Gamers are woven from the same fabric, you can tell from their mutual love for complex systems, and a high-level mastery over certain areas. Their competitive spirit keeps them on high adrenaline and it becomes very difficult to detach them.
Weaning gamers off-screen time can be horrendous. They will probably hate you at first. But if you are shifting their gear to something equally captivating, they might feel obliged. We recommend options that lean more towards tech or an area that requires problem-solving and high-level strategizing.
In the course of searching for what to do instead of video games, we realized there are only a few activities that fit the bill. Let’s explore some of them.
10 Expert Tips on What to Do Instead of Video Games
Admittedly, there is no one activity that is superior to the other. However, these are activities that have been tested and are believed to have the most impact.
1. Competitive Sports Such as Martial Arts
Gamers enjoy the thrill of sensing danger. They are highly competitive individuals who thrive in facing adversity. Introducing them to martial arts and related games will definitely excite them. The excitement brewed from getting acquainted with new skills also keeps them interested thus detaching them significantly from video games.
2. Stories Reading and Telling
Before screens, storytelling was the real deal. Children would sit around their elders and listen to fictional or real-life stories for hours. Then screens came and the stories lost their luster. Luckily, for little ones, this is still an exciting activity for them.
Kids love the attention and authenticity that comes with reading stories and narrating them. They love the facials, the different voices, and the laughter. There’s a catch though, they have to be wooed into it. Forcefully detaching them from gaming will fail miserably.
3. Indoor Games and Outdoor Games
Do parents still buy puzzles? Games such as puzzles are exciting because they have levels of complexity. Similar to video games, there are age-appropriate puzzles that present the same mystery and high-level excitement.
There is also poker and other family-friendly indoor games such as scrabble, and chess. They may take a while to learn but they are equally challenging and exciting.
Let’s explore outdoor games. Considering gamers are introverts, spending time outdoors may be too abstract. However, if subtly introduced, engaging in outdoor games is a good way to allow kids to interact with others and even enjoy a different environment.
Outdoor games will also help the kid to express themselves as they interact with other children. They equip them with much-needed social skills as they grow up, as well as open their minds to alternative ways of having fun.
4. Watch Documentaries
In this era of modernization, we are privileged to have the internet as a source of entertainment and better still, a learning medium. The internet offers almost every piece of information we’d be interested in.
Take for instance learning about the solar system and other natural occurrences. Kids are naturally curious and will get engrossed in this kind of exposure. In fact, It’s much easier watching this than getting them off-screen completely.
5. Trying New Recipes
Cooking needs a bit of prep but it is a wonderful family activity for all ages.
First, everybody likes some sumptuous bites and the aromas that come with them, and secondly, cooking creates terrific bonding times.
6. Music Lessons, Playing an Instrument, or Dancing
While music is a magical and therapeutic entertainment avenue, gamers may not consider it a credible fallback. However, additional activities, for instance, learning to play an instrument or dancing can be a perfect alternative.
7. Nature Activities
Hiking, nature trails, hunting, fishing, rock climbing, and the like can be great alternatives. They are all great family-oriented activities. For families that do not have access to this kind of environment, a park or museum visit can apply.
Alternatively, look for parks where kids can explore and play. You may also consider water rafting for older kids who can enjoy the adrenaline rush.
8. Art and Craft
It’s believed art activates the part of the brain that interprets sensory messages. So it becomes adventurous for game players to venture into learning a new art skill and to create art pieces. It could be wood art, music, instruments, or paper art.
Speaking of paper art, crafts made of paper are pretty therapeutic and ideal for all ages. With just a few papers and glue, you can get engaged for hours. You can get help online on how to make little paper baskets, patterned-paper leaves, 3D stars, flowers, butterflies, wall art, paper bracelets, woven paper art, creepy animals, paper beads, and more.
The beauty of this is you get to keep all this stuff and you can mount them on walls or furniture. Plus you get wonderful bonding moments as a family.
Coding should top the list of what to do instead of video games because gamers’ thought process is precise, they scan the rules first. Next, they look for the problem to be solved within the set conditions. They look at the end result and figure the beginning from that just like a programmer thinks.
Transitioning a gamer from gaming to programming will be easier than you thought especially if they are still young. Coding will get them the same level of excitement as killing monsters.
Gamers can complement their schedules with a few hours of social activities. Games usually nurture a community feeling. Anything that involves working together to solve a problem is most likely a welcome alternative to gaming.
Finally, what matters most is not what to do instead of video games, it is how you introduce it. Keep in mind video games are thrilling and put dopamine levels extremely high. Gamers get the excitement from scheming and executing a strategy successfully.
You might be surprised that some unattractive activities may help kids have a healthy screen – off screen balance. I know of children who will take a break from video games and do tedious house chores especially when there’s a reward waiting.
The main agenda is to maintain a balance because video games are not necessarily bad. It is the over-indulgence that we need to discourage. A well-managed hobby can turn out to be an opportunity to grow.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!