Screen Free Activities - Week 1

Screen Free Activities - Week 1

Screen time is a hot topic in the parenting world. I'm of the belief that you have to do whatever works best for your family; that may mean lots of screen time, some screen time, or none at all. We like to include some screen time within our children’s day-to-day life. I believe that it has some benefits, which is why we allow it in moderation. Too much screen time has negative impacts on our children's behavior, which is why we limit it. But as I said before, you do you.

While limiting screen time works really well for our family, it does leave me having to fill more of the day with things for the kids to do. My girls are great at free-play, and love to play outside, however, I like to have some screen-free activities on hand for when I need to get some things done, or they’re needing some stimulation. I thought I’d share some of my favorites in a screen-free activities series. Each post will contain five activities, to give you inspiration for each weekday. 

Water Play

If I’m ever asked how to entertain kiddos, my number one piece of advice is to get them outside, and following very closely behind that is to add water. Let them play in the sink, in a bowl, put them in the bath, or shower, it doesn’t matter. Water has the most amazing calming effect on people, and, in my experience, never fails to get kids playing. Water play can be as simple as giving your child a bowl of water. For all my sensory play, I tend to use my Flisat Table, because it’s a great height for toddlers/ preschoolers, and it keeps everything contained, but our outdoor water table, or a large container (such as an under bed bin) works great too. I like to add some cups or bowls, and some spoons or pipettes so they can move the water between the different vessels. If you’re feeling extra creative you could make up bowls of different colored water, and learn about color mixing while they play. 

Play Dough “Cupcakes”

My girls enjoy playdough any day of the week, but sometimes it’s fun to make it a little more exciting. Playdough cupcakes is a great way to do just that. Set out some play dough with some silicone cupcake cases, pom poms, dried pasta, cut up pipe cleaners, or whatever you’d like to use. Your kid/s will have a great time constructing, and decorating their own “cupcakes”. You can separate everything back out again and store it away together to use again in the future.

Number Popsicles 

This is a great activity for getting children to recognise their numbers, though depending on your children’s age it may work better as a color matching activity. Or even a letter activity if your child is comfortable with their numbers. Take some tongue depressors or large popsicle sticks. Cut out some ‘popsicle’ shapes from construction paper, and glue them onto the tops of the sticks, (I like to do 5. It seems to be the right balance for the attention span of my three year old) and write your chosen numbers on the bottom of the sticks. Then take some circle stickers in the same colors as your construction paper, and write the numbers on the appropriate color stickers. Your child can then match the numbers on the stickers to the numbers on the popsicle sticks, and stick them onto the construction paper. 

Dry Rice Sensory Play

You can use any kind of rice for this, as long as it’s uncooked. It doesn’t have to be colored, though you could color it if you’d like. It’s easy to get caught up in social media’s extravagant sensory set-ups, which are great, and we do ourselves at times. But lemme tell you this: your kiddo will enjoy playing with plain rice straight out of the packet. In much the same way as I do with water play, I like to add bowls and scoops to allow for the rice to be scooped, poured, and mixed. It’s fascinating to watch the play unfold, and see imaginations come to life. 

Painters/ Masking Tape Hopscotch 

We had a tape hopscotch on the floor of our dining room for the majority of the Covid lockdown. It was so fun, and a great way to get the kids moving when it was freezing/raining/we were told not to leave the house. Painters tape is the ideal tape for this because it’s strong enough to stay in place through some wear, but also pulls up nice and easily, and in my experience, without leaving residue, or causing any damage to the floor. We kept it super simple with the one square, two square pattern, but you could make it however you like. You could also add numbers, letters, or make the sections different colors to add additional learning opportunities. 

I hope these ideas give you some inspiration, and stay tuned for next weeks ideas!

If you’re looking for a bigger list of ways to entertain your kiddos, come check out my blog post here!



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