Tag Archives: activities

30 Screen-free ways to entertain kids at home

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 at home

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.

5. Crafting, why not make some Easter crafts or something for Mother’s Day?

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!

30 Screen-free ways to entertain kids at home

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.

26. Do some STEM activities at home, like jelly bean architecture.

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.

30 Screen-free ways to entertain kids at home

Review: Paint and Play Dinosaurs from Interplay

The small boy has recently been learning more about dinosaurs. We’ve been reading stories about them and watching Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies together. We’ve been talking about what they’d sound like, how they’d walk, fly or swim and what their skin would look and feel like. With  almost perfect timing we received the Paint and Play Dinosaurs set from Interplay to test.

paint and play dinosaurs

The Interplay Paint and Play Dinosaurs set contains three prehistoric dinosaurs to paint, two tiny terrified cavemen, a set of paints, a paintbrush and a dinosaur fact sheet to learn more about the dinosaurs you’re decorating.

paint and play dinosaurs

The set contains a T-Rex, Pterodactyl and a Stegosaurus. The dinosaurs are white and you can paint them however you want. I chose to paint the Stegosaurus and the small boy went for the T-Rex and the Pterodactyl. I chose to copy the markings on the fact sheet as best I could, he chose to paint them in his own inimitable style.

paint and play dinosaurs

We had tremendous fun painting our dinosaurs and talking about the different colours they might be. There was plenty of paint to use and it was all washable (which was good news for his clothes and my tablecloth). There was only one fine paintbrush, so I needed to raid my supplies, so that’s worth noting if you’re going to paint your dinosaurs as a group activity.

Painting them kept us occupied for a good half hour or so, plus there was lots to talk about and the fact sheet helped us find out more about the fearsome beasts we were cheerfully painting purple and orange. We had to leave them to dry before we could play with them properly, so we read some of his dinosaur books while we waited.

Paint and Play Dinosaurs

Ok, so our dino-depictions may not be 100% factually accurate, but they were 100% fun to do. It was a nice focussed activity which he enjoyed doing, but at the same time worked his pencil (paintbrush) grip, his hand-eye co-ordination and gave us the opportunity to have a discussion all about dinosaurs, where they came from and what happened to them.

The Paint and Play Dinosaurs set from Interplay is suitable for ages 4-7. The small boy is nearly five and I think this is spot on for him. There are quite a few different sets to choose from in the Interplay Craft Box line, so I’ll be choosing something else for him to paint for our next rainy afternoon together.

Note: We were sent the Interplay Paint and Play Dinosaurs set free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.