It can be all too easy to let life pass you by with a screen in front of every member in the family. But God wants MORE for you and your family. He wants to bless you with love and happy memories between each other. So here are 50+ (and counting) screen free family time ideas and activities that you can try with your family to PUT DOWN THE SCREENS and look into each other’s lovely faces. 🙂
Staying in together
Bad weather, cold weather, or just feeling like staying home, doesn’t mean you have to break out the devices and head to your seperate corners. Here are some family time ideas you can do right from the comfort of your own home.
Do a Family Bible Study
A family Bible study is a great way to learn more about the Bible and instill vital skills into your children from a young age. There are ones you can find online or in print via Amazon or other online stores.
Play Board Games
There are SO MANY different family board games for all ages from pretty much 2-3 and up. I love the collection of Haba board games for toddlers. And there’s a ton of different options and alternatives for Bible board games too, like Bibleopoly, that can serve as great opportunities to teach your kids about God while playing.
Have a Picnic in Your Backyard
A backyard picnic will be a fun way to get your family outside and enjoying each other’s company. You can even find fun picnic basket sets to make this even more of a novelty for the kids. They even make insulated picnic baskets too.
Play in a Kiddie Pool (or Regular Pool if You Have one) Together
Start a Garden Together
Starting and maintaining a flower or veggie garden is fun, helps you to get fresh air, and is also educational for the kids. There are all sorts of ways to make this even more fun with kids garden tools and putting some music on that you can groove to while you garden. I also like using this sun shade to put my babies’ pack n’ play under on really sunny days.
There are so many great free coloring pages you can print off on Pinterest for both kids and adults. You can also find printed coloring books for kids and adults that can be fun for the whole family too. Sometimes I can even find some great ones at the Dollar Tree too. Also pick up some crayons, nice colored pencils, and even markers to make it fun for the whole family.
Build Blocks (or Have a Block Building Competition)
Who doesn’t love blocks? And with so many to choose from there is sure to be something the whole family can enjoy. Most dads can get into Legos because they loved them as kids and can be as challenging as you’d like, and then there’s Duplos for the younger kids. Our family also really enjoys the magnetic blocks (or magna tiles) and Lincoln Logs. But there’s wooden blocks, foam blocks, cloth blocks, cardboard blocks, Mega Blocks, and more. There are all kinds of blocks for the whole family from just a few months old and up.
Bake a Dessert Together
There are so many great desserts you can make together with your kids. And cooking and baking with your kids can also be a great way to train them in obedience without them even realizing it.
Making icecream is like a category all in it’s own. There are many ways you can do it and you can make it as healthy or as sweetsie as you’d like. You can make it manually with things you already have on hand, or you can even get an icecream making machine. And if you’re not into icecream, you can even pick up some popsicle molds and make some yummy and healthy popsicles. Whatever works best for you.
Cooking with your kids is a great way to teach them obedience but it’s also so much fun! Your kids can begin helping you cook even from the youngest age. There are all kinds of things that kids can help with, even if they’re too young for some of the more dangerous things. Like they can gather ingredients, help with mixing things together, and even just taste testing!
Walk the Dog
Kids can have a lot of fun going on walks with your dog, especially when you give them a job like to hold the leash. It’s great exercise for the dog and for the family. And if your child is too small to help hold the leash, they can always help by bringing some dog toys to play with at the park down the road or by giving your dog some treats after he’s had a good walk.
Make Cotton Candy
For my daughter’s first birthday, my husband came home with a cotton candy machine. And the kids had so much fun watching him make cotton candy and helping us eat it. It turned into a fun family activity. There are even ways to make it without buying a cotton candy machine too.
Build a Snowman
If you find yourself on a cold snowy day or the kids are home from school for a snow day then it might just be time to build a snowman. This can be super fun for the whole family. Just bundle up nice and warm and head out with your top hat, gloves, button eyes, and carrots. You can even pick up a whole snowman decorating kit. And if you have super little ones, this baby carrier friendly coat might just help so you can still get outside with your other kids.
