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100 Unplugged Activity Ideas for Young Kids and Tweens…

…for rainy days, snow days,  holidays and every day.

Screens are sticky things.

Not literally sticky like the lollipop welded to the carpet. But sticky in that they’re hard to put down or ignore. It’s because they’re addictive. Like SERIOUSLY addictive.

Every like, text, level-up or tweet triggers the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. And our bodies crave it!

Which is why kids – and adults – can whittle away the hours completely absorbed in their screens, seemingly oblivious to the outside world or the racing hands of the clock. And when their screen time ends, they struggle to transition to other activities…

…which can translate into arguments, temper tantrum or worse (not to mention repetitive nagging by parents at their wits end having asked their child to put down the tablet 5 times).

A Universal Issue

A study by Action for Children found nearly 1-in-4 parents struggle with screen time. In fact, according to the survey,  screen time struggles actually eclipsed other common parenting friction points including homework (10%) and bedtime routine (17%). At the same time, parents are paediatricians worry kids aren’t physically active enough…

…or have fewer and fewer off-screen hobbies and interests. So, what can parents do?

Healthy Screen Habits

Essentially, tackling screen time is all about developing healthy screen habits. It’s about setting screen time limits, so your kids don’t spend all day on screens. And when they’re on them, striking a balance between creative (e.g. coding, painting and design apps) and purely recreational screen time (e.g. gaming or social media).

Finally, it’s about balancing on-screen activities with unplugged ones (and encouraging more of the latter – more on that in today’s post). You can learn more about screen time and healthy screen habits in our ‘Preparing Your Kids for Screen Time Success series. Posts include:

But today’s blog is all about off-screen activities. Because one way of reducing your child’s excessive screen time is through encouraging them to do more unplugged activities. And giving them plenty of ideas and inspiration of how to spend their off-screen time.

So, here at Habyts, we thought we’d give you our top 101 unplugged activity ideas!

RELATED: Seeking screen-free activities to keep the kids entertained?

Beat the boredom and build good habits with games, crafts, rewards, and activities for kids of all ages.
Search the Habyts activity finder!

100 unplugged activity ideas:

  1. Build a fort or clubhouse
  2. Wash the car
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Feed the ducks
  5. Make a handprint tree
  6. Go for a bike ride
  7. Visit the zoo
  8. Rearrange your bedroom
  9. Make a sandcastle
  10. Climb a tree
  11. Ride on a train
  12. Create a collage
  13. Write a letter to someone you admire
  14. Put on a play
  15. Plant a herb garden
  16. Make homemade cards
  17. Have a snowball fight
  18. Bake a cake
  19. Go sledging
  20. Have a tea party
  21. Make a time capsule
  22. Play hide-and-seek
  23. Put on a fashion show
  24. Camp out in the garden
  25. Create an art gallery and display your art
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Go bird watching
  28. Draw a picture
  29. Visit a theme park
  30. Build a fire to cook marshmallows
  31. Go swimming
  32. Have a sleepover
  33. Send a postcard to yourself
  34. Walk the dog
  35. Go bowling
  36. Visit a farm
  37. Fly a kite
  38. Go geocaching as a family
  39. Plant a tree
  40. Build a birdfeeder
  41. Go rock pooling
  42. Make a cardboard box robot
  43. Visit a castle
  44. Make finger puppets
  45. Do a puzzle
  46. Make a snow angel
  47. Do a bug hunt
  48. Paint a picture
  49. Go trampolining
  50. Read a book
  51. Make tin can stilts
  52. Write a letter
  53. Go to the library
  54. Dress up
  55. Make Cake Pops
  56. Make a mud pie
  57. Go stargazing
  58. Collect leaves and make leaf prints
  59. Go to a museum
  60. Make an animal mask
  61. Play board games
  62. Have a picnic
  63. Go to a playground
  64. Finger paint
  65. Visit a nature reserve
  66. Learn about your village, city or town
  67. Make a fairy garden
  68. Volunteer
  69. Go ice skating
  70. Play laser tag
  71. Do a DIY science experiment
  72. Organise a garage sale
  73. Create an obstacle course
  74. Plan a vacation
  75. Plant a butterfly garden
  76. Make paper aeroplanes
  77. Do karaoke
  78. Build a min-library of your favourite books
  79. Make a television show
  80. Go puddle hunting
  81. Make button jewellery
  82. Play restaurant
  83. Make a leaf angel
  84. Play tag
  85. Build a tree house
  86. Have a dance-off
  87. Have fun with paper mache
  88. Take some photographs
  89. Go to the park
  90. Skim stones
  91. Have a wheelbarrow race
  92. Make breakfast or dinner for the family
  93. Visit a market
  94. Create a scrapbook
  95. Have a hose fight
  96. Go to a pantomime
  97. Run through sprinklers
  98. Visit your relatives
  99. Make tie-dye shirts
  100. Make origami

Remember, it’s not just our kids who have problems switching off, so take time out from your screens and use these activities to create wonderful memories with your kids.

What’s your favourite unplugged activity idea? Is it in the list above?

And if you think we’ve left any activity ideas off our list, why not mention them in the comments below?

RELATED: Seeking screen-free activities to keep the kids entertained?

Beat the boredom and build good habits with games, crafts, rewards, and activities for kids of all ages.
Search the Habyts activity finder!
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Steve G
4 years ago

How about learning to play an instrument? There are numerous instructional videos on YouTube that can help introduce instruments to kids and teens. Maybe they will find something of interest.

livvy s
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve G

this is a great idea thx

3 years ago

lol love this

Shanan Winters
8 years ago

I love this list! I like how it’s a balance of things that can be done without spending money, and things that can be planned out as family excursions. I also like how it covers all the seasons and incorporates outdoor activities. Good one, Nick!

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