16 Screen Free Activities at Home

Raise your hand if you foolishly thought this quarantine was just going to be a fun couple of weeks at home. We are on week nine at home in our house (kids got the flu before lock down and never got better before this all happened), and to be honest it's starting to weigh me down a bit. 

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The last couple of weeks have been hard, and since getting an iPad to for online learning, it's all Kinsley asks for about 99% of the day. If you haven't had a five year old ask you if she can play the iPad for eight hours straight, are you even living life? 

If you need an arsenal of go-to, quick and easy mostly screen free activities (some require a screen, but the screen isn't the major point of the activity), here are 16 of our favorite go-to activities for this time at home. 

Color By Number Books: Kyle is obsessed with color-by-number coloring sheets. We bought him several different color-by-number coloring books on Amazon over the last year and he's been obsessed with all of them. In that same realm, I've also thought that the Sticker By Number books are really cool too. Here's a quick list of the ones we've bought, and ones we're interested in. 

Reading: I know every parent says this, but if you have a kid who loves to read, totally monopolize on that. Even Kinsley who can't actually read loves to look at books on the couch, and be read to for long periods of time. You can see all my book lists and recommendations here.

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Make Oobleck: Oobleck is a super fun and easy activity to put together for your kids. Make sure you're in a good mood when you start because it's similar to slime and will make a mess. You kids will love it though! For instructions on how to make Oobleck, click here!

Slime: In the same vein as the last suggestion, play with slime! I have never really made slime at home, but we usually just get it from the dollar spot at Target. It comes in small containers, and doesn't actually make a huge mess. The kids love sticking their action figures and other toys into it, and then dig them out. They could literally do this for hours straight. 

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Homemade Play-Dough: If you haven't made homemade play-dough, you're honestly missing out. I find it to be so much softer and more enjoyable to play with than the real stuff, and it could totally double as a homeschool science lesson for the day. This is our go-to recipe for homemade play-dough.

Audiobooks: Kyle recently discovered Audiobooks and it has been so fun for him. He's listened to most of the Boxcar Children series during quarantine, and asks to listen on the iPad every night before bed. This is one of those activities where you need a device, but the device is facilitating something better. We use an app called Epic, which is free for 30 days and then goes to $6.99 a month. They have a huge selection of unlimited books to read, and listen to, and we've loved it for both Kyle and Kinsley. We even went to cancel our membership before we had to pay after the trial, and they gave us another month for only $2.99. You can try Epic free for 30 days here.

Learn to Draw Books: This is another one we haven't done yet, but probably should since we're majorly failing on keeping up with Kyle's art class. I loved these books as a kid because it was always so fun to draw my favorite characters. You can see a huge variety of learning to draw books here. 

Cooking with Kids: I've really wanted to take this time to teach Kyle how to cook in the kitchen. We bought him a kid's cookbook, Kids Bake: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes. I'm super excited for it to get here and start working through some recipes with him and get him more comfortable with cooking. 

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Free Printable Coloring Pages: My kids love when I print them out random coloring pages that I find on google, or the ones that I've made and shared here on the blog. If you need something in a hurry without spending money, these are always my go-to for a quick and easy activity. Be sure to come back on May 1st when I launch six new free coloring pages! 

Write Letters to Family: This is something we really need to do this week! My friends over at LDZStudios made these super cute printable envelopes that I really want to print out and send letters in! 

Kids Yoga: If you didn't know we switched Kyle from a public school to a private school this year. We learned since switching that apparently his old school did Cosmic Kids Yoga everyday in his French class... who knew? Anyways, he's apparently a yoga aficionado so we made a rule that he couldn't play on screens unless he does yoga first... which involves a screen but this is an activity with a greater good than just vegging.  There are a ton of different themed videos like Harry Potter Yoga, Dinosaur Yoga, Minecraft, etc... Kyle apparently knows them all and tells me which one he wants to do and I turn it on for him. 

Bike Rides: We've gotten really into bike rides during quarantine. Kinsley can now pedal her trike with basically no help from us, and Kyle has gotten really good at pedaling his bike with confidence, which has been huge for him. Derek and I just walk up and down our street while the kids ride to their content, and it's the best. 

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Visit a Free Little Library: There are a couple of these libraries near us and we've been frequenting them the last couple weeks. These libraries can be found in people's driveways, parks, the side of the road... they're everywhere! You can find a list of ones near you here. The basic idea is that you take a book you want, and you leave a book to share. We've found some real gems and always leave a couple books behind for someone else too! 

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Board Games: We've gotten into lots and lots of board games the last several weeks. Here is a post with some of our favorites... It's pretty outdated though, so I'll have to do an updated one soon!

Craft Box: We took an old mason jar box and filled it with tons of arts and craft supplies. Whenever the kids are getting restless we pull the box out and let them go ham on all the supplies. It's the best money we've ever spent. 

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What are you doing right now to keep your kids busy and yourself sane? I'd love to hear in the comments below!


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