My big secret to screen free fun


good moms let their kids be bored

I am not shy about telling people that our family is nearly screen free  I am quite adamant, actually about raising my boys with extremely minimal access to  video games and TV.

And so you might be thinking, “Well what do your kids do?”  We are not over-scheduled with activities, nor do I  constantly troll Pinterest for ideas. Here is the big secret to our screen fun: I let my kids get bored and come up with their own ideas.  They have a lot of fun without screens doing nothing very earth shattering.   Here is a big list of their favorite screen free activities that keep them occupied and happily engaged:

Outside (warm to warm-ish weather):

  • Riding bikes up and down the street
  • Building a ramp for their bikes
  • Taking a walk in nature
  • Riding bikes to our park
  • Walking to the library
  • Visiting a further away park
  • Playing hide and seek
  • Building a little town in the dirt for hot wheels
  • Using super soakers
  • Playing with slingshots and marshmallows
  • Using their marshmallow guns
  • Building a fort in the backyard
  • Drawing outside
  • Writing with chalk up and down the sidewalks
  • Reading outside
  • Playing soccer in the backyard
  • Pulling weeds
  • Using our sticklets to make a fort
  • Using a hammer and nails on a tree stump or a pallet

Some of the ideas happily involve me or my husband!

  • Building a fire in the backyard
  • Visiting an arboretum
  • Going to see our birthday tree
  • Making dinner on the fire in the backyard
  • Visiting the u-pick farm
  • Shopping for books at Goodwill
  • Hanging out at Barnes and Noble

And when we are stuck inside my boys may choose to:

  • Read a book alone
  • Read a book with mom or dad
  • Play with legos
  • Do the handful lego challenge
  • Play a board game-this, this, and this are faves
  • Build a super high tower with Citiblocks
  • Create a Playmobil city
  • Use our vintage blocks to create a huge city
  • Tinker with our supplies
  • Build with clay
  • Draw with markers
  • Make mini cartoon books
  • Build a marble run
  • Read old comic books
  • Cook muffins with mom
  • Make fat bombs with mom
  • Paint a room together
  • Do chores
  • Read aloud together
  • Draw on a window
  • Listen to music
  • Practice yo-yo-ing
  • Listen to an audio story
  • Make things with tinfoil
  • Play with glowing moon sand
  • Build a model
  • Make a photo album
  • Draw Star Wars Characters
  • Make a bird feeder
  • Work on Boy/Cub Scout requirements

I know that if you are reading this, then you are probably looking to minimize the time your kids are on screens. BRAVO TO YOU! We owe it to our kids to set limits on screens and get them involved in more active, creative pursuits. I do not feel like my boys are “missing out” or going to be behind without constant access to screens.  On the contrary, I am preparing my boys for a future where they will have to be highly creative thinkers and producers,  rather than being simply consumers of someone else’s creations.

Please add to our list! Write your favorite screen free activity in the comments, I’d love to hear all about it.

If you are feeling a little counter-culture yourself and feel like you know someone who’d love this list, please share!



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