Creative Screen-Free Activities for Big Kids and Little Ones
Getting away from technology is vital for mental and physical health, so why not turn off the TV, put away the iPads and check out our list of screen-free things to do with the kids at home.
Hold a Sports Day
Today the back garden, tomorrow the Olympics!
Get your kids moving with a fun, family sports event. All you need is some space and a bit of imagination. You can tailor your activities to suit everyone’s ages and abilities. Forget the hundred metre sprint - how about the lawn hopping race or the egg and spoon?
Remember, physical activity doesn’t have to be athletic – think homemade obstacle courses or hula-hooping contests. Of course you’ll need to supervise (from your deckchair, naturally).
Puzzle It Out
Cryptic codes and puzzles to challenge the mind.
Puzzles are great for engaging young minds. Jigsaws, word jumbles, cryptic clues – there are so many choices. Set up a table with plenty of options and let them try out different styles to see what they enjoy.
Older kids or teens may enjoy an Escape Room style game. Or, how about creating your own coded messages for them to unscramble? Hvae Nfu! (We couldn’t resist.)
Make a Memory Box
Say hello to your future selves!
Time capsules, memory boxes, DIY treasure chests. Whatever you call them, here’s another fun screen-free idea that gets everyone working together. All you need is a box and some fun items to put in it.
Kids will love adding in their favourite photographs, souvenirs, and trinkets. Hey, why not get them to write a letter to their future selves describing what they think life might be like in the future? After that, all you need to do is find the perfect hiding place. Hello 2035!
Get Ready to Bake Off
Eat your heart out, Mary Berry.
It doesn’t matter how grown-up you are - no one is ever too old to want to lick the spoon! Baking is a super skill to learn and you might inspire a future master chef. Kids will love making and decorating their treats, plus you can even cheat by buying store-made biscuits (we won’t tell) and letting them go wild with icing and sprinkles.
Try out some crazy flavour combinations – banana and peanut butter cookies? We’ll take five. Keep an eye on those combos, though. Our bacon and custard cupcakes didn’t go down so well.
Crafty questions, colourful answers.
You know we couldn’t write a list of screen-free activities for kids without mentioning one of our favourite board games! Colourbrain is a quiz game with a cheeky little twist. In this game, we give you the answers before you start — and they’re all colours! Your family might know what colour a strawberry is, but do they know what colour a Sharon fruit is?
The questions might be best suited to older kids but if you have little ones that want to join in, why not make up a few questions of your own?
Build a Den
We’re going where the wild things are.
Branches, slides, a chair – anything can be turned into a magical hideout if you’ve got room in the garden. For extra fun in an outdoor den, turn it into a nature observation station and watch for animals coming out to explore.
Alternatively, if you’re keeping it indoors, you can’t go wrong with a giant pile of sheets and pillows. We’re actually thinking of turning the Big Potato office into one big blanket fort. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play board games in a fort?
The world’s first action-adventure board game.
Choose your own adventure games don’t get much better than this. Will you take a trip to Koala Cave or will The Skyscraper Caper see you reaching for the sky?
A mix of physical mini-challenges and action-packed adventure, this game will have you all wondering what could be waiting just around the corner.
Find out more about What Next here.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Who knows what you may discover?
One of the best screen-free activities for kids, a scavenger hunt is both fun and active. You could go searching for bugs and small beasties, or interesting local landmarks like statues or funny road signs.
You can easily download a pre-made scavenger hunt and print it out, or you can make up your own. Just remember to take a paper map and compass – no Google maps allowed here.
Start a Book Club
We're suckers for a happily ever after!
There’s nothing better to slip into than a good story, so encourage your kid’s imagination with their own book club. Set out one day a week to get together to discuss what you’ve all been reading.
You can set the mood with comfy cushions and a plate of snacks, then take it in turns to tell each other all about your favourite stories. Personally we love the ones where they all live happily ever after.
Do Something Good
Your community needs you!
It’s always good to get the kids involved in the local community. For some screen-free ideas that benefit others, you could try a woodland clear-up or outdoor project. Maybe a neighbour could use an extra hand in the garden?
Alternatively, you could rummage around for clothes for the local shelter or donate some items to a charity shop. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you might even have a local animal shelter that would love some cosy blankets for their furry friends.
Unleash Your Inner Artist!
Paint it, build it, craft it, make it.
When it comes to art, the only limitations are your imagination. Get kids in a creative mood by setting up an art station. Let them experiment with materials, shapes, and textures, then see what they come up with!
Keep it simple with paints and paper or go crazy with paper mache, craft supplies, and glue. We can just hear the art critics now – what a masterpiece!
There are so many options for screen-free fun and you’re bound to find something to suit the little ones in your life. All of our suggestions work just as well for big kids too, so even if the rest of the family are out at school, work, or college why not turn off the laptop or TV for a few hours and enjoy some screen-free time yourself? You might even uncover a talent you never knew you had.