15 Screen Free Children's Activities!

by Cassie Hegarty

Act Out A Book. Which book are your kids obsessed with these days? Dig into the dress-up box and have them try to act out a live action version.

Make Potions. Dole out a few little cups of water, flour, corn starch, jam, or whatever else your little scientists would love mixing up, and let them start creating.

Wash Windows Together. This may sound like a chore to adults, but toddlers love to clean! Take advantage of it and get some sparkling windows in the process. Using a small spray bottle containing non-toxic soap and water and a towel, enjoy this household chore together. Washing windows can be an indoor activity, too!

Make a Fort. Whether using cardboard boxes, pillows and blankets, or an endless supply of “building” materials, a fort can provide your child with hours of entertainment. Bring a basket of books inside, along with supportive pillows and a favorite blanket. Your little one can relax in this cozy spot to read and re-read favorite books. Your child can also use the fort to simply recharge and have some time to themselves…while you get some work done! The thought of a “secret” spot is both exciting and empowering, and offers children a safe, peaceful place to hide and hangout (even if you know exactly where they are).

Spring Gluing Project. Artwork is an excellent fine motor activity for your little one at home. In the spirit of springtime, you can cut some colorful butterflies or flowers out of construction paper, and then show your child how to glue the pieces onto a larger piece of paper. Give them just a few choices, or it may overwhelm them and prevent them from settling into the work. Older children can help cut out the shapes for the gluing, and may choose to create a scene on their paper with cut-outs, and possibly even some mixed media.

Be A Florist. Collect branches, ferns, and a few blooms and arrange them in a pretty jar.

Craft Collages from Family Photos And Old Magazines. Kids love cutting stuff up, so hand ’em a not-too-sharp pair of scissors and a stack of paper headed for the recycling bin and let them snip away. Add glue sticks and a sheet of cardboard and prompt them to create something new!

Learn Some Magic Tricks. Whether you buy a few trick coins or cards from a magic shop, or simply practice your own slight of hand, mastering a few magic tricks is a great way to spend an afternoon and impress the friends once everyone is back together!

Let Them Flip Through Cookbooks and Pick A Recipe To Make Together. A great way to get kids to try new foods is to let them look through all those mouthwatering pictures and pick their own new dish to try!


Put On A Puppet Show. Another creative way to get the kids involved in a fun activity is by putting on a puppet show at home. Create a script, make a cardboard box theater, grab some old socks or brown bags (or use dolls) for characters, and put on a show!

Make Your Own Puzzles. They draw a colorful picture on an entire page and then cut it into large pieces with scissors. Then you have to try to put the puzzle together once you are off your work call.

Do a Riddle Scavenger Hunt. Hide a collection of objects around the house and write a list of clues as to where your kiddos can find them. A rock hidden in the laundry basket? “This is where your stinky socks snuggle up and go to sleep at the end of the day.” Take turns and give the kids a shot to hide items and write clues, too. That’s the best part!

Start a Pen Pal. Pick a grandma, friend, aunt, uncle, or cousin whom you can’t see right now and write them a letter. Can’t write yet? Draw a picture. This could be expanded for older kids: how to address an envelope properly, what is your address, how to write a letter with “Dear Friend,” “Sincerely,” etc.

Make Up a Song. Have them tell a story but put them into lyrics of a song. How will the tune go?

Turn Those Amazon Boxes Into Something Cool. Have them piece together a long maze, a race track, a skyscraper—the options are limitless. Give them tape, glue, scissors, and paper and see what they create.