Activities for Kids That Don’t Involve Screen Time

What did kids ever do before we had so many screens? Screen time can be important, but that shouldn’t be the only place kids find their entertainment. In this article, we’ll take a step or two into the past and find ways other than screen time for other entertainment.

Alternatives to Screen Time

Screen time isn’t always a negative activity. There are many learning opportunities and positive reasons to use a tablet or computer. During the pandemic, computers and tablets became essential for learning and communicating. Screen time has become such a common part of everyday life. If you’re trying to limit screen time, there are several alternatives. Limiting screen time allows for more family and friends time.

Creative Activities at Home for Kids

Over the past three years we’ve spent a lot of time couped up at home. It’s easy and sometimes even convenient to give your kids lots of screen time. There are a multitude of activities for kids to do at home. What did you like playing or doing as a kid?

Creative Indoor Activities

Read Books

Reading with your kids is always a good option which doesn’t include screen time. With younger children, really get into it! Do your best reading voices and make each character come to life! Maybe even pull out some dress up clothes and act out the story.

Bake Something

Baking can be messy but entertaining. Who doesn’t love eating cookie dough? You may have a secret family recipe. Many people don’t use cookbooks as much, but there are recipes online and all over Pinterest.

Play Board Games

Ah, good old fashioned board games. We all had our favorites growing up. Board games are timeless. We all have a game or two from when we were kids. Get the family together and play The Game of Life, Monopoly, Sorry, Candyland, and any other original favorites. If you want to really get really creative, make your own board game!

Do a Science Experiment

Educational activities can be fun! There are unlimited ideas all over the internet. Find your most fun science experiment. Here are some ideas.

  • Egg drop
  • Make your own cheese or ice cream
  • Make slime or bouncy balls
  • Levitate ping pong balls with a straw and cone
  • Modify matchbox cars with sails or chutes to see the best design for speed
  • Design paper airplanes and see which one flies the farthest

Do a Puzzle

Puzzles are another favorite pastime. Puzzle people have a closet full of puzzles! Pull out a puzzle and start sorting the pieces. There are many options to choose from like the number of pieces, the shape, size of pieces and 3D options. Puzzles are available everywhere.

Make Friendship Bracelets

Making friendship bracelets can be enjoyable for all ages. Go to the craft store and pick out your favorite colors of embroidery floss. Find a design on Pinterest. Of course, there’s always a YouTube video if you get stuck!

Make Greeting Cards

During the pandemic, we had to get creative. Getting together wasn’t the best option. It doesn’t matter how old you are. We all love getting something via snail mail. Make cards and write notes. It doesn’t have to be digital or elaborate.

Audio Books

Audible is a great resource to minimize screen time. You can listen to books anywhere at any time. Listen while you’re playing outside, out on a walk, or while doing quiet activities in your house. The public library also has audiobooks to check out.

Outdoor Activities

Scavenger Hunt

Older kids might enjoy a scavenger hunt. Create different teams. Hide clues around your house and neighborhood. If you have teenagers and drivers, why not have clues across your city. One example might be to find the best graffiti in town and take a picture. Take a silly video singing in the park. It’s all about creativity.

Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk chalk is a classic and can be enjoyable for all ages. If you live on a quiet street, create a giant work of art from your house to the neighbors across the street. You could also use your driveway and sidewalk. Write a fun message to your neighbors or your mail man.

Play Basketball

Don’t put your chalk away yet. Use it to draw a basketball court on your street and shoot hoops! Draw lines to play “Around the World.” Play a game of “Horse” or “Pig.”

Water Games

On a hot summer day, just add water. It could be as simple as running through the sprinklers. You could also create more elaborate games such as a water obstacle course or play relay games.

Play a unique version of kickball. In a big open space, set up three kiddie pools as first, second, and third base. Then set up a slip n’ slide leading to the home plate and play ball!

You could add ice and do some ice bowling. Fill balloons with water and freeze them. Get some plastic bowling pins at the store or on Amazon. Then use the frozen balloons as bowling balls. See who can get the first strike!

Backyard Campout

Set up a tent in your backyard. Enjoy sleeping under the stars for a night. You could even make s’mores on your fire pit, outdoor pizza oven, or make some in the house. Read books and play games!

Go on a Nature Walk

This is simple. Go on a walk and search for fun items. It’s also become a popular thing to paint rocks. Then hide them in parks or around your neighborhood for others to find.

Ride Bikes

Who doesn’t love a good bike ride? This is another activity that doesn’t require an explanation. Ride around your neighborhood. Mix it up and ride your bikes on your favorite trail.

There are many other outdoor activities to choose from. Again, it’s all about creativity and entertainment without screen time!

The Bottom Line

Less screen time can make life more interesting. Learning new activities and life skills will benefit your kids for life. You can build traditions and have real conversations. So, turn off your devices, get out with others, and have a blast!

Katie Meyers is an SEO Specialist at SEO Design Chicago. Before joining the SEO Design Chicago team, she interned for them, as well as interned as a Content Writer at HZD Creates. Katie is from Washington State and has an AA and a Social Media Marketing Certificate.

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