There is always a lot of controversy over kids having access to screens. I’m not here to debate for or against them, as I think that is a very personal decision for each family. However, for our kids, no screens mean better attitudes, so we often go without them for days. And when we do have them, time limits are strictly enforced.
And while my kids are used to no screens most of the time, I still hear the dreaded “I’m bored” phrase too often. So we have some favorite go-to screen-free activities that we can easily pull out for our kids. But even we get tired of the same old stuff.
So I’ve gathered a list of Screen-Free Activities your kids can do inside as well as outside. I’ve also got a great list of crafts put together that is sure to fill up your summer days!
If you’re looking for some fun and even educational screen-free activities for kids this year, be sure to check out this fun list!
Read a book together as a family or on your own. This is a great way to improve reading skills, learn about new places, and allow kids to use their imaginations as they build the stories in their minds.
Playing Cards is one of my kids’ favorite ways to spend time off-screen. We have several go-to games that our kids love to rotate through. UNO is always a popular choice and great for when our little ones learned their colors and numbers. And their new variation, UNO Flip, is a super fun twist on an old classic. But the newest favorite in our home is Dutch Blitz. My kids ask to play it daily!
Drawing is the perfect non-screen activity. Whether you use a book for some training or just let them draw whatever they want, drawing is a wonderful outlet for allowing them to express themselves. One of my daughters has found a love of creating and designing from being able to draw on her own. We keep a supply of sketchbooks on hand for her so she can draw anytime the mood strikes.
Coloring books are another great pastime of yesteryear. I loved coloring as a child and would do it for hours. My girls are the same way and love those adult and zentangle coloring books.
Do some Mad-Libs with your kids. We love picking these up seasonally too. Some of our favorites are the Christmas Song Mad-Libs. They are not only great for passing the time but also for sharpening their grammar and vocabulary skills too!
STEM Projects are a great way to do something fun and stay off screens. Not only that, you’ll be adding in some fun education
Have a LEGO building contest! A few weeks ago our kids participated in a contest within our fulltime traveling families group. They were given a specific item to build, but no parameters. It was so fun to see the creations my own kids and the others built just using their imaginations using LEGO bricks!
Do a large jigsaw puzzle together! Pick the number of pieces based on your children’s ages and do a jigsaw puzzle as a family! Or pair kids and parents up for a fun contest to see who finishes their puzzle first!
Get out with the family and do some Random Acts of Kindness around your town or community. Not only will you bless others, but you just might be blessed in the process.
Taking a Hike is not only a great way to get outside and get some exercise, but it’s also a great way to get everyone off those screens. You can take a walk in your backyard, go to your neighborhood or city park, or take a drive to a county or state park if you’re close.
If you love to relax, take a day to Go Fishing with the kids. You might have to get a fishing license, so check your state laws!
Going swimming is a great way to stay cool, use up energy, and stay off the screens. With heat indexes reaching over 100 during July and August, our kids spend most afternoons at the pool. Bonus – it also wears them out and helps them sleep really well at night too!
Do a scavenger hunt with your kids. Whether in your own neighborhood, in the park, around your town, scavenger hunts can be super fun! Split up into groups and see who completes their scavenger hunt list first!
Horseback riding is a fun way to spend an afternoon taking in nature. If you don’t own horses, you can probably find a local stable that offers trail rides. Call ahead to get the best rate.
Take a family Bike Ride together. Our kids love exploring new campgrounds with their bikes whenever we arrive. It is the perfect way to get in some exercise and explore your town, park or even just your neighborhood.
Grab some Sidewalk Chalk and take the kids out for a morning (or afternoon) of art! Have them shadow drawings, create their own scenes for flat pictures, play hopscotch, draw your own obstacle course, and more!
If you love games and being outside, these DIY Outdoor Games should do the trick!
Can’t go far? Try some of these fun activities to do right in your own driveway!
Crafts for Kids
Your teens will love getting their hands on a can of spray paint for theses crafty ideas!
Have fun, get creative, and use up some of that “trash” around your home with these recycled craft ideas!
Pool Noodles are plentiful during the summer months. In fact, you can usually get them for a fairly cheap price. And if they survive the summer, what do you do with them? Why not upcycle them into some pretty cute crafts like these!
If you have older kids that you can trust, independent crafts may be the answer! Check out this huge list to get you started.
We always have leftover egg cartons lying around our home. So if you’re like us, let your kids upcycle them with these fun egg carton crafts.
My kids love balloons and since they’re relatively cheap and you can find them any time, these Balloon Crafts are a fun option for kids!
Ever since some friends of ours gave our family friendship bracelets, my kids have been obsessed with them. Making bracelets can be fun and is a great way for kids to use their creativity.
Find more homeschool resources on my Pinterest boards!
Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.
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