50 Family Activities That Don't Involve Screens

Published: March 18, 2020

The stress caused by the recent virus outbreak can be overwhelming, trying to plan a day (or even weeks) with children at home may also add to that stress. The good news is you’re not alone, and negative feelings during this time are typical responses. It’s important that we take time to bond as a family to reduce stress and increase the amount of support each member feels during these tough times. Having a list of activities will empower you to try something new that doesn’t involve screens.

While screen time doesn’t always encourage family bonding, we can take care of ourselves by not feeling guilty over screen time during the quarantine – lean into whatever feels best for your family. One way to help balance the screen habit is to set aside family time without screens at least once a week. If you’re quarantined, try pushing for once a day!

We’ve put together this list of 50 family activities that don’t involve screens to get you inspired!

1. Make decorations, create a playlist, and throw a family dance party

2. Make a piñata and fill it with candy and prizes

3. Take a family bike ride (or rollerblade, scooters, skateboards, etc)

4. Enjoy play time with your pet(s)

5. Plan a family garden

6. Have a family “dress-up” dinner party

7. Board game night

8. Craft & DIY night

9. Make (and fly) a kite on a windy day

10. Pack a picnic to take to the park

11. Evening drive to watch a sunset

12. Cooking class in the kitchen! Teach kids how to make their favorite dish

13. Make a bunch of friendship bracelets for gifts

14. Plan a dream vacation, even if you don’t think you could afford it

15. Make a family budget for the dream vacation

16. Make different kinds of Slime!

17. Listen to an audiobook together as part of bedtime

18. Make Christmas gifts or cards—can never be too prepared!

19. Create your Family Tree or a family photo album

20. Bake cookies or a fancy cake

21. Play a card game or make your own Memory game

22. Make sidewalk chalk portraits of the family

23. Budget class! Teach kids how to grocery shop on a budget

24. Make your own personal pizza night

25. Make your own fidget spinners out of paper

26. Clean out your closets and donate clothes/toys

27. Use smartphones to do a silly family photo shoot

28. Make a fancy breakfast one morning

29. Make rock candy and package them as gifts for friends

30. Create a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard

31. Get your favorite book/magazine to read together in the same room

32. Cook ahead for the week! Everyone gets a job and meals are ready for the week

33. Have a family meeting: update family rules, chores, allowance, and responsibilities

34. Play 20 questions or one of these silly group games

35. Redecorate or rearrange a room in the house

36. Music night: play instruments, write songs, use noisemakers, play your favorite songs

37. Organize a family game to play in your backyard

38. Spring clean & simplify your house together (Marie Kondo style)

39. In home burst workouts for parents & kids

40. Do a puzzle together

41. Write a play and act it out together, record it for memory’s sake

42. Used to play an instrument? Pull it out and re-teach yourself with the family as a supportive audience!

43. Write letters to friends and family

44. Try a guided meditation together

45. Work in your back yard together and pull weeds as a stress reliever

46. Play hide & seek (indoors or outdoors)

47. Make a mancala counting game with an egg carton

48. Go camping in the living room (ghost stories are a bonus)

49. Make ice cream in a bag

50. Make a time capsule! One day your kids can use it to tell their kids about living through a pandemic.

We hope these ideas inspire you to enjoy the moments you have with your family! Making new, healthy habits can be difficult as a parent. If you feel like you could use extra support, let us know! We have parenting education classes to help.