It’s easy to turn the TV on to keep the kids quiet or to keep them occupied whilst you’re doing housework or working from home, but we all know that real play is the best kind of play for young minds. It lets them imagine, create, problem solve, and so much more!

Children are eager to learn, especially when they are young, but sometimes they need a little encouragement. Here’s a list of some screen-free activities for your kids to do at home.

1. Puppet Show

Make puppets out of toilet paper rolls and other household items, and then help your kids put on a puppet show for the whole family.

2. Family Olympics

Recreate a kid friendly Olympics in your home with a selection of indoor or outdoor games. Your kid’s could make medals to give to the winners. You could include the egg & spoon race, beanbag toss or make an obstacle course.

3. Toilet Paper Train

You could get crafty together and make a toilet paper train like this one here from Kids Activities Blog.

4. Treasure Hunt

Using their craft skills, the kids can make some treasure, you then hide it, create a treasure map and let them enjoy the treasure hunt. To make it more fun, they can even dress up as a brave adventurer!

5. Make a Kite

This is so simple! All you need are two sticks, a plastic bag, string and scissors. Have a look at this easy to follow guide from Instructables.

6. Rock Painting

Find some rocks in your garden or pick some from the local playground, river or beach, wash them, then paint on patterns and pictures. Once finished, it would make a lovely eye catching feature in the garden.

7. Cubby House

Gather your cushions, pillows, blankets and sheets to build a cubby house or fort.

8. Make Lemonade

Try out this simple Homemade Lemonade recipe from Learning 4 Kids.

9. Make Oobleck

If you have corn starch in your pantry, then you can make Oobleck! Take a bowl, pour 1 cup of water, add in 1.5 cups of corn starch, mix it together! It’s easy to make but it’s messy, so make sure you have an easy wipe down surface or a mat. It’s so much fun to play with! You can hold it as a solid and then it will ooze out through your fingers. Add a bit of food colouring to make it even better. Instructables have an easy to follow recipe.

10. Draw with Chalk

Let them channel their inner artist and create artwork outside.

11. Bird Watching

Lie down in your garden and spot the birds. See how many different varieties of birds you can find, then perhaps later you can research them together in a book (otherwise a little supervised screen time might be needed here!)

12. Practise Mindfulness

Headspace have some great tips on how to teach mindfulness to your kids. Try doing some of these activities together.

13. Make a Collage

Using old magazines, newspapers, birthday cards, cut out some pictures and glue on to card or paper to make a collage. Once finished, you could even frame it for everyone to admire.

14. Play Mums & Dads

I mean really play Mums & Dads. Let them dress up in your clothes (choose clothes you are happy for them to wear) and explore the world of make believe: get their bag ready for work, drink a cup of coffee, read the newspaper, make a phone call, use the laptop, all pretend of course. Let them put your shoes on – they love wearing grown up shoes!

15. Dance Party

Have a dance party in the living room. Add in some glow sticks for even more fun!

For water-based activities, please have a look at our post 15 Things to Do With Your Toddler on a Hot Day

Have fun joining in, or enjoy some quiet time with a cuppa!

Making Oobleck at home
Source: Instructables “Oobleck”

Melville Mums
Author: Melville Mums