With the prospect of the schools potentially closing for any number of weeks, and the thought of trying to keep my lively son entertained for the duration weighing heavily on my mind, I thought it was a good idea to get a list together of ideas to keep him busy, things which are screen-free and reasonably wholesome.
As tempting as it is to arrange a heap of play-dates and days out to local attractions, that defeats the object. If the schools have closed to help slow the spread of the virus, then it makes sense for us to stay at home for much of that period. My healthy, strapping son would likely be hardly touched by the effects of the virus, but older family members which complex heath needs could be hit very hard.
I’m not wild about him spending hours watching the TV or playing computer games all the time. I won’t ban them completely, but limiting his time in front of a screen is a good thing for us. With the prospect of so many days at home to fill, I’ve made a list of 30 screen-free ways I can fill his days.
30 screen-free ways to entertain kids
1. Baking, learn how to bake bread or cakes.
2. Set a Lego challenge.
3. If they’re in Cubs, Brownies, Beavers or Rainbows, have a look on their website and pick some badges to work towards.
4. Play some board games, or create your own.
6. Print off some worksheets and work through them.
7. Find out what topics they are doing in school and do some work around that, we like history subjects like Vikings.
8. Create a cosy reading corner and get a stack of books for them to work through.
9. Put up a tent in the garden and make a camp.
10. Learn to knit, crochet or sew.
11. Paint portraits of the family.
12. Make clay hand prints and paint them, or try these clay faces.
13. Do some junk modelling.
14. Make your own ice cream from scratch.
15. Have a room tidying competition, the tidiest room wins a prize!
16. Make a den in the living room.
17. Create an indoor treasure hunt.
18. Make your own pizzas or these pizza hot dogs.
19. Play shopkeepers, get them to set up a shop and they can learn more about money.
20. Create some sensory fun.
21. Have a disco party and a dance off.
22. Learn to meditate, there are lots of CDs and apps for kids which are great for this.
23. Kick a ball around in the garden, get a swingball set and burn off some energy outside.
24. Do a scavenger hunt in the garden.
25. Write your own story and illustrate it too if you like.
27. Get some seeds and start to grow some vegetables or flowers for the garden.
28. Have an indoor picnic, or one in the garden, get them to help make the food.
29. Learn some life skills, like tying shoelaces.
30. Give the dog a pamper day, bath her and brush her and learn about caring for her.
If all else fails, you can always ask them what they want to do. If you’ve got any great ideas for things to do, please comment below.