If you’re a stay-at-home mom with children ages 3-12, you know how important it is to find screen-free activities that keep them both busy and entertained! Guided play is great for younger kids, and independent play is key as they grow, but sometimes we need new ideas to get them started. We have you covered! Check out our list of 70+ play ideas that we’ve tested and approved. Fun for the whole family!
What Kind of Screen Free Activities can Kids Do at Home
Kids don’t need a lot of high-tech toys and gadgets to keep them entertained – all it takes is a few simple activities to make staying at home a blast. From outdoor play in the garden to art and science experiments in the kitchen, there’s a wide variety of fun and educational activities that stay-at-home mums can do with their kids.
Paper crafts, sensory play, and other creative projects are great for cultivating imagination and creativity, while science experiments teach valuable problem-solving skills. With a bit of creativity, you and your kids can have loads of fun at home!
Here’s some ideas you definitely have to try with your children.
Kids love paper crafts and drawing! If nothing else, just roll out a large sheet of paper and let them get started on their creativity! Origami, cutting snowflakes, boats or even paper planes and decorations teach children that they don’t need a ton of supplies to craft and create!
It is the cheapest and fastest way to engage a child. If they are older, they will enjoy making things by themselves, but no matter their age, they will playing with their DIY toy for days…
- Roll out a large sheet of paper and offer your child a chalk, marker or thick color pencils to draw. Children of all age enjoy this.
- Draw yourself! Spread a large sheet of paper big enough for your child’s height. Lay them on the sheet and outline their figure. Ask them to give their drawing a personality!
- Paper puppets are great for songs and rhymes. Check out this Origami Crow Puppet
- Try this Origami Frog Craft For Kids. Show them how their frog hops.
- Make paper planes and boats- Race your jets and sail your ships in a tub!
- Paper pockets and cootie catchers- 5-7 year olds love cootie catchers!
- More favorite classics among children are Windmills, Spinners and Streamers. Do you know how to make them?
- Show children how to cut Snowflakes. Do you know it is a great way to learning about geometric designs and symmetry. Great for scissor practice too.
Kids activities using Recyclable material
Do you store recyclable material like egg cartons, Kitchen Paper rolls, cardboard and packaging? The best way to reuse or recycle them is to let the kids make something out of it before you throw it out.
It’s a great way to teach children that they don’t need a ton of store brought material to craft! Show them how to reuse things before you throw it out. Teach them to Reuse, Recycle and Reduce what we buy!
Here are a few ideas we have done.
- Paper mâché using waste paper
- Collage using gift wrapping paper
- Using old waste card to make animal crafts
- Recycling old calendars to make bookmarks
- Recycling old calendars to make math games and puzzles
- Sticking stickers . Teaching toddlers and preschoolers to recognize letters
- Painting on tissues with water
- Painting on a blackboard or floor with water
- Flowers using recyclable material
- Pompom puppets using scraps or old yarn
- Here are 25 finger puppet ideas
- Sewing on card. Draw a shape and let your child sew around it.
- Make your own soft toy- Sewing with felt
- Neck tie keychains with lace
- Recycling old clothes to make bags
- Culture based crafts
- Mixed Media art crafts
- Cartoon themed crafts like this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pencil holder
- Felt shape letter match sorting activity
- Paper sloths
- You can find many alphabet based crafts using recyclable material in this post.
- Have you tried painting or drawing on T-shirts with your child? This is one activity that is so much fun! It makes them feel like little fashion designers!
Sensory Play activities for kid
Sensory play is the best way to relax a child. It helps in controlling anxiety, encourages vocabulary and helps your child with gross and fine motor skills. Whether it is play dough or sensory bins or even water play, children need sensory activities to help develop their brains.
Due to this lockdown, you will find your children getting anxious and angry. It helps to let them have some sensory play time. Here are a few of my sensory play related posts to help you.
1. Sensory Rice Or Other Grains.
It is very easy to make sensory rice. See my recipe here. You can use this same recipe to dye chickpeas too. Other beans like kidney beans or lima beans don’t need coloring. We have used almost all kind with my children, but sensory rice always remained our favorite. One box of rice lasted me almost three years.
What Can You Do With Sensory Rice Or Grains?
- Make a sensory bin. Fill a tub with your choice of sensory material and add a theme to it. Animals, alphabets, lego, dinosaurs, superheroes… anything your child is currently obsessed with. (Not suitable for babies and toddlers. children under 3 years of age need supervision at all times.)
- Make a sensory bottle. Fill a VOSS bottle or a plastic water bottle with your sensory rice or another grain and add a few alphabets or small toys. Glue the bottle tightly shut. Kids can shake it or roll it to make sound and also peek-a-boo the toys inside. (Suitable for babies and older kids)
2. Semolina Painting
Another ingredient that we enjoyed playing with is semolina. It is fantastic for creating art. Check out our idea here.
3. Finger Painting activities for children
Kids love to paint! If you have a sensory seeker, finger paints may be something you may want to try. Here are some ideas.
- Finger paints using edible paints. Recipe to make paint is in the post.
- Hand print and footprint art.
- Have you tried Splat Painting? Check this out.
4. Play Dough And Slime activities for children
Play dough and slime are a favorite among preschoolers and Grade school children. As a parent, if you can overcome the fear of letting your child mix all the colors or rubbing it into the rug, this is a winner must do activity!
Playdough is best with lots of tools like cookie cutters, garlic press, toy knives and scrappers, etc. You can even buy play dough based toys.
Also set play themes or couple it with mats for added fun. Our favorite play dough and slim based activities below:
- Jello Play Dough. Science experiment and teaching scientific process using play dough
- Two ingredient play dough, moon sand, cloud dough and slime recipe.
- Two ingredient play dough here too.
- Rooh Afza play dough.
- Edible Playdough for babies.
- Monster Slime
- Celebration slime. Mix child safe glitter and other decorative elements to slime to give it texture.
STEM activities to do with kids at home
In a technology driven world that we are living, our children benefit the most when they are allowed to tinker, invent and discover by themselves. The best way to do this is to offer them opportunities and the environment where they can learn and teach themselves. Here are a few ideas get you started:
- Tinkering with old toy parts to engineer your new toy
- Recycling junk to make something creative
- LEGO challenges
- Tooth pick and marshmallow/jelly candy sculptures
- DIY tents and forts
- Make a robot out of nuts, bolts and screws.
- Start your own garden. If you don’t have a backyard or a balcony, start a box garden in your window or a sunlight space in your kitchen.
- Make yoghurt, butter or cheese in your kitchen.
- Make your own ice-cream!
- Bake a pizza and watch how yeast works.
- Inflate a balloon with a chemical mixture!
- Make your own bubble solution
- Make shadows in the dark.
- Paper cup telephones.
- Does that sink or float experiments.
- Make your own magnetic cars and race them.
- Older kids may enjoying learning to code. Create your own Minecraft like game!
- Ask your teenager to find out how apps are made and make one of his own.
- Stop motion animation videos
I hope you enjoy these fun activities to do with kids at home. Do try them!
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