As a parent, you know how challenging it can be to keep kids entertained in a tech-free environment. For me, it’s sometimes easier to just hand over the iPad. However, I’d much rather find tech-free entertainment that will eliminate the boredom, help them learn new skills, and keep them engaged. This makes our days (and vacations) fun and frustration-free! So next time your child exclaims, “I’m bored,” consider these 10 games and activities that will help keep your kids away from the screen.
10 Tech-Free Activities For Your Family
- Read books: If your kids are old enough to read, head to your local library or buy them a couple of books you know they’ll enjoy so they have something new and interesting to read. This is especially helpful if you’re heading on vacation.
- Build a fort: My girls love creating an indoor fort using sheets, pillows, chairs, tables, and a small pop-up tent. They love to play inside their newly built fort, read books, or just hang out.
- Board games: Good old-fashioned board games are so fun! With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to overlook classics like Jenga, Candy Land, Operation and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Older kids will enjoy Scrabble and Monopoly.
- Go outside: Enjoy the great outdoors! Whether it’s taking a walk around the neighborhood, playing catch in your backyard, bicycling or skating at the park, or planning a picnic, getting some fresh air is always a great idea. Of course, it’s really hot this time of year, so be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat — plus drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Scavenger hunt: A fun idea I recently came across was a nature scavenger hunt. Kids really pay attention to their surroundings and spot cool things right in their backyard or while hiking on a trail. Prepare a list and have your kiddos keep an eye out for butterflies, squirrels, birds, flowers, rocks, fallen leaves, sticks and more. This will inspire curiosity and get them excited about being outdoors.
- Hide and seek: Kids love this popular game and it will keep them busy for a while! My girls love playing with their friends and cousins when they visit. An easy tech-free solution to boredom!
- Arts and crafts: If you don’t mind getting messy, you can let your kiddos make some slime. I did this once, but we took the fun outside and mixed all the ingredients on a table under the terrace. I definitely do not recommend doing this indoors, but I’m a neat freak. Other artsy options include watercolors, canvas art, paper crafts, sketchbook art, finger painting, and more. Think outside the box and get creative! Pinterest is a great place to look for crafty ideas.
- Puzzles: My 5-year-old loves figuring out puzzles! She has quite a collection. She’s always excited to get a new one and figure it out on her own. The last one she completed was a horse puzzle, which combines two of the things she loves — horses and puzzles.
- Cooking with kids: You can combine a few simple items and make a homemade trail mix. Ask your kids to measure ingredients to bake cookies. Have them roll the dough and use cookie cutters. Make ice cream, fun snacks, or fresh fruit popsicles with your kids. Kids always have fun baking in the kitchen.
- Water play: Jump in the pool! Set up a slip and slide! Dance in the rain! Play with water guns (or other water spraying toys), or run through the sprinklers. No matter how you choose to get wet, there’s only one rule: make sure you join in the fun and get wet, too! You’re making memories that your kids will always remember.
These are my top 10 ways to keep kids entertained and away from the television or iPad. I’ll admit, I’m not perfect and oftentimes I’m working while they’re home, so they sometimes end up in front of a screen. However, I’m making an effort to get them to try new things and spend some quality time with friends and family.
What are some of your favorite tech-free activities? Please share!