With the summer holidays just around the corner I’ve been starting to think of things to do to with the children to keep us all happy and entertained.
I’m generally quite relaxed with my children using the computer and the tablet but I’m very aware that if I let them they could easily spend the whole six weeks in front of a screen.
Last year we did a couple of completely screen-free days in the summer and I think we’ll do that again this year. As well as making a point to do more screen-free activities in general.
If this is something you’re thinking of doing with your children too, then here are some ideas for things you can do that don’t involve a screen of any sort!
Draw a life-size self portrait.
Grab a big roll of paper (or stick smaller pieces together to make a big piece) and draw a self portrait. They can lie down on the paper and you can draw round them to get their size right.
If you have more than one child then they can draw each other once they’ve drawn themselves.
So simple but still a lot of fun.
You can buy a pot of bubbles, a big bubble wand, or go all out and get a giant bubble kit. You can keep extend this activity a bit more too by getting the children to make up some homemade bubble mixture.
Have a Lego competition
See who can build the biggest tower. Or the most creative house. Anything you can think of really.
Build a domino run
Make it as elaborative as you can. If you don’t have dominoes, use books or blocks or whatever you have.
Have a go at some origami
Get a book from the library, or search online and print out some instructions for a few things to make. Gift boxes are quite simple to make and can then be used to put homemade goodies in to give to friends and family.
Have a picnic
Make up some sandwiches, grab some crisps, fruit and a sweet treat and have a picnic.
You can go to the park, the beach, your back garden or your living room floor. It really doesn’t matter where you go, the children will just love the fun of having a picnic instead of a normal meal!
Go on a nature walk
Head to the nearest park or woods and go on a nature walk. If you’re organised you could write a little list of things to spot while you’re out, like a scavenger hunt.
Rescue that plastic tub from the recycling bin and use it to make a boat, complete with paper sail, and then float it around in the bath. You could also try making rafts out of lolly sticks glued together and see what floats the best.
Make paper aeroplanes
Get some paper in different sizes and have a go at making paper planes. There are tons of paper plane designs on fold ‘n fly so your children can make loads and see which design flies the best.
Make mudpies/play in a mud kitchen
Put some old pots, pans, spoons and dishes out in the garden and let the children get nice and mucky playing in the mud.
Play a board game
Go through the cupboards and dig out those boardgames you’ve not played in ages.
If you’ve not got many, then pop to the local charity shop to see if they have any, or let the children get creative and make their own.
Go for a bike ride/scooter ride
Whether it’s round the garden, through the park or somewhere a bit different, heading out for a bike ride or a scoot is a great way to let the children burn off some energy.
Play a game of catch
So simple, but still such good fun. If you have three people you can play piggy in the middle and with more people you can play a game like hot potato.
Write a letter
Or make a card to send to a friend.
Go to the park
Go to the library
And choose some new books to take home. Most libraries also have DVDs available so you can choose something to watch when your screen-free day is over.
Make a kite and go fly it
If you’re feeling creative you can set up a mystery at home for your little detectives to solve. Or they can have fun writing with invisible ink and creating codes to send messages to each other.
Cook something savoury
Get the children to pick something new to make for lunch or dinner. It could be as simple as scrambled eggs on toast or something a bit more complicated.
Learn a lifeskill
Teach your children a skill that’ll be useful for them to know, like sewing on a button or making a cup of tea. Or step it up a gear and go to a first aid course together.
Learn a new random skill or trick
Something like how to say ‘hello’ in ten different languages. Or some tricks with a yo yo, a skateboard or a football.
Whether it’s at the beach, the local pool or splashing around in the paddling pool at home.
Visit a museum or art gallery
There must be at least one in your local area that you’ve not been to before!
Play giant noughts and crosses
Mark out a grid with chalk on the patio and use rocks and sticks as the game pieces.
Make a bird feeder
If you’re not sure how then there are 32 different ideas in this post from Happy Hooligans.
Paint their nails
Then let them paint yours too.
Put on blindfolds and do some taste tests
You can get a selection of different fruits to taste and see if they know what they all are and decide which one is their favourite. Or you could work out once and for all if you’re a Coke or a Pepsi person by doing a blind taste test.
Do a random act of kindness
Tape some money to a vending machine so the next person to come along can treat themselves. Take some of the cakes you’ve baked round to your neighbour. Buy a bunch of flowers for a friend.
Learn some photography skills
If your children are old enough then take some time to teach them how to use your camera. Or you could buy some disposable film cameras and go on a photo walk together. Then you have the fun of waiting for them to be developed to see what everyone captured on film.
Learn and play some card games
You can start with the basics like snap and then learn some more complicated games. Solitaire is a great one to learn too, because you don’t need another person with you to be able to play.
Make your own magazine or comic
Grab some paper and pens and get creative. My sister and I did this one year, but we each made a magazine for each other. We included horoscopes, quizzes, tips and all sorts!
Do some science experiments
Get some education in with the fun and try out some science experiments together. You can buy science experiment kits with pretty much everything you need to get started. Or you can have a go at some experiments that use things you probably already have at home.
Hopefully there are enough ideas here to keep you and the children happy and occupied throughout the summer holidays!
What are your go-to activities when you want your child to have some screen-free time?