Screen free play ideas – Here are 10+ best screen free play ideas for kids under age 8. These screen free play ideas for kids are perfect for encouraging screen free independent play when the kiddos are stuck at home. They offer quiet independent play that is engaging, confidence building and calming.
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Would your kids spend all day on their tablet or stuck to the T.V screen if they could? Yup, same here!
We love screen free play ideas because they give our daughter a calming and focused play experiences.
Our little girl would love to watch YouTube all day, every day.
So, we are always looking for fun screen free play ideas to reduce her overall screen time. We’re okay with some screen time since there are many educational opportunities available on her iPad.
But, as she’s getting older we’re realizing how easy it is for her to zone out and watch video after video on YouTube. Although we’re okay with her relaxing and watching some YouTube we are trying to be more conscious of how much time she spends staring at a screen.
So, we’ve been actively searching for ways to help her unplug and get involved with screen free play ideas on a more regular basis.
She tends to cooperate quite well and does end up having fun with screen free play ideas for kids. But, we have found that the key to encouraging quiet screen free play is being organized and having a stash of screen free play ideas ready to go. Screen free play ideas that are easy to set up and easily accessible make for fun and simple screen free play.
With the current situation in the world and the unpredictability of school and daycare, we know all too well how hard it is to balance it all. So, we wanted to share the best screen free play ideas for kids that are the perfect way to encourage some screen free fun when they are home.
So, here are 12 of our absolute favorite screen free play ideas for kids . These screen free play ideas for kids are perfect for kids under age 8 and are a great way to encourage quiet screen free play when kids are home from school or daycare so you can get stuff done.
These screen free play ideas are also easily adaptable to different ages and interests which make them the perfect option for disconnecting and encouraging some quiet screen free play.
Screen Free Play Ideas For Kids
#1 Homemade Dinosaur Fossils
If the kids love learning about dinosaurs then this fun DIY Dinosaur fossils activity is a must try. After making a salt dough kids are encouraged to create their own fossils.
This screen free play idea for kids is a great way to get kids excited about learning about dinosaurs. (full tutorial via Your Every Day Family)
#2 Free Printable I Spy Games
Do your kids love Where’s Waldo type games? If so, they’re going to love these free printable I Spy Games. My daughter loves them and so I’ve been busy creating I Spy activities for just about every holiday and season over the last years.
To make my I Spy Games educational I’ve incorporated a counting and coloring component which makes these free printable screen free play ideas for kids the ultimate boredom buster. Click here to check out my entire collection of free printable I Spy games for kids.
#3 DIY Tinker Boxes
This clever STEM activity encourages kids to “tinker” with things which encourages exploration and creativity. I love that Tinker boxes can be customized to your child’s age and interests.
What you include in your Tinker box is totally up to you and so no two Tinker boxes are the same. These screen free play ideas for kids work wonderfully for kids of all ages with a variety of different interests. Click here to visit Mom On A Mountain for more information about her genius idea.
#4 Popsicle Stick Activity Jar
This awesome idea comes from How Wee Learn and is absolutely brilliant. Quiet activities are written on Popsicle sticks to create a quiet time activity jar loaded with screen free play ideas for kids that kids actually enjoy.
The idea is so simple and yet so effective! Head on over to How Wee Learn to download your free printable screen free activities for kids list.
#5 No Cook DIY Jello Play-Doh
Play-Doh is an easy and really fun screen free activity for kids. We love Play-Doh so much that I regularly make my own no cook Jello Play Doh.
My no cook DIY Play Doh recipe is really soft, easy to make and a ton of fun for kids. Click here to get the full recipe for my no cook Jello Play Doh recipe.
#6 DIY Friendship Bracelets
If you’ve got older children then DIY friendship bracelets are a great screen free activity for kids.
Friendship bracelets provide excellent down time that encourages creativity. We love making friendship bracelets and sharing them with the most important people in our life.
Lego is a another great quiet time play activity. It’s one of those fun screen free play ideas for kids that can keep kids busy for hours on end.
Lego is a great quiet time activity because it helps encourage fine motor skills, creativity and problem solving.
#8 DIY Lego Challenge Cards
If your kiddos love Lego then you’ve gotta try these really cool DIY Lego Challenge cards from The Stem Laboratory.
These printable Lego Challenge cards add an extra element of fun to Lego Play. These awesome screen free play ideas for kids focus on patterns, geometric shapes and much much more. Click here to visit The STEM Laboratory to get a copy of your own.
#9 Pipe-cleaner Activities
Pipe cleaners are another great and super versatile tool when it comes to screen free play ideas for kids. These fun pipe cleaner constellation cards are a brilliant screen free activity for kids who love learning about space. These constellation cards are available from 123 Homeschool 4 Me.
#10 Free Printable Play Doh Mats
For younger kids, free printable play doh mats are one of those screen free play ideas that you just gotta try. Play Doh mats require that kids shape letter or numbers with Play Doh.
So, whether you want to work on promoting letter practice or number awareness Play Doh Mats are a fun screen free way to practice basic letter and number skills. Click here to download free printable alphabet mats or free printable play doh number mats.
#11 Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are another one of those screen free play ideas that every kids needs to experience. Sensory bins encourage exploration through the senses which helps calm, focus and engage children. What I love most about sensory bins is that you can easily create a unique sensory bin experience based on your child’s unique interests. Click here to check out over 50 sensory bin ideas that can keep kids busy for hours.
Puzzles are one of those screen free play ideas that are super convenient and come together with literally zero planning.
Having a stash of age appropriate puzzles is the perfect way to encourage some screen free quiet play. What’s great about puzzles is that you can start introducing them as young as age 2 and they come in so many shapes, sizes and types that there’s literally a puzzle for every type of interest.
Bonus Tips For Screen Free Play Ideas
#1 Don’t pull it all at once
Don’t pull out all your screen free play ideas and toys at once. Pace yourself instead to make each screen free idea new and fun. It’s a-okay to finish a task or activity over a couple of days.
#2 Turn Screen Free Play Into A Treat
Get the kids excited about cool screen free ideas. So, get them pumped to unplug and engage in their screen free play activities.
#3 Incorporate Your Child’s Interests
Focus on screen free play ideas that incorporate your child’s interests. So, if your kid loves dinosaurs you can create sensory play focused on dinosaurs or find dinosaur themed puzzles.
#4 Use Screen Free Play Ideas To Earn Screen Time
You can encourage kids to earn screen time as a reward for engaging in screen free play ideas. So, for every minute of screen free play they can earn a minute of screen time! It’s a great motivator to spend more time focusing on screen free play ideas.
Did you enjoy these screen free play ideas?
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