So many parents are looking for ways to entertain little ones without using screens. It can be a challenge to set up a healthy relationship with devices as they are designed to keep us connected for as long as possible.
Tackling screen time is all about developing healthy habits around limiting screen time, deciding what on-screen activities to pick and balancing on-screen and off-screen activities. In this post, we'll be sharing with you some of our favourite screen-free activity ideas.
1) Exercise together
Find new ways to keep your family active (and sane). If you'd like to exercise at home, there are countless online resources such as workouts with Joe Wicks. At Muddy Puddles, of course, we'd like to encourage you to go outside and use your local park or woodlands as your very own gym. Let your little ones run around, take the dog on a walk, come up with activities and have fun together. Being outdoors and moving your body at any age is a great way to boost your energy, mind and mood and helps your growing explorers get a good night's sleep.
2) Do puzzles
Doing puzzles together is not only fun but it's also a great brain workout! Puzzles are a fun way to develop your children’s motor and cognitive skills, boost their self-esteem and help the whole family relax.
3) Cook a meal together
With our busy schedules, it’s not always easy to have dinner together at home, but it is so worth it. Choose one evening a week to cook a delicious meal together and try to have a device-free sit-down family dinner. It is so good for your little explorers to learn about cooking from an early age. Keeping them close to you in the kitchen, getting them familiar with ingredients and experimenting with new foods and flavours all influence little ones’ eating habits, helping them to cultivate a love of food.
4) Take a walk
Walking is the ultimate screen-free activity for children. All you need is weather-appropriate clothing and you're all set! Head down to the local playground, park, woodlands or find a walking path near your home. Enjoy the fresh air and take time to notice things you haven’t seen before.
5) Play a board game
Get the whole family together for a game or two. Playing board games helps children develop their logic and reasoning skills, improve critical thinking and the ability to concentrate and focus for a longer period of time. Here are some of the best family board games for 2021.
6) Build a den
Building a den with your kids in the garden is great for imaginative play and all kids, big or small, will love it. Plus, it’s super simple to build. You can use a tent, a tippee or build your own using materials you have, even blankets and chairs can make a lovely outdoor fort. You will need pillows to make the interior nice and comfy for your little guests. Bring their favourite toys, board games, lovely books, hot chocolate and biscuits and spend a relaxing screen-free afternoon together.
7) Go on a bike ride
Cycling is super fun and one of the best activities to keep children active, healthy, happy and rejuvenated. It is a low-impact yet fun-filled activity for all ages and abilities. Cycling is not only an excellent workout for the legs, but also helps build muscle mass in the whole body. Plus, learning a new skill builds confidence and boosts independence in your little bikers. If you're child is yet to learn, check out these top tips for teaching your little ones to get confident in the saddle.
8) Play a classic outdoor game
Outdoor games are a great and inexpensive way of entertaining your children. They often require little to no preparation which means you can dive straight into a fun afternoon in the fresh outdoor air. Tag is our absolute favourite classic childhood game. It not only teaches children essential social skills but also helps develop their athletic and coordination skills. Plus it can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Here's some more ideas for great outdoor games.
9) Learn a new skill
Learn something new together or find a new hobby. Investing your time and effort into something new will keep the whole family entertained. Is there anything your child is very interested in but never had time to dive into? How to do a handstand? How to decorate cakes? Photography, gardening, flower pressing, origami, astronomy, dancing... The list is endless. Spend some time together helping your children practice their new craft and they may even find a new screen-free obsession.