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Ditch the Screens: 15 Indoor Kid’s Activities That Don’t Involve the TV
This is a guest post contributed by Cheryl from United Scope.
Technology is a sort of necessary evil in today’s society, crucial to virtually everything we do in modern life, but not without consequence.
Too much screen time has been associated with obesity, sleep issues, and other emotional, social, and attention problems.
We can’t banish screens altogether, of course, but it’s a good idea to limit your child’s usage to an hour or two per day, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you’re looking for some great ways to fill those extra, open hours while you spend time inside, consider some activities from the list below.
1. Bust Out the Microscope
A children’s microscope has the unique ability to hold a child’s attention for hours, mixing education with fun.
Collect items like spiderwebs, cheek swabs, coins, onions, grass, hair, and spices to observe under the microscope.
This is a breeze with a youth microscope kit that comes with everything you need to get started.
2. Make Slime
Stretch it, pull it, braid it.
Slime creates a unique visual and tactile experiment for kids at any age.
You can make your own from scratch using school glue, baking soda, water, and a few other things you’ll find around the house, and then jazz it up by adding food coloring, beads, glitter, and more.
3. Write Your Own Comic Book
There’s no better way to expand the imagination than by challenging your youngster to write his or her very own story.
Start with a comic book to combine storytelling with visual art.
Ask kids to write their own narrative based on a prompt you’ve created, taking inspiration from classic superhero stories and beyond.
4. Build a Birdhouse
For older kids (roughly age 9 and up), there’s no better time to start introducing concepts of building, engineering, and craftsmanship.
A birdhouse is the ultimate beginner’s wood-working craft and makes a wonderful way to give your indoor activities an outdoor twist.
5. Decorate a Cake
Let your child’s creativity shine through while introducing baking concepts (which, after all, are really just chemistry lessons disguised as delicious fun).
Whether you follow a recipe or invent your own, this is one of the best ways to engage kids for a few hours at a time when they’re stuck inside.
6. Make a Rube Goldberg Machine
If education is your goal, consider the Rube Goldberg machine.
Named after the American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg, these machines test complex theories of physics, design, and engineering through experimentation and problem-solving.
Plus, they’re entertaining to watch (even if they fail miserably)!
Check out some of
7. Write a Letter to a Friend
Do kids these days know the wonders of the postal system?
With direct messages, texts, and emails, it probably hasn’t occurred to them that they can send a hand-written message if they so desire.
Teach the important lesson of writing, addressing, and sending
8. Conduct an Experiment
Another awesome use for your kid-friendly microscope, at-home experiments are amazing for laying scientific foundations, especially the scientific method.
Consider the classics like the Diet Coke and Mentos trick or go for something new and exciting.
9. Play a Game of Cards
Like writing a letter, playing cards is an activity from an era gone by, but it’s nevertheless a fun one that’ll engage youngsters at any age.
For the little kids, start with easier games like Go Fish or Old Maid or jumble up two decks and play a game of memory.
10. Build a Pillow Fort
Classic rainy-day fun!
Transform your living room or your child’s bedroom into a next-level fortress by draping blankets and piling cushions high.
The best pillow forts are the ones that are made with reckless abandon, but there are plenty of awesome ideas online to help you build a totally epic but meticulously designed fort.
11. Have a Tea Party
Nothing is more fun than enjoying a fresh cup of imaginary tea with your child and his or her favorite stuffed animals.
If your kids are old enough, make it really exciting by brewing a cup of real tea and throwing together some peanut butter and jelly tea sandwiches.
12. Make or Collect Items for Charity
Introduce the concept of selflessness and giving back by turning your boring day into a day of giving.
Ask your kids to clean out their toy boxes, closets, and bedrooms while introducing them to ideas of charity, sharing, and caring.
You may also prompt them to create a special craft they can sell in order to donate the proceeds to the charity of their choice.
13. Take Something Apart and Put It Back Together
Got an old rotary phone lying around somewhere?
How about a DVD player or an old computer?
Introducing kids to electrical, spatial, and engineering concepts is a breeze with this activity.
Just make sure you know how to put things back together when you’re done!
14. Make Your Own Windchimes
Another great way to think about the outdoors when you’re stuck inside is to craft your own windchimes from scratch.
You can use tools and items you already have lying around the house—pipes, bottles, beads, shells, keys, and
15. Interview Each Other
Why not spend your downtime getting to know each other better?
Teach your kids the importance of inquiry, active listening, and taking an interest in others by having them interview one another or someone they admire.
This is the perfect time to give grandma or grandpa a quick call!
Staying inside isn’t all bad, even when you’re limiting your screen time. These engaging activities will help ensure that your little ones understand that they don’t need the screen to have fun!