Screen-free things to do

  • Create a scavenger/treasure hunt. Make up your own or use ideas listed below:

Indoor scavenger hunt. Make a list of what your kids can search for throughout the house, such as: A toy with wheels, a book with the first letter of your name in the title; a pair of matching socks; four things that are green; something very soft; a toy smaller than your hand; something round; a book with numbers in it; five Lego items that are all different; a photo of someone you love; an item you can see yourself in; an item that makes you feel cozy; a toy that has three different colors; a movie that has “s” in the title; and, your most squishable stuffed animal. Offer a snack as a treat….after everything gets put back where it belongs.
Outdoor scavenger hunt. Make a list of what your kids can search for out in nature, such as: Five leaves that look different; a stick that is longer than your hand; a rock with spots on it; a flower; a flat rock; 10 blades of grass; something you love to play with; a piece of trash you can recycle; something that is brown; something that is heavy; something that is very light; something that needs sun to live; an item smaller than your thumb; something that starts with the letter ‘m’; and, something that smells good. Offer a snack as a treat, when the mission is complete.

  • Teach practical skills, such as how to: sew on a button; flip a pancake; plant a seed; balance a checkbook; pound a nail; do laundry; create a budget; start a fire; fry an egg; make jam; write a journal; or sprout a potato.
  • Encourage kids to make a gift or greeting card for someone.
  • Bake some cakes or biscuits.
  • Sort through old photos and make a scrapbook of memories.
  • Organize belongings and throw out what you don’t need. Have kids organize their rooms.
  • Draw or create a family tree. Make an art gallery at home to show off artwork.
  • Let your child spend some time with friends on Skype or on the phone.
  • Show your child how to take care of plants and let them garden, too. Or, plant some flowers in pots if you don’t have a garden.
  • Have a film day and watch a favorite movie. Ask your child to write a film review or draw a movie poster.
  • Make finger puppets and create a theater out of a box.
  • Start a family book club. Discuss your favorite characters, what part you liked best and why.
  • Have an indoor family picnic.
  • Make potato stamps, and stamp paper or a shirt.
  • Go camping in the yard or living room.
  • Make your own mini golf course. Find ideas online.
  • Ask kids to design a game that you can make the next day: such as a paper boat race or homemade skittles using a tennis ball and empty toilet paper rolls.
  • Try paper origami. Find instructions online.
  • Ask the kids to put on a play or magic show, using dress-up clothes and props from around the house.
  • Play board games and card games.

Note: The status of local libraries continues to evolve. Check library websites, or follow on Facebook and Twitter for further announcements.

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