Keeping kids entertained can be tricky sometimes. Many kids rely on screen time to stay entertained these days. We have made screen free time a must in our house at least a couple times a week. There are so many things you can do with your kids or they can do by themselves to keep busy without using a screen.
Reading and Kids Audiobooks
This one for me is a favorite. I love to curl up with a blanket and a good book , and if you’ve been around here a while, you know all things books are a huge hit with our kids!
Kids (just like us) aren’t limited to just physical books. You can also get family audiobooks for them to listen to. One of our favorites series are the Adventure in Odyssey ones. Our newest one we are listening to is “Up in the Air”. This one is an absolute hit with our family! It’s a two our span of entertainment that engages our kids in the fun story line wile learning about compassion, friendships, and so much more through the story!
Good old fashioned card games can be a blast too. You can get sets like “crazy 8’s” and “old maid” with the directions in them at the store but, sometimes it is fun to just pull out a regular old deck of cards. Take the time to teach them how to play war, slapjack, memory, and solitaire. There are so many card games you can teach your kids to play. If you need to refresh your memory on rules jump online before screens are put away and look it up.
We spend most of our time outside during the spring, summer and fall. However in the cold winter months I struggle with this one. Ironic, eh? Here in Texas the summer heat can get unbearable (though this summer was insanely mild!), but winter months — though we look forward to them, we aren’t quite used to being out in the cold that much. There are plenty of things to do outside all year. Simple things like going for a walk or hike, a bike ride, or even just a trip to the park. We try to take advantage of all of these, weather permiting.
In the warmer months you can go camping, tubing, and swimming as well. In the cooler months you can get out and go sledding or take day-trip with the family to go skiing somewehre. Take time to get your kids outside all year long! It’s a fantastic way to build up memories too!
Take some of the screen free time and do arts and crafts with your kids. This may not be always be desirable for some kids past a certain age but, the younger ones love it! Let them take the lead. Ask your child what they would like to do. Most the time time something as simple as taking the time to sit and color with them can be a game changer. Check out some crafts here on my blog: Christmas Crafts, Snowman Craft, and MORE!
Sometimes the weather doesn’t let you get outside or, your kids aren’t feeling much of anything that day. That is okay. Just let them play. I find that when my kids don’t want to do much of anything, If I suggest that I will get on the floor and play with them they will play. Our favorites to play are Magna tiles, Duplo blocks, and LEGO!
Screen free time is the perfect time to pull out some fun experiments. There are so many kits you can buy but, you can also do so many things with what you have in your kitchen already. You can do something as simple as melting ice between your hands or as complicated as building and erupting a volcano. Whether you pick up a kit or two or do everything from scratch your kids will have a great time and many memories will be made.
Games are something I sometimes forget about. They are put away in a closet – so they become “out-of-site out-of-mind”. I have made it a point recently to also put my screens away as much as possible and when I do this the kids and I have started pulling our board games out again! LOVE it!
My kids love puzzles. Every once in awhile, I will pick up a new puzzle to do with my oldest. My toddler loves his puzzles too but, isn’t to a place where he can help on the more complicated puzzles. If that is the case in your house too, I suggest that you get a similar puzzle with less pieces and they can sit near you and put theirs together.
Floor puzzles are a favorite for my kids to do together. I love that they are sturdy and larger pieces but still hold my kids attention. They will do the same puzzle multiple times in a row before they decide to put it away.
Playdough is another thing I don’t always think about. I mean we buy it usually around the holidays, but then year-round we kind of forget about it. You can buy store bought playdough or, your kids can make their own. There are recipes for cooking playdough and there are recipes for edible playdough. Some recipes are more complicated but, many kids can make by themselves with your supervision.
Messy isn’t a favorite for many people. We get messy in our house frequently. What do I mean by get messy? Simple! Sensory projects. Sensory projects are fun. My favorite place to do them is outside for easier clean up. Outside our options are almost limitless. Splatter painting, spaghetti fights, shaving cream slides are all things we like to do when the weather is nice out. Plus, if you have crazy dogs like we do — it’s a whole lot of fun to see them join in too! The giggles are endless!
During the colder months though, we still continue to do sensory projects inside, but I try to contain them to the bathtub to keep clean up a bit easier. My kids paint the tub walls with finger paint, shaving cream, and pudding. All of these things rinse off easily but, the kids will stay busy for a very long time. Just be careful, sometimes it gets slippery.
These are just a few ideas to keep your kids entertained during screen free time. Don’t be afraid to put your screens away! It’s a great opportunity to make some awesome memories with your kids! They will look back at that time as some of the best times they had growing up.
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