How many minutes a day do you and your family members sit in front of a screen? Screen time includes television, computer, cell phone, or tablet screens. Too much screen time can lead to:
- Decreased physical activity
- Increased eating
- Less social interaction
- Sleep problems
- Strain on your eyes and back
Activities away from a screen usually involve movement or quiet creative time, are done alone or with others, and can be done outdoors or indoors. In other words, the sky is the limit! For fun, try activities that use plastic disposable cups. They can be purchased in large quantities for a reasonable price and can be re-used many times. Here are a few ideas or let your own creativity be your guide.
These ideas can be done with other people or alone. Competing with yourself or others for the fastest time or tallest structure can be fun.
- Make cups into pyramids or towers by carefully stacking them with cardstock in between each cup or top to top and then bottom to bottom. Take down the tower or pyramid into a single stack.
- Use two colors of cups, put one color on the bottom of a stack of nine cups of a different color and restack top to bottom until the different colored cup is on top.
- Use the cup to draw circles on a piece of paper to make a design and color the design.
- Dip the top of the cup into paint or dye and make a design on paper or fabric.
- Make the cup into a basket by adding a handle. Fill the basket with flowers or a snack and share with a friend.
- Fill a bucket or swimming pool with water and see how many ladles of water it takes to fill the cup.
- If you have a group of people, line up in a line fronts to backs, give each person a cup, fill the persons cup with water then and pass the water over their own head to the next person in line who tries to catch the water in their cup. See how much water is left at the end of the line.
- Use a water filled cup as the 'baton' in a relay race.
- Put cups top down on a table and use a straw or air-filled balloon to blow the cup across the table.
- Place cups top down, hanging just a little over the edge of a table. Flip the cup over so it lands on its bottom.
- Arrange cups on the ground or table, top side up and throw small balls or objects into the cup.
- Use cups as bowling pins and bowl them over.
- Draw a target directly on the cup or on a piece of paper taped to the cup. Arrange them on the floor or table and knock them over with a foam or squirt gun, or a ball.
Kirkilas, Gary, DO, FAAP, How can I help my child avoid eye and back strain from being on the computer? American Academy of Pediatrics
Screen Time and Children, Medline Plus
Toy Recommendations: Cups, 2023 Early Intervention Research Group at Northwestern University
This newsletter has been peer-reviewed.