baseball season is over, kids are stuck inside for most of their day, and it’s easy to rely on technology to keep them entertained.

The trouble is that kids are too young to draw their own boundaries, and they become reliant on using tablets, smartphones and video game consoles to pass their time. As parents, it’s difficult to pull them away when they are quiet and occupied. But you know when enough is enough.

Below are some smart tips for weaning your kids off technology – even with a blizzard outside.

Free Time After School

When your kids get home from school, it’s tempting to break out the video games. Your kids have been sitting most of their day, however, so it’s nice to give them free time that doesn’t involve video games or the tablet. Serve them a snack, set out a puzzle or sit and chat. Kids need about 30-60 minutes to unwind, just like us adults do after work.

Make Homework Priority

Once your child has enjoyed some free time of their own, make homework a priority. Once the video games are out, it’s almost impossible to break free of their hold. When your child knows that there is a reward at the end of completing their homework, they’ll be more likely to finish it correctly. Plus, this teaches responsibility.

Make Exercise a Priority

By including some type of physical activity into your daily routine, your kids will spend more time being active and less time on the couch. Just because baseball season is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some elements from the sport. Head to an open gym to practice hitting, pitching and catching skills.

CK’s Baseball offers baseball clinics for kids as young as 3 years old. They get to practice a variety of skills such as hitting, catching and pitching. Parents love our clinics because they get the kids out of the house and enjoying non-TV time with other kids their age. The clinics also keep kids (and parents!) in shape and building on their skill set rather than having to relearn everything come spring.

Complete Chores as a Family

Find activities that the family can enjoy together rather than separately. Kids love helping with cooking, baking, stirring, mixing, dumping and so forth, so let them give you a hand during dinner. Or, set down a basket of clean laundry and let them fold easy items like towels and socks. Kick up the motivation factor by starting a reward chart or paying a small allowance.