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Screen-Free Activities for Kids are a must-have this Summer! Keep your kids occupied, happy, learning and active. These boredom-buster activities will entertain your kid’s all summer long!

Screen-Free for life!

I have to admit something.. we don’t own a television. Yes, we have an iPad, but that goes to work with my husband everyday.

We watch one movie per week as a family, huddled around the iPad, usually! It is such a fun family tradition.

When people find out that we don’t do screen time at our house the reaction is usually one of two things.

“I don’t know how you survive every day without a TV! I wouldn’t get anything done, I know it’s probably not the best, but it is worth it so I can _______ without fighting, whining etc.’

or “I really need to be better with screen time. What do you do with your kid’s while your cooking? or cleaning?”

To simply answer the latter question, they cook and clean with me. 🙂 That is a topic for another post, however.

I am here to tell you, it is a lot easier than you think! If you want, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Print my Screen Free Activity List Here!

Screen-Free Activities for Kids

Play with legos My kids love to build towers, airplanes, people, you name it! Chase especially loves following the picture directions that come with the Lego Junior kits. He can put them together all by himself!

Board games Candy Land, Shoots ‘n Ladders and Hungry, Hungry Hippo are a few of our favs.

PlayDoh My kids can play with PlayDoh for hours! They love to build things and then run them over with their Hot Wheel’s. Then the Hot Wheel’s get to take a bath when we are all done. 🙂

Podcasts I have discovered the BEST kid’s podcast! It is called Wow in the World. The characters, Mindy and Guy Raz, adventure through the world and discover fun and interesting facts! All of their podcasts are based off of current research and is presented in such a fun and interesting way! We love to listen while we color, clean or ride in the car.

Coloring Coloring books and crayons or printing coloring pages from google, it doesn’t matter, kids LOVE to color!Coloring is great practice for developing children's fine motor skills.

Sidewalk Chalk Challenge your kids to write the entire ABC’s, or draw pictures of things they see outside. This is one of my favorite activities to do with my kids.

Bubbles Chase was given a bubble machine for his birthday a few years back and that thing is AWESOME! Dance parties with bubbles, bubbles outside, or our fav, bubbles while taking a bath!

Hide ‘n Seek Even the smallest of kiddos can play hide ‘n seek! This is a favorite.

Dance Party Our dance parties usually include some type of cleaning up. Cleaning is fun when you don’t realize your cleaning. 😉

Plant Flowers We recently did this and it was so fun! Each of the kid’s painted their own pot, then we planted the seed in some dirt. They are responsible for watering the flowers everyday. Its been a few weeks now and we successfully have flowers!Kid's love playing with bubbles. It is a fun, cheap activity.

Hop Scotch Not only is this fun, it is AMAZING for developing large motor skills! Turn on some music and jump to the beat!

Play ‘Basket’ ball Play basketball with a laundry basket! Do it in the living room, or outside! Kid’s love how they can slam dunk!

Read Books/ Books on Tape My kids love listening to ‘stories’ as they call it. You can find the story of just  bout anything on youtube, just search the movie and ‘storyteller’. Toy Story is my kids’ favorite.

Painting Rocks Go out, find rocks, wash, dry then paint. This activity can take up an entire afternoon!

Play Tag This is a favorite way to get some wiggles out and some exercise in! (for both the kids AND me!)Fun kid's activities don't have to cost money! Grab a laundry basket and ball, play 'basket' ball!

Take a Glow in the Dark Bath Glow stick in the bathtub with the lights off. Crazy fun!

Go to the Park! We love to drive a little and discover a new park every once in a while! We have found some of our favorite park’s that way!

Skate Park with Cars We have a skate park near our house. There isn’t ever anyone there while school is in session, so we take our big race cars and little race cars and go race them down the ramps! Our favorite cars are the pull back cars, they climb up everything!!

Arcade Check to see if there is an arcade in your area! This is a special, fun activity that we do every now and again. It is cheap and provides hours of entertainment.

Matching Socks About once per month I pull down my ‘matchless’ socks bin and dump them out and we all see who can find the most matchers. This is fun and a great way for kids to practice their matching skills!