As with blocks, there are puzzles for all different ages and skill levels. From wooden toddler puzzles, to small 25 piece jigsaw puzzles, to huge 1000++ piece puzzles, no matter what your age or skill level, you can find something fun. Gather up the family and all the puzzles you need to keep everyone entertained and have a puzzle building party. Have fun snacks and spend the afternoon building puzzles, talking, and having fun together.
Rake Leaves and Jump in Them
It doesn’t get much more free and fun than raking leaves and jumping in them. Plus, the kids are helping with chores without even realizing it! Gotta love that. lol Grab up some rakes for everyone in the family from young to old and make a fun family day of it.
Paint or Tie Dye Family Shirts
As cheesy as they might be, creating your own family shirts or just other random shirts you make as a family can be a fun and enjoyable family activity. So pick up some shirt paint or tie dye materials and make an afternoon of creativity and laughter.
If you have a basketball hoop at home then take advantage of it and have a family basketball tournament. Or play some fun basketball games like PIG or something similar if you don’t want to play a formal game of basketball. And if you don’t want to buy an expensive basketball hoop you can buy a basketball rim to attach to a wall like this one or even an over the door basketball hoop like this one as an alternative. And don’t forget the littlest basketball player too.
Play Baseball or Catch in the Backyard
Make an Elaborate Fort
Always a classic and cheap family activity. Challenge your family to build the biggest and most elaborate fort out of blankets, sheets, couches, pillows, chairs, and whatever else you can find around the house. Get the whole family in on it and make it bigger, bigger, bigger. 🙂 If you want to get even more elaborate pick up one of these fort building systems. They even have one that glows in the dark. So fun!
Do Yard Work Together
Grab your yard tools and set out to work on the yard work together as a family. Give the little ones tasks they can help with and make it even more fun for them by getting them kid-sized work gloves and tools. For ones too little to help carry them around in a baby carrier like this one or plop them in the pack n’ play underneath a sun shade (or in one of these handy baby tents) to keep them safe and cool while the rest of you get to work.
Another way to get creative together is to paint together! There are so many styles of painting. You can watercolor paint, acrylic paint, pick up some stretched canvases to paint something together as a family. The possibilities are endless. Try different painting styles to see what your family likes to do together.
Reading books is always a fun family activity and instilling a love for reading in your children from a young age is so important. It can be fun to read picture books to kids, but then also have a family book going. Try for an adventure or maybe even a book about a missionary. Whatever your family prefers. And keep the book going, read a bit together as a family each night.
Start an Indoor Herb Garden
If you can’t get out of the house, you can start a little herb garden indoors. Buy up some seeds or herb starter plants from your local nursery and have the kids help you to put them into pots and find the perfect place that they can live and get lots of sun inside. Then task them with reminding you to water them or to water them for themselves each day.
Do Science Experiments
There are so many great science experiments that you can do at home with your kids. Search Pinterest for some great ideas or pick up some pre-packaged science experiment kits if you don’t feel confident enough to put something together yourself. Start by sitting down as a family and brainstorming what kinds of things you’d like to know more about or what kinds of questions you have about how the world and the things in it work.
Do Bible Object Lessons
Bible object lessons, like science experiments, are great hands on opportunities for your kids to have fun and learn something important. There are a lot of Bible object lessons that you can find by searching Pinterest or Google. We even have a few on the blog too (like this one and this one). Make a board on Pinterest with the ones you’d like to try as a family (or follow our board with ideas here).
Print Photos and Make a Family Photo Album
It seems like the more and more technology advances the easier and easier it can get to let our photos and memories live on our phones, doesn’t it? Let’s change that. Make a day of going through your phones, printing out photos from home using photo paper or using a local drugstore to develop them. Then sit down as a family and put together a real life physical family photo album.
Start a Family Scrapbook Together
If you find yourself wanting to get even more creative with the family photos, you could put together a family scrapbook of all your adventures as well. Find or print stickers, use ribbons, washi tape, and other fun craft materials to record all of the fun memories that you’ve made as a family over the years. Have fun laughing and creating together as you reminisce.
