31 Screen Free Activities
(Clean Out Those Junk Drawers And Closets Great Materials Are Within All Our Homes)
The lure of a screen is tempting for everyone, but if you’re looking for your kids to do something a little less sedentary and a lot more productive, here are some ideas you can both feel good about:
1. Send them outside to run, play, skip and jump: Whatever, as long as it’s active! This applies to all kids.
2. Do a push-up or sit-up challenge: They’ll be trying to impress you with how many they can knock out a timer is a good addition to this challenge.
3. Suggest a bike ride: Getting their helmets on and out of the garage without scratching a car door takes a good five to 10 minutes, but it’s worth it. And since we’re super-parents, in the time it takes for them to make it halfway down the street, we’ve already emptied the dishwasher and loaded it with the stuff in the sink.
4. Make it easy for your kids to feel and actually be independent. Set up an area that’s well-stocked with games and projects and toys for them to do their own thing.
5. That being said, have boxes of activities tucked away and rotate them every so often. It’s like playing with new toys all over again.
6. Play-dough keeps little hands busy for hours: For easy cleanup (which is always the problem afterwards, right?) use an old table and/or get big serving trays from the dollar store to keep the mess contained.
7. Homework: They may not like it, but it keeps them busy and out of your hair.
8. Create an art station and stock up on fun worksheets, coloring books (or better yet, our free downloadable coloring book!) and plain paper, along with pencil crayons, markers, crayons, stencils, felt and glue. For advanced coloring kids, invest in some Doodle Art. But keep in mind if you, the grownup, start in on that, you’ll never get anything done.
9. Cover a table—and the floor underneath—with newspaper, give the kids smocks, set them up with paint and water and let them go to town.
10. Sidewalk chalk: No kid can resist it.
11. Bubbles: Always fun!
12. If you don’t need to be in the kitchen, your kids can be. Shop ahead of time for the ingredients they need and let them loose to work on a kid-friendly baking or cooking project.
13. Play hair salon: Styling only; scissors should be nowhere near this activity! They can practice their braids or buns (or huns). Or try a little hair chalk or gel for funkier looks.
14. If your kid is crafty, get a cheap, used sewing machine, some patterns and other projects, and see what they can come up with.
15. If your child is too young for machinery (sewing machine), get some burlap, some large plastic needles and a bunch of yarn, and that’s their sewing table.
16. Make Popsicle-stick houses: Just add glue. Or if you’re feeling daring, a glue gun.
17. A house of cards: How high, how wide can they go?
18. Setting up a domino knockdown: Takes a lot of time and patience, but the result is so worth it.
19. Playing or walking the pets: Map out their routes prior to.
20. Sink play: For the little ones, fill the kitchen sink midway with warm, soapy water and let them “wash” their plastic dishes, cups, cars, Lego pieces and other toys.
21. Get red yarn and tie it all around to make it look like security lasers: See how long it takes them to get through the maze. Just like in Mission: Impossible.
22. Send them on a treasure/scavenger hunt: Assign them things to look for: five stones, three pine cones, six leaves, a roll of pennies, that one black sock as examples.
23. If your kid likes playing with baby dolls, get them to switch its outfit a few times like a mini fashion show or let them put on a fashion show for you from their own closet: They might discover clothes they forgot about in the process!
24. Puzzles are your savior: Just finding the edge pieces is a challenge, but once that’s accomplished; they’re going to want to keep on going.
25. Legos: Building structures and being able to tell you about them.
26. Dance party: Reconnect with music and find your groove!
27. Chore Chart: But make it fun a spinning wheel or a bingo card!
28. Set a reading time: Remember sometimes when reading it is important to break it up with independent reading time and then someone reading to them – Make it fun; magazines, cookbooks, manuals are good alternatives with keeping reading interesting and not a chore!
29. A whiteboard/chalkboard easel/refrigerator with magnetic numbers and letters.
30. Despite their whining for the television or the tablet, it doesn’t take expensive toys and gadgets to entertain them. Sometimes they just prefer the box it came in. And if it’s a big one, we have one word: fort.
31. Speaking of, pillows and blankets and couches and tables make for the perfect DIY hideaway for kids of all ages.