Summertime means lots of free time, but it doesn’t have to mean hours glued to a device. When your kids inevitably declare, “I’m bored!” bypass the tablets and video games in favor of some exciting screen-free activities.
Screen-Free Activities to Entertain the Kids All Summer
Worried your kids are getting too much screen time? Here are some ideas for screen-free activities to keep your kids stimulated all summer. Depending on the age and the activity, some of these screen-free ideas can be done independently, and others are fun for the entire family because you could probably use a device break too!
Learn to Cook
Even younger kids can start learning how to prepare a simple recipe. Baking is always a fun, easy place to start that sneaks in some math lessons and life skills in the process. With older kids, try expanding skills, like learning to use a knife and cook on the stove with supervision.
Gardening is beneficial for kids and one of the best screen-free activities the whole family can enjoy. It engages all their senses and encourages healthy eating. Plus, gardening is a fun way to teach responsibility and can be a great family bonding activity.
Set up a growing space and have your kids plant their own carrots, herbs, tomatoes, and other summer vegetables. You can buy them kids’ gardening tools and create a list of “gardening tasks” they can accomplish.
Have a Dance Party
Dancing is a great way to get in some physical activity for kids of all ages. Put together a playlist of family-friendly songs and enjoy some quality time dancing together. Wait till dark and kick things up a notch with glow sticks or flashlights for more excitement.
Complete a Random Act of Kindness
Doing something nice for someone else is always an excellent screen-free activity. Check out our kindness community for fun ideas on kindness projects you can do at home.
Go Camping At Home
Set up a tent in the backyard, or if it’s too hot outside, bring the campsite indoors and work on your fort-making skills in the living room.
Earn Extra Cash
Let your children earn their own money by having a summer job. It can be as simple as doing household chores and making money from completing tasks or doing tasks for your neighbors like washing the car, babysitting, mowing the lawn, or walking the dog.
Kids can set up their own lemonade or snack stand or allow them to search through their closet and your storage area for things the family no longer needs, and they can have a garage sale.
Help your kids learn the importance of minimizing waste while enjoying screen-free time. Have them find broken or old household items and come up with new uses for them. With little kids, take broken toys, glue them onto a piece of cardboard, and paint them to create a work of art. You can try some more advanced ideas with older children, like repainting an old piece of furniture or repurposing an old t-shirt into a tote bag. With a bit of imagination, the ideas are endless, but if you need a few more for inspiration, check out our guide to upcycled crafts.
More Screen-Free Activities for Kids
Here are some more fun screen-free activities to keep your kids entertained throughout the summer and all year long.
- Visit the local library and check out a new book.
- Make slime.
- Play board games.
- Try a science experiment.
- Learn a new skill or a new language.
- Play with dolls.
- Work on a puzzle.
- Start a collection.
- Create friendship bracelets.
- Learn how to sew.
- Try out photography.
- Make lanyards.
- Play with playdough or make your own.
- Water play.
- Learn a magic trick.
- Go on a walk for some fresh air.
- Write your own book or comic book.
- Ride a bike or scooter.
- Make recycled crayons.
- Learn a new card game.
- Have a LEGO building challenge.
- Paint with race cars.
- Put on a talent show.
- See who can build the tallest block tower.
- Have a tea party.
- Sing karaoke.
- Set up an indoor scavenger hunt.
- Build your own marble run.
- Make chalk art.
- Give them craft items like popsicle sticks and acrylic paint and see what they come up with.
- Set up an obstacle course with pool noodles and hula hoops.
- Make something out of cardboard boxes.
- Create a family tree.
- Paint kindness rocks and distribute them in your neighborhood.
What are some ways your kids stay entertained without sitting in front of a screen? Share any fun activities we can add to our list in the Local Anchor Facebook group.
Check out these recommendations for screen time by age.