By Jami Haberl on Friday, April 27, 2018

Fun and cheap screen-free activities for your family

We are surrounded by technology and it's extremely difficult to think about life without our screens. It's Screen Free Week and we pulled together a list of fun, creative ways that don't require using technology! 

FREE activities for the family:
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Check out a “How to Draw Cartoons” book at the library and practice with your kids
  • Go for a PJ Walk before bed with flashlights
  • Take a family bike ride
  • Schedule a family game night
  • Pack a small picnic
  • Eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner outside
  • Find some space and work on a family puzzle for the week
  • Perform or read a play together sharing parts (Ex: Frog & Toad)
  • Have your child write their own play
  • Take turns reading a book out loud
  • Play 20 Questions
  • Play a game of spoons
  • Make Goop
  • Organize a classic neighborhood game like tag, capture the flag, or kick the can
  • Go frog catching
  • Roll down a hill
  • Go for a hike
  • Paint outside
  • Jump rope
  • Learn classic songs
  • Teach your little ones classic hand clapping recess games (Ex: Miss Mary Mac Video)
  • Have a reading picnic inside: Blanket on living room floor with books
  • Start a rock collection
  • Go for a boat ride
  • Make a sock puppet with odds and ends
  • Learn a new card game (Ex: Kings in the Corner)
  • Have your child choose, prepare and serve dinner one evening
  • Do spring yard clean-up: Rake, clean away dead material, prep garden, etc.
  • De-clutter: Go through toys and donate
  • It is never too late to start reading out loud with your child, try busting open a copy of Harry Potter, or let them pick the title
  • Build a LEGO city
  • Grab the blankets and make a fort over the kitchen table & chairs
  • Dig a hole (Seriously, your child will think it is fun.)
  • Search for bugs and worms
Nearly FREE activities:
  • Go bowling
  • Invite family friends over for dinner
  • Plant a seed
  • Set-up a bird feeder 
  • Make fresh lemonade
  • Make homemade tomato sauce
  • Take your children individually on a date
  • Make a worm bed
  • Give your kid a whole roll of Scotch Tape to do whatever they wish (See what happens.)
  • Buy blank greeting cards and have the kids decorate them
  • Be a tourist in your own town
  • Check out the local Park & Recreation site for any free kid's programs
  • See if any of the local schools have plays going on, many do spring performances
  • Check to see if your community has pottery painting, we recommend choosing a utilitarian item to paint, like a cup or bowl!
  • Check your local museum for art classes
  • See if your local YMCA has a weekly family night
  • Go swimming
  • Go to the park
  • Play at the library
  • See if your local library has any kid's programs
  • Find a restaurant with a patio
  • Choose a country then go to the library. Pick up a cookbook and educational books about that destination.
  • Have your child pick a topic, research it at the library and have them write their own book with the information
Activities for adults:
  • Scrabble, cards, adult games!
  • Talk about your 5 year goals and reconnect
  • Drink your morning coffee outside, intentionally, without your phone
  • Get up early and have a slow, warm breakfast with the kids
  • Boil water for tea on the stove
  • Rearrange the furniture in your house
Why less screen time?

5210Watching too much TV and use of other screen media is associated with an increased prevalence of overweight and obesity, lower reading scores, and attention problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time a day and that children under age 2 not watch any TV or other screen media. Learn more about 5-2-1-0 and access free resources here.