Screen-Free Activities for Kids : Making Connections

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.

It's hard on humans to be away from groups of other humans, and to handle the genuine fear that might accompany interpersonal interactions right now. One way to feel more human is to make connections with people who live outside your household.

  • Write a letter or postcard to a relative. Talk about the postal system, how to address mail, and the format of snail mail versus email. Why is it important to include a date? A return address? Do you have any old mail to examine the postmark and stamps?
  • Make a card for someone who might not be getting lots of personal contact right now -- like residents of a senior community or assisted living facility -- and then take a picture and email it to them (okay, that uses a screen, but it reduces germ spread).
  • Post a picture in your window to cheer up anyone passing by.
  • Get the chalk out again and write or draw something on the sidewalk to share with your neighbors.
  • Share stories about family members. What did Mom and Uncle Al do for fun when they were kids? How is it different from what we do today? If Great-Aunt Margaret is 84, when was she born? When was she your kids' age? What was happening then in the world and where she lived?
  • Cheer the garbage truck, mail carrier, or any other people you see going by as they do essential work.

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