The Easter holidays are the perfect time to unplug your kids from their devices and get back to basics, say experts.
The Easter holidays are the perfect time to unplug your kids from their devices and get back to basics, say experts. Contributed

Unplug this Easter

PARENTS are being encouraged to take the Easter holidays as an opportunity to unplug kids from their devices and re-connect as a family.

Child psychologist Nicole Pierotti said, "technology has irreversibly altered childhood as we know it, it has changed the way children think, play, communicate and learn”.

"There are definite changes to children's brain structure, their attention span, and physically in their ability to move, draw, write and read”.

Australia's Physical Activity recommendations suggest children aged five to 18 accumulate no more than two hours of screen time a day and children under the age of two do not spend any time viewing TV.

"The school holidays, even if it's just the Easter long weekend, can give the chance to enjoy a change of pace and connect with our kids."

Nicole's top tips to connect with your kids this school holidays.

1. Unplug - Unplug or put time limits on screen time and include all devices to encourage other activities to help you connect as a family. 

2. Back to Basics - Craft activities can be very therapeutic for children, have pens and pencils on hand for creative writing, drawing and colouring-in.

Easter is a great time for craft for young children, make an Easter Bonnet, basket or decorate hard-boiled eggs, cut out magazine pictures or colour in a line drawing.   

3. Day to day - Involve children in what you are doing, putting away the groceries, or setting the dining table, children love to be included in adult activities and it helps their confidence.

Often when children and teenagers are engaged in a task, this is when they'll tell you what's going on for them, it's a chance to communicate and bond.  

4. Chill-out time - Unplugging from technology provides time to wind down, this includes playing a musical instrument, reading a real book, chatting to family and creative activities.

Even a little bit of 'boredom' can be a good thing as it allows time for creative thought.

Mulling things over can spark children's imaginations and gives them a chance to get away from the external information overload that can happen in the external world and reconnect to their internal world. 

5. Fresh Air - Playing tag, flying kites, running with a ball, or collecting pebbles on the beach are the activities many of us grew up with and yet today get lost with our busy schedules and reliance on technology.

Children can benefit from spending time away from their screens and sedentary activities by becoming absorbed in a game or activity outdoors in the natural environment.   

6. Get Writing - Sitting with your child and practising handwriting skills in a relaxed and supportive home environment during holiday time can help build their confidence.

Encourage your child to have fun whilst writing by using different colours or decorating the page border.

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