Even the smallest child can enjoy and make shadow puppets on the wall. Make it a fun family activity as you try to go more and more elaborate. There are even books you can pick up that will teach you how to make complicated shadow puppets. Try to make them together and let the littlest ones in the family laugh and enjoy the show.
Play Pretend (Superheros, Firemen, Animal Sounds, etc)
The possibilities are endless in a child’s imagination. Ask them what they’d like to pretend and make a family game out of it. Buy, make, or put together costumes to go with your imaginative play. You can even turn your imaginative play into a stage play for the older kids in the family who might not be as interested in playing pretend to watch.
This one might be best played outside, but the backyard is the perfect place to play a simple game of tag. It’s a great way to get all of that extra kid energy out and to get out and get some fresh air in the meantime. Plus, it’s completely free. Unless of course you want to add Nerf guns to the mix. 😉
Play Hide and Seek
A great game for indoors or out, and for the smallest to the biggest kids. Play a classic game of hide and seek. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s bound to get a lot of laughs out of everyone who plays. And if some of your kids are too little, have them pair up with mommy, daddy, or one of the bigger kids to teach them the ropes.
Teach Them a Valuable Life Skill
There are a countless number of valuable life skills that kids need to learn. And when they’re young, it’s actually something that they’re interested in learning. So take advantage of that and teach them about valuable life skills like sewing, doing an oil change, how to fix something around the house, doing laundry, etc. It’s another great way for kids to have fun while still learning something really important along the way.
Play Musical Instruments Together
If you’re a musically inclined family then gather up the instruments from around the house and make music together! If you’re not as musically inclined then pickup the kids toy instruments and just have fun with it. Even if it doesn’t sound great, it’ll be sure to get lots of laughs from the kids. And if you’re all wanting to learn music, then take time to learn how to play different instruments together or separately so you can come together again one day down the road.
Sing Songs Together
Whether you have the pipes of an opera singer or are just good enough to sing in the shower, it doesn’t matter to kids. It’s always fun to sing fun songs together. We love to put on one of the Seeds Family Worship songs or other classic Bible songs that are free on Amazon Prime Music and just sing together.
Draw With Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk can be a fun and creative activity for the whole family. And it’s relatively cheap too. Pickup a box of sidewalk chalk and let the whole family go to town. You can even buy sidewalk paint to get even more creative with it.
Play-Doh or Clay Art for Older Kids
You really can’t go wrong with play-doh. Even for older kids (and adults) play-doh can be a lot of fun because you can get so creative with it! Why not play with play-doh together as a family. And if the older kids want to make something that they can keep, consider getting clay specially made that can be set in the oven so they can keep their awesome creations.
Make Sharpie Mugs
Did you know you can paint mugs with Sharpie paint marker, pop it in the oven, and then it stays on there? Pretty cool, huh? Well, this makes for an excellent family activity. Buy enough mugs for everyone in the family to decorate, pick up some oil-based Sharpie paint markers and follow these instructions for a set of home decorated family mugs. So fun!
Have a Backyard Camp Out
Camping out in the backyard is a fun adventure for the whole family. Make an entire night of it with smores, hot dogs on the fire, and star gazing before dozing off in your sleeping bags. You don’t have to go far to get the camping out experience (at least to a smaller degree). And it’s a fun and cheap alternative for big families or those families who have littles still in the family, especially if your tent is within baby monitor range. 🙂
Make Crafts Together
If you have a creative family then hop on over to Pinterest for quite literally a plethora of craft ideas you can make with your kids. There are so many ideas for any and all ages and there are ways to even turn a craft project into something fun for every age in your family. This can make for a fun afternoon of crafting and talking for the whole family. My advice though here is to plan ahead. Think about the crafts you’d like to try with the family, make a list and pick up all the supplies you’ll need before the day comes.
