I don’t know about your family, but at our house we definitely rely on screens more heavily during the winter months. That all changes once the weather turns…and it finally has! The weather has been perfect this week. The kids are outside all the livelong day, which is so good for them. And me. 😉
Most days my kids can entertain themselves for hours without any direction whatsoever. Other days, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do anything on their own. If I’m honest, those are the moments when I want to turn them loose with a tablet or turn on a movie, just to easily entertain them.
But that’s not really the childhood I want for them, so we try to use screens sparingly. I’ve tried to come up with some non-screen ideas that are educational, fun, open-ended opportunities for play. Here are our top activities for screen-free fun and learning. A lot of these ideas are old school, but things my kids love. I hope you find some new ideas for your kiddos to try.
30 Screen-Free Ideas for Young Homeschoolers
- Audiobooks – See my post about our favorite audiobooks if you need ideas for young kids!
- Indoor tents
- Moon sand – SUPER EASY DIY!! We made this recipe a few years ago and it’s still going strong. It’s lasted us a long time.
- Magnatiles – We have this generic version from Amazon and it’s a huge hit.
- LEGOs – The kids love our treehouse set and garbage truck LEGO sets.
- Wooden train sets
- Playmobil – We loooooooove Playmobil. Especially fashion shows and pirates.
- Etch A Sketch – Going totally old school here, but this thing entertains my children for ridiculously LONG stretches of time. My five year old boy reaches for this DAILY.
- Professor Noggins card games
- Lincoln Logs – Another old school toy that makes my kids lose track of time.
- Nature walks
- Flying kites
- Outdoor kitchens
- Sidewalk chalk
- Flower press – My five-year-old loves pressing plants and flowers and then adding them to his nature notebook.
- Fairy garden – Our fairy garden is not a showpiece. 🙂 It’s in a huge tub by our back door, and the kids use whatever they want to create scenes. We have shells, rocks, marbles, a few figurines, and whatever else they come up with to create fun scenes.
- Make beeswax candles
- Wool felting
- Watercolor painting – we use Artist’s Loft watercolors, and my kids are obsessed with using Strathmore watercolor paper. For everything. 😉
- Spinning wool – we’ve been experimenting with a drop spindle and wool roving and it’s so fun! Abby really gets a kick out of it.
- Drawing books – We use a lot of Ed Emberly and Usborne books for drawing practice.
- Usborne paper airplane book
- Bubber – Like Play-doh, but it never dries out! And is super easy to clean up! Love.
- Weaving loom – We are really enjoying our large Melissa and Doug loom.
- Potholder loom
- Stockmar Modeling Beeswax