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
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.