14 Fun, Screen-Free Things to Do with Young Kids at Home


At times, it feels like summer will never fully arrive in Colorado. Or, some weeks, if sickness is going through the family, we are unable to get out for multiple days. It feels like we will be stuck inside forever. Boredom quickly sets in. I scramble for screen-free ways to keep the kids busy when we are at home.

So, here’s my go-to list for some quick ideas to get me started to create a fun time. We usually start out with one of these ideas. Then, the idea often morphs into something else. Sometimes, the kids create a new activity that I never would have thought of on my own.

14 Fun, Screen-Free Things to Do with Young Kids

  1. Pillow mountain: Grab all the pillows in your house and throw them into a pile in the living room. Use couch cushions for even more height for little ones to climb all over. Hide trinkets or fun treasures to find in the pillow mountain.
  2. Build a fort.
  3. Read a book.
  4. Dance party.
  5. Make a new recipe together.
  6. Complete a puzzle.
  7. Play a board game or a card game.
  8. Car wash: Use old/cleaning toothbrushes and two buckets of water (one with dish soap) to wash toy cars (Hot Wheels/Matchbox style). Do this in the kitchen or garage, so you can easily mop up water.
  9. Build an indoor obstacle course.
  10. Play teatime (or create a real teatime with this scone recipe).
  11. Arrange a pretend store: My kids love using a real calculator to add up the total and coins from around the house or money from a board game.
  12. Organize a kid’s closet/room.
  13. Create an art project together.
  14. Set up a veterinarian clinic to care for stuffed animal patients.

Bonus screen-free ideas:

  • Color a picture together
  • Play playdough with a theme or idea in mind, perhaps sea creatures or reptiles. Here’s an easy recipe.
  • Build Lego creations, with a theme or competition to build the best item we agree on. Sometime we set a times for a quick build or other times we take our time.

So, what are your favorite family activities when you are stuck indoors?



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