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are such a fun an educational way to spend the day outside. Depending on the age of your kids you can go as simple or as complicated as you need to both challenge your children and keep it fun. You can even find all sorts of nature scavenger hunt checklists online that you can print out for free. Just laminate them and use wet erase markers so you can use them over and over again. I keep one of our favorites (this one) in our outdoor bag so when my son asks to go on a scavenger hunt we have it ready and with us.
Play an Indoor Scavenger Hunt Game
If you can’t make it outside then there are scavenger hunt games and checklists that you can play inside too. Like with the nature scavenger hunts, find a checklist, print it out, laminate it and use wet erase markers again and again on it. We also really enjoy this scavenger hunt board game. It’s a lot of fun and there’s even a clean up round that they make into a game so that you’re not left with a huge pile of stuff to put away all by yourself. Bonus! There’s also this scavenger hunt game that looks a lot of fun too.
Family Outtings Ideas
Getting out of the house with the family can be a lot of fun. And there are so many ideas for any price range. Check out some of the ideas below that will help you and your family get out of the house and having a lot of fun together.
Go to the Playground
You really can’t beat going to the playground with the kids. Everyone has fun with this and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Plus…it’s FREE. Find a local playground and have some fun. 🙂
Go for a Walk at the Park
The park isn’t just for playgrounds. Taking a walk on the trails at the park can be a lot of fun too. We have one park near us with amazing and beautiful trails that are so peaceful and enjoyable. Find a park near you with a great trail system that the whole family can enjoy.
Geocaching is a fun activity for kids of all ages. You do need a screen (within limits) because there is a website where you can locate geocaches around you. Wikipedia describes Geocaching as “an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.” You can go to the Geocaching.com website or Wikipedia to learn more about it. It can be a fun and unique activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Go Metal Detecting
Like Geocaching and scavenger hunts, metal detecting is a fun activity for the treasure hunters in the family. It can be fun for the whole family to search and find treasure, even if it’s just a few pennies, can tabs or bottle caps. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while spending time as a family. It does take a bit more money up front to get started as you’ll need a metal detector and a good metal detecting shovel. But it’s a lot of fun. And there are ways to make your own metal detector if you don’t want to spend the money on one.
Go to a Local Museum
Frequenting a local museum can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Depending on the kind of museum it is, there are often hands on things for the kids to do and it’s a great educational outing for the whole family. We always love making a day of going to the museum together as a family.
Go to a Nature Center
Like going to the museum, Nature Centers are great places for hands on educational activities for the kids. Plus, a lot of them are usually free to go to. And there’s even some nature centers that have outdoor walking trails for another fun aspect to the outing.
Go to the Library
Not only do local libraries offer a plethora of free books you can read together as a family, but they often times have fun activities that are free for the family to do too. Sometimes they are things just for younger kids or just for older, but keep your eyes open for the right thing and head to the library to pickup some fresh books and enjoy some free activities with the family.
Go to the Beach
If it’s warm enough outside, the beach is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. From building sand castles to swimming, to bathing in the sun, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and for the whole family to have fun. Just be sure to stay safe, stay together, and pickup one of these awesome sun shades or a beach umbrella for the little ones.
Go to the Aquarium
If you have a local aquarium then these can be great family outing full of discovery and learning. The whole family will enjoy watching the different sea animals while learning about new ones they didn’t know about. It’s a lot of fun for kids of all ages and the parents too. Our local aquarium even offers special free pricing for toddlers during specific hours and days to make it even more affordable. Check out if yours does too.
Go to the Zoo
Like the aquarium, the zoo is a great place to discover and learn about animals. But it’s also a great way to get outside. Pack a lunch to make it even cheaper or enjoy the sights, sounds, and food that the zoo has to offer. Find out where your local zoo is and make a plan to take the family there for a fun screen free day.
If your family is into sports then a sporting event is a great way to get out of the house with the family. Whether it’s a professional baseball, basketball, or football game, or just a local high school game, it can be a fun outing for the family who loves sports. As with the zoo you can pack your lunch to make it even cheaper or enjoy the food that the venue has to offer. Either way you’re sure to have a fun day with the family.
