6 Top Screen-free Activities for Kids at Home
By Ana Garcia
If you’re sick of staying at home with your kids, you’re not alone. If you wish your kids didn’t spend so much time online and on their phones, you’re not alone either.
While digital learning for kids has become essential during the coronavirus pandemic, too much of anything – including screen time – can be detrimental. For starters, excessive screen use – with little rest – is closely connected to the childhood obesity epidemic. For one thing, sitting at a computer means you’re not moving around or participating in physical activities, like yoga for kids.
We understand that kids enjoy playing computer games and chatting with their friends on their phones. But, stay at home recommendations and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic give us a wonderful teaching moment and opportunity to engage in interesting, enjoyable and entertaining activities with kids – that have nothing to do with technology!
To help you get started, here are our 6 top screen-free activities for kids at home. Check them out!
If your kids are at a reading age, these activities are golden. And we’re not just talking about reading books here. We’re talking about reading games!
Here are two fun and simple reading games:
- You can put small cards around the house with instructions for your children to read (and know where to go next). When they reach the last card, you can have some cookies or another treat waiting!
- Each day, have your child pick out a favorite storybook. Let them read aloud to practice and improve their reading skills while you all enjoy a classic tale. After reading, you can encourage them to come up with their own alternative endings, or a cool new twist to stories created by themselves! Every story can be a good story, even if it’s just a recollection of the things they did during the day.
2. Board games
Board games are engaging, fun, and even educational for kids of all ages! If you have young children, try memory cards, Twister or UNO. For older kids, you can add more complex games like Monopoly. Board games are not only fun, but they are a great way for kids to learn rules and how to follow instructions.
So, go grab your old Monopoly, chess and Scrabble boxes. It’s time to bring some healthy competition to the table!
What could be better during quarantine time than some good old fashioned crayons, pieces of construction paper, pencils and lots of creativity – especially on a rainy day?
Sure, your kids may argue that they can use their apps to draw and paint almost the same way, but encourage them to feel the textures of the materials. Plus, you can even hang their masterpieces on the fridge. That will be the greatest achievement for your little ones.
If you don’t mind getting messy, you may want to even try finger painting!
Staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for many parents, especially when it comes to juggling work, kids, meal prep and everything else.
But, this can also be a good time to practice and develop more patience and remain calm. You know what activity can help you and the kids become more focused and patient? Puzzles!
There are puzzles for all ages and skill sets. And, your kids can help you pick out a puzzle to do together. Find the one that they like the most! Start with a simple, 100-piece puzzle, and eventually, they will be able to solve the more challenging ones with more than 1,000 pieces. The best part is that they will be proud of themselves for finally finishing each puzzle.
5. Plant a garden in the backyard
Being at home doesn’t mean spending all your time indoors. If you are lucky enough to have a backyard, this means you can actually take your kids outside, enjoy nature, and even plant your own vegetables, flowers and fruits.
Besides, your kids can learn gardening skills that will help them learn about the environment and how to grow and eat healthy, fresh and sustainable food. So, this is a huge win!
6. Teach kids yoga
If you’re a yogi or have practiced yoga before, this idea is a no-brainer.
You’re at home so why not take this opportunity to learn to teach kids yoga! If you’re wondering how to become a kids yoga teacher from home, well, you can take an online yoga teacher training course! (ok, we know this requires screen time for you, but you can practice your yoga poses, pranayama and meditations for kids off screen AND you can then start teaching kids yoga!)
Before you decide which kids yoga teacher training course is right for you, do your research and make sure that the kids yoga teacher training you choose will prepare you to successfully teach kids yoga classes. And, if you want to start a side hustle or full-time business teaching kids yoga, consider Pretzel Kids yoga, which will give you the tools and resources to earn extra money teaching kids yoga classes, kids yoga summer camps, children’s yoga birthday parties, and more!
Some Screen Time is OK
It is worth noting that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting your kids use their devices to have fun, learn, and distract themselves during uncertain times like this.
So, give yourself a break and refer to this guide when you want some screen-free ideas for the whole family. You’re doing the best you can! ?