101 Unplugged Activity Ideas for Young Kids and Tweens…

101 Unplugged Activities…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: Never be stuck for things-to-do again! Beat the boredom and build good habits with our ‘Activities for Kids’ search tool!

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101 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. Wash the car
  8. Visit the zoo
  9. Rearrange your bedroom
  10. Make a sandcastle
  11. Climb a tree
  12. Ride on a train
  13. Create a collage
  14. Write a letter to someone you admire
  15. Put on a play
  16. Plant a herb garden
  17. Make homemade cards
  18. Have a snowball fight
  19. Bake a cake
  20. Go sledging
  21. Have a tea party
  22. Make a time capsule
  23. Play hide-and-seek
  24. Put on a fashion show
  25. Camp out in the garden
  26. Create an art gallery and display your art
  27. Have a BBQ
  28. Go bird watching
  29. Draw a picture
  30. Visit a theme park
  31. Built a fire to cook marshmallows
  32. Go swimming
  33. Have a sleepover
  34. Send a postcard to yourself
  35. Walk the dog
  36. Go bowling
  37. Visit a farm
  38. Fly a kite
  39. Go geocaching as a family
  40. Plant a tree
  41. Build a birdfeeder
  42. Go rock pooling
  43. Make a cardboard box robot
  44. Visit a castle
  45. Make finger puppets
  46. Do a puzzle
  47. Make a snow angel
  48. Do a bug hunt
  49. Paint a picture
  50. Go trampolining
  51. Read a book
  52. Make tin can stilts
  53. Write a letter
  54. Go to the library
  55. Dress up
  56. Make Cake Pops
  57. Make a mud pie
  58. Go stargazing
  59. Collect leaves and make leaf prints
  60. Go to a museum
  61. Make an animal mask
  62. Play board games
  63. Have a picnic
  64. Go to a playground
  65. Finger paint
  66. Visit a nature reserve
  67. Learn about your village, city or town
  68. Make a fairy garden
  69. Volunteer
  70. Go ice skating
  71. Play laser tag
  72. Do a DIY science experiment
  73. Organise a garage sale
  74. Create an obstacle course
  75. Plan a vacation
  76. Plant a butterfly garden
  77. Make paper aeroplanes
  78. Do karaoke
  79. Build a min-library of your favourite books
  80. Make a television show
  81. Go puddle hunting
  82. Make button jewellery
  83. Play restaurant
  84. Make a leaf angel
  85. Play tag
  86. Build a tree house
  87. Have a dance-off
  88. Have fun with paper mache
  89. Take some photographs
  90. Go to the park
  91. Skim stones
  92. Have a wheelbarrow race
  93. Make breakfast or dinner for the family
  94. Visit a market
  95. Create a scrapbook
  96. Have a hose fight
  97. Go to a pantomime
  98. Run through sprinklers
  99. Visit your relatives
  100. Make tie-dye shirts
  101. 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?

P.S. Want more activities? Choose from over 700 activities in our ‘Activities for Kids’ search tool.

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