Screen-Free Activities for Kids : Around the House

If you're trying to stay away from screens for a while, check out these ideas and then turn off the device to have some physical fun.

Sheltering in place (while perhaps working from home with kids out of school/daycare) can lead to a lot of screen time. Don't feel guilty about that; these are difficult times and parents need to do what they need to do. Let us help! We're posting suggestions each day this week for how to get away from the screens for a little while.

We've all learned that we can't sit on the couch and watch TV all of the time -- there is plenty that needs to get done to keep everyone going. Involve your kids in the daily activity of your household. Depending on their ages, they can help:

  • make meals
  • set and clear the table
  • wash dishes
  • empty the trash
  • clean and tidy
  • do laundry (or a part of it, like sorting colors or folding)
  • entertain siblings
  • care for pets
  • with a big project like inventorying the freezer or organizing a closet

Little kids like to feel like big kids: independent, responsible, and helpful. Big kids like to have their efforts noticed and appreciated -- and they can really do a lot! If you're asking your older child to do something new -- maybe managing the laundry for the first time alone while you are on an important call or minding younger siblings -- set them up to succeed. Teach them how to do it, explicitly, including all those things that you automatically just know to do from long experience. Don't assume that they know! When the results are less than perfect, praise the effort and encourage them to try again another time. Truth of the ages: There will always be more laundry.

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