Bake with your kids! It takes a lot of patience, but let them do everything! It will get messy and probably won’t be the prettiest, but kids LOVE doing grown up things. This is a perfect time to teach about cleaning up our own messes too. Check out my fun dessert recipes here!

Photography Dig through your old electronics and pull our that ancient digital camera you haven’t see in years and give it to your kids. Teach them how to take pictures and let them go crazy! Some of my favorite pictures are Chase originals from a decade old camera.

Play Secret Sound Either teach your child how to do a voice recording on your phone, or we have a little voice recorder, and let them record sounds for you! It’s your job to guess what the sound is. I remember doing this as a kid and recording the toilet flushing. My mom was cute and pretended it was really tricky to figure out. 🙂

Tinfoil boat Give your child some tinfoil and let them fold it into a ‘boat’. Float them in the bathtub, you can even add little lego people into the mix!

Make a marble roller coaster Using small tube pipe insulation from a hardware store, make a marble roller coaster! Cut the tube in half so you’ll have a half circle pieces of foam. Use masking tape to tape and twist the roller coaster, then send a marble down!!Sidewalk Chalk is a great inexpensive activity for kids of all ages.

Make Slime I don’t know why, but kids love slime. There are a zillion different recipes online for it!

Take them to the Track Go get some energy out at the High School Track! Run around, challenge the kid to a race or see who can jump the furthest on the long jump!

Decorate a Shirt Use fabric markers and let them go crazy on an old white shirt or pillow case!

Balloon Volleyball See how many times the kids can hit the balloon without it touching the ground. Then try and hit it back and forth!

Card Games There are SO many great card games for kids! Blink, Spot It, Slap Jack, Crazy 8’s, Go Fish, and matching games are a few of our favorites.Take playing with PlayDoh to a whole new level with race cars!

Color, Cut & Paste Pages This is such a fun activity for kids! They color first, use child scissors to cut it out, and then glue the pieces together to form the picture!

Go on a Bug Hunt Go for a walk outside and see how many different kind of bugs you can spy

Send a letter to a loved one There is just something about mail that kids just love! We love writing notes and making a special trip to the post office so they can mail the letter themselves! This is a great way to teach gratitude at a young age also.

Scavenger Hunt This takes a little bit of prep work, but is so much fun! Write a series of clues and place them around your house for the kids to find. One clue leads to the location of the next clue etc.

Vacuuming the stairs I know, you think I am crazy. Buy a little portable vacuum and let your kids go crazy! They, for some reason, LOVE to vacuum. I’m definitely not complaining!Help kids discover the world around them! Go on a bug hunt with them.

Build a Fort Use every blanket and chair possible to make the most epic fort of all time. Bonus points if you decide to have a sleepover in the fort!

Shadow Puppets Shadow puppets are fun, they are even better when they dance to music. 😉

Backyard Campout Pull out the tent and set it up in the back yard for the kids to play in! Encourage them play make believe like they are actually in the mountains camping!

Bubble Blowing Contest Send the kids outside with some bubble gum and see who can blow the biggest bubble!

Shrink Dinks You can find these on Amazon. They are little plastic like pictures that you color and then bake. When they go in the oven they shrink and harden!

Journaling Help your child write about what is going on in their life, or if they are old enough, have them write about school and friends. You can give them prompts, too!

Jump Rope Teach them the songs! If you’ve got enough patience and kids, teach them double dutch!

Would you Rather There is an endless number of would you rather questions on the internet. It is so much fun to giggle and get the opinions on the silly Would you Rather questions for kids. Just search ‘would you rather questions for kids’. 

Freeze Dance This is one of my kids favorites! Play music, let the kids dance and then they must freeze when the music is paused. 

Driveway Bowling Use old 2 liter bottles or full water bottles at the end of your driveway and use a soccer ball to go bowling.

Playing 'memory' is a fun kid's activity that helps the brain develop correctly.

Play Salon Let your kids do YOUR hair and makeup, or you do theirs. Either way, the kids are being creative and trying something new. You can even wash hair in the kitchen sink like you would at a salon! This is always a lasting memory for my kids. 

Make Popsicles Freeze juice, lemonade or soda in ice cube trays and place toothpicks in the middle after they have been freezing for about an hour. 

