Activities for you and your child to do this summer; not involving a screen

A new study shows too much screen time is toxic for your younger child.
Things to do with your kids this summer
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:31 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Right now schools are out for the summer and parents are trying to find ways to keep their children entertained that isn’t on a screen.

More than 80% of households with children between ages five to 17 have some sort of tablet or device in their homes. At a time where the child’s development is crucial, many parents are seeing these devices become sort of an addiction and are finding alternatives.

David Pease is the museum educator for Muse Knoxville. He said there is always something to do or learn at The Muse Knoxville. They are right in the middle of one of their summer camps right now and are preparing for Space Camp in the next few weeks. Pease said it doesn’t have to be summer time to find something to do at The Muse.

“I mean kids are going to be learning about science of cooking, the technology of cooking, safe cooking sanitation, but then they’re going to be out in the garden like picking things, learning how to feed themselves, learn what’s healthy, learn what’s happening to their bodies. You know they’re not even going to have a chance to probably miss a screen while they’re here,” said Pease.

In Knoxville there are several places to take the family to give your kids hands-on learning and social experience- one being the Muse Knoxville that focuses on empowering children through the power of play.

“As a mom you’re always looking for places for your kids to learn and have fun and this is both of those, which I think is awesome,” said Megan Hughes, who is new to Knoxville, her and her family moved her from Virginia around August.

Hughes is a mom of two and said it’s hard to find a balance between screen time and real life. She said limiting the time on devices is best but if they are playing a game or watching tv make sure it’s educational.

“We also especially during the summer are outside all the time any way. Being outside is great and places like this are great. Just to have alternatives to sitting at home. I’m a new stay-at-home mom and so its different finding things for my kids to do all day everyday,” said Hughes.

Some tips to curb your child’s time spent in front of a screen is to delay the time you give them a device for as long as you can, set time limits on the device, and to find places that offer activities for younger kids.

Some more places to take the kids this summer are Ijams Nature Center, The Cutting Edge Classroom, and The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. This weekend The Children’s Museum is offering free admission from Friday until Sunday in honor of celebrating their 50th anniversary.