Screen-Free Activities for Kids : Get the Wiggles Out

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.

Getting those wiggles out is important! It can help with stress, stretch muscles that aren't getting their usual daily activity right now, improve the ability to listen and follow directions, and just be fun.

  • What songs and fingerplays do you remember from library storytime? Here's somewhere to get started: our beloved Jbrary videos on YouTube. (This is where children's librarians get THEIR ideas!) Once you've jogged your memory, put away the screen and use your whole body.
  • What songs do you (or your kids) know by heart? Belt them out! Singing makes your brain happy. If it has a particularly infectious chorus, time it and see if it's long enough (at least 20 seconds) to wash your hands to.
  • Start every day (or every transition) with a dance break! Put on some of your favorite tunes and get moving to the beat. No dance move too silly -- just keep feet going and incorporate the upper body, too.
  • Stretch at least once a day and encourage your kids to join you. Shake out your hands and arms; roll your neck, streeeeeeeeetch up to the ceiling and down to the floor. Reach toward each side and then reach toward each side with your opposite hand. Stand like a superhero. Open your arms wide and breathe deeply. Then wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze.

What's your favorite song to dance to? Tell us in the comments. More tips on screen-free fun and learning coming tomorrow!

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