Make Lemonade Not only is this one absolutely delicious, but everyone can get in on squeezing those lemons!! My favorite recipe: 1 1/2 cups lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups sugar- whisk together until sugar has dissolved. Then add to 6 cups of cold water with 2 cups of ice!

Bike Car Wash Whip out the hose and a little soap and let them go to town!

Friendship Bracelets Use colorful embroidery floss to make simple friendship bracelets. Simple instructions and patterns can be found online

Paint Fingernails bust out all of the fingernail polish and have a spa day! You paint theirs and, if you are brave, let them paint yours!

Dancing is a great way for kids to exercise!

The Importance of Balance

I totally understand needing to get things done and needing some alone time. My kids do, too.

I think the key is to have some uninterrupted, INTENTIONAL playtime with your kids every day. I shoot for at least 1 hour per day that my phone is put away, no laundry, no picking up, just PLAY.

I find if my kids have had my undivided attention, when I tell them a little later to go play by themselves so I can feed the baby in peace, they are much more likely to do so the first time I ask, with minimal whining.

I am a BIG advocate of quiet time. We have had quiet time after lunch for an hour or so ever since Chase decided he was too big for naps.

Quiet time is one of my favorite part of the day. Brielle is napping, Chase and Marlee either read books together or do another quiet activity while I get some much needed battery recharge.

Everyone is happier when playtime and quiet time happen. Especially Mom. If we aren’t playing together or having quiet time, you’ll probably find my kids doing one of the activities below.

Do you have other fun Screen-Free Kid’s Activities up your sleeve? Share them in the comments!!

Sharing is Caring! 🙂 Help spread the Screen-Free word!

Screen-Free Activities for Kids are a must-have this Summer! Keep your kids occupied, happy, learning and active. These boredom-buster activities will entertain your kid's all summer long! |Cooking with Karli| #kids #activities #bordembuster #screen-free #noscreens #summer #toddler #3yearold #4yearold #5yearold


About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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  1. I know exactly how it feels to get stuck with the kids the whole summer & not know what to keep them occupied. So, I myself had come up with lists of ideas on how to keep them occupied & not realizing how time pass by quick & having so much fun too!
    1. Bake cookies for a friend
    2. Practice your math solving
    3. Visit or sleepover with friends or cousins
    4. Visit a farm & pick your favorite fruits or veggies
    5. Explore a museum
    6. Family bike by the beach
    7. House Chore wars
    8. Book-a-thon race
    9. Mini road trip
    10. Make lemonade
    11. Make pancakes for family
    12. Scavenger hunt (kitchen utensils) have them familiarize around the house
    13. Help carwash
    14. Scrub your own backpacks & shoes
    15. Prepare breakfast in bed
    16. Indoor bowling by using an empty gatorade containers & use regular ball to toss it
    17. Play new card game
    18. Help mommy do groceries
    19. Create an origami
    20. Tell me a joke

  2. Love these ideas!! My kids love washing the car! I may have to add these ideas to my list, if you don’t mind! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Your tips are very useful. I am having a hard time thinking of activities to give my daughter so she won’t crave for my cellphone and watch YouTube all day. Great post! 🙂

  4. Most of my kids are pre-readers or beginning readers so we do a lot of audio stories and the like. has free audio stories for kids some classics and some originals they are all well done. has “Adventures in Odyssey” audio stories. Exciting adventures based on Biblical teachings. does free audio books that are in the public domain. They are old classics and many wonderful children’s stories. We also do longer books while on road trips like Anne of Green Gables or The Jungle Book. Some of the stories have dramatic readings that include sound effects and different readers for each character.
    Also many libraries have audio books you can check out for free.
    Then there’s that has recordings of many Old Time Radio Shows. It’s fun to see what entertainment was like before TV was a thing. Some of them even include old commercials which is fun because some of those products we still use today.

    My idea is to put each activity on a craft stick in a jar so when boredom strikes this summer they can pull a stick and get busy. <3 Thanks for sharing! <3

  5. So many great ideas for audiobooks!! Thank you, Trinity! Happy SUMMER!! ☀️