Social media alternatives for kids over winter break

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 7:04 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Many kids are off of classes for the long holiday break and keeping them busy and learning and off electronics can be a challenge for parents.

That’s where winter camps are providing a fun and educational experience while school is out.

Miriam Tracy is a 5-year-old on winter break, hoping to have fun. Her parents don’t want her to spend her time on tablets and watching television, even though she really likes it.

“No, I like TV,” said Miriam when asked if she likes television or drawing better.

A 2020 Pew Research study found that nearly nine-out-of-ten children (88%) under the age of 12 watch television daily and at least three-out-of-five children under 12 use devices like tablets and smartphones.

Pediatricians said too much screen time can impact a child’s development.

Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing is engaging kids like Miriam in learning activities. Director of Innovation and learning Micaela Balzer said it’s important to make sure students are doing activities that don’t use a screen.

“Screens have their place,” Balzer said. “But we really want to make sure students have an opportunity to make those relationships in real life to be able to come across to each other, problem solve together.”

One thing children can do is expand their creativity by drawing.

“I colored all the hearts, I’m going to color the circles,” said Miriam.

Kids also used their imagination with the materials they were given like a bowl and a straw to build a new toy. A different toy Miriam made earlier which she said she was excited to show off was her cup and ball. “I made a toy, I try to get the ball in here.”

Balzer said learning teamwork skills can help develop young minds.

“There are many scientific skills that require collaboration and all of those things can be really well done if you’re in a classroom learning together.”

Hoping to give kids a way to keep their minds moving, off of screens and having fun during winter break. The Impression 5 camp has a few openings for January 3-5.

Other museums and recreational areas also have winter break activities for Mid-Michigan families.

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