Pottery Painting Place
If you want to go beyond Sharpie mugs at home, then heading out to a local pottery painting place can be really fun for the creative family. They usually have lots of different options for things to paint so everyone in the family can find something they like. And it can be an fun and even hilarious day filled with creativity and spending time together.
Paintball or Laser Tag
For families with older kids, paintball or laser tag can be a fun outing. Unfortunately this won’t work that great for families with smaller kids. But if all your kids are older then head on out to your local paintball or laser tag place. Or you can even pickup paintball, laser tag, or even Nerf gun supplies to play in your own backyard.
Bowling is always a fun classic family activity. And with bumper bowling available, it’s something that kids can do even from the age of 3 or so. So it’s something that the whole family can have a lot of fun with.
If your kids are in need of burning off some energy, finding a local climbing gym might just be the ticket. And a lot of times these kinds of places even have a toddler area for your smaller kids. It can be a fun way to burn energy and have fun together.
Bounce House Place
Like climbing gyms, bounce house places are a great way to burn off some extra energy while having a ton of fun as a family. If you have younger kids, make sure they have a toddler safe area too so even your littlest ones can enjoy the day’s activities.
If it’s that time of year, then heading out to your local state, county, or city fair can be an enjoyable activity for the whole family. With rides, animals, shows, and more, there is always something fun to do and usually enough to make a whole day or even weekend out of it. If the food is breaking your budget, you can bring your own packed lunches to save some money too.
Although there aren’t parades going on all the time, like your local fair when they do come around it’s a great time to take the family out to enjoy them. Pack up some lunches, lawn chairs, and go out to enjoy the show.
Whether it’s 4th of July, New Year’s or some other celebration throughout the year, you will often find opportunities to see fireworks in your local area. It can be a fun time for kids of all ages. Although it is tougher for smaller babies who might get tired. But if your little one will sleep well in your arms, then take advantage of it and enjoy the show with your family.
There are all sorts of different levels of horseback riding activities you can take the family to. Sometimes it’s a guided tour and sometimes you can find places that will give you a little more freedom to roam. But whatever the case may be and whatever you’re comfortable with, you can make horseback riding a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy.
When it’s snowing outside then heading out to go sledding can be such a fun activity for the whole family. No matter what age your kids are, they will more than likely enjoy it. They even make sleds to pull around your toddlers. Everyone can have a good time sledding. So find a good hill nearby, wait for lots of snow, and then break out the sleds.
If you’re blessed with a pond or lake nearby then ice skating can be a great activity to take the family to during the winter. But even if you don’t have a frozen over pond or lake and even if it’s not winter, you can head to your local ice skating rink to enjoy the ice there. And typically those places will have skates you can rent so you don’t have to go out and buy any, although that’s always an option too.
If you still have a roller skating rink near you (they’re a rare breed these days), then this is a great alternative to ice skating. It’s something that kids of all ages have a lot of fun with and you can usually make a whole day of hanging out at the roller skating rink. Splurge on some pizza and take the day nice and slow while you all enjoy tumbling over each other or skillfully practicing your mad skating skills.
Once it’s apple picking season in the fall, going to your local apple orchard will be an exciting all-day adventure for the whole family. Most apple orchards are beyond just apple picking. You might even be able to watch them make cider, go on hay rides, navigate a corn maze, and do all kinds of other fun activities.
Whether your family heads out to the mall or downtown to go shopping, it can be a fun family activity so long as you have some extra money to spend. Window shopping can be fun, but with kids it is more challenging to do that. So when you have a little bit of money to spend shopping or have a need for new clothes for you and the kids, then head on out shopping with the whole family. Make it a day by dining out for lunch and take the day slow to enjoy your time together.
Family time doesn’t have to mean screen time
There are tons of things you can do together as a family without sitting in front of screens all day, every day. That’s not to say screens are ALL BAD. But they should be used in moderation so that you don’t miss out on experiencing life TOGETHER. Make the most of your precious time together as a family. The days and years go by so fast.
Got more ideas? Share them in the comments below!
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