Having some trouble getting the family to unplug while spending time at home? Finding fun screen-free activities for kiddos can seem difficult, but once you start to brainstorm, you discover plenty of ways to enjoy play time without the screen time. Here are some of our favorite non-digital activities to ensure maximum fun and keep you confident your kids are staying alert and active.
There are plenty of things to do right in the comfort of your own home. Indoor play is particularly important in states with harsh weather this time of year. Constructing a fort is one idea! I’m sure you remember building your own secret fortress when you were little with all the blankets and pillows you could find. Now you can have your own children take over the tradition. This will keep them occupied for hours, plus they can use it during the day or night, watching films or playing games. Looking for a new activity? Try an archeological dig! You can do this with brown sugar as the sand, or you can fill a bucket with water and treasures, put it in the freezer, and then chip away once it’s frozen for a dig in the ice age! Finally, maybe your family enjoys putting on a performance. Go ahead and let the kiddos use their creativity to show the rest of the family and make their own play or puppet show. This activity will keep everyone entertained for hours and no additional materials are needed.
Enjoy the Outdoors
If it is a warmer day, going outside to work off some steam is a safe way to play and stop screen time. Here are some fun kids’ outdoor activities! You can do arts and crafts with chalk to build a hopscotch route or obstacle course for kids in the neighborhood. If you liked the archaeological dig above, a treasure or scavenger hunt is a similar outdoor activity. Hiding toys around the lawn can help them out, or you can create a list of items or plants that are already in your backyard.
A car wash is another fun activity that the entire family will love! When they are having fun doing it, children love to help! To ensure that everyone is safe, have an adult supervise, but have the kids have fun scrubbing the car and spraying the bubbles away.
Kids love to use their creativity to do all sorts of activities, especially arts and crafts. Puppets, firework art or paint in a bag are some simple but fun projects for kids. All you need for the puppets is an old sock and some markers. Paint in a bag and painting fireworks both require washable paint, but they’re not too messy. Try firework art for older kids. To make, take a roll of toilet paper, cut one end a little more than half to create a kind of fringe. Dip in the paint color of your choice, swirl on paper or canvas, and voila! Painting in a bag is great for toddlers or younger children. On a simple piece of paper, put small quantities of different colored paint. Place the paper in a big Ziploc bag and seal it tightly when you have five to seven spots of color. Without the mess on their hands and your clean surfaces, your little ones can smush the paint around however they want.
Want something more challenging? Try using art supplies to make homemade airplanes. Some great choices are paper, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners to make sure your plane is flying high inside and outside!
Having the family stay active, whether inside or outside, is the best strategy for finding screen-free activities. Going for a bike ride or hike in town is a good way to get out and do some physical activity. To make the walk or ride more stimulating, you can even play an eye-spy game. Another great way to play, bringing the family to an indoor play center. Facilities, such as Bounce U, provide a safe and exciting atmosphere, where larger-than-life inflatables fill an arena. Finally, maybe kids are tired of the same old stuff. Encourage them to learn something new, like to rollerblade or ice skate. Perhaps even to learn the rules of a sport that they have not tried.
Bringing Joy to Others
This is the greatest time of year to give back and bring others joy. Have the children go through their toys and make a pile of items they can no longer play with, so they can donate to a local charity. You might want to make a nice meal for a family member or friend to drop off. It’s a pleasant touch to add a handwritten note or drawing. The meal and the card are both a great way to celebrate a birthday too! Create a birthday calendar for your family members and make a special card just for them. Finally, local animal shelters welcome volunteers to come in and help out for the day if your kiddos love animals.
It’s good to have some quality family time away from TVs, computers and cell phones. Some ideas the whole family can partake in are sports, nature walks or packing a picnic to enjoy in the park. Games often get everyone excited to play and focused. Short games that do not need much set-up, such as the games in Minute to Win It, are an easy way to go.
Looking at old family photographs is another experience that is something that you most likely don’t do too often. When they are their age, children love to see photos of their elders and think it’s fun to see the old trends in fashion and hair. Take the time to pull out the photo albums and take a stroll together down memory lane.
Screen-free activities for kids may not always seem like the easiest task, but kids love the time away from electronics just as adults do. Try out these ideas and let us know which one was your kiddo’s favorite! For more activity ideas and family fun, check out https://www.bounceu.com/blog/outdoor-activities/.