Little girl painting with her mother

18 Classic Ways to Keep Kids Entertained This Weekend without Screens

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Stripping screens from children’s daily routines, especially on the weekends, can be a potent parenting strategy, yet it poses a nuanced question: “What should fill the void left by screens?”

Weekends are perfect for families to reconnect and enjoy quality time together. Ditching screens can make this time together much more meaningful since conversations and activities come from a place of distraction.

There are many activities and opportunities for a family to finally enjoy each other’s company. If your new (or continuing) parenting goal is less screen time, here are better and more fun alternatives for you and your “I’m so bored!” kids.

1. Ride Bikes

Family Cycling in the park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bikes have been helping parents create fun and memories since the Swiftwalker in 1817! Riding with your kids in the neighborhood or on mountain bikes is a wonderful alternative to playing Riders Republic on a giant screen.

It’s a great way to teach kids resilience and earn a few battle scars. Grab your bikes and ride to the closest park. Or throw them in your vehicle and go to a favorite trail. If the child isn’t old enough to ride independently, grab a bike seat or trailer to get out and enjoy.

2. Flower Picking

lily of the valley flower, mom and daughter
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you live in an area with plenty of wildflowers, going on a flower-picking expedition is an excellent way to get your hands dirty and connect with nature. Do some research to see when flowers should be blooming in your area so that you know when to go.

Don’t have wildflowers around? Plant your own flowers! If you have the space, involve the kids in the flower planting and tendering.

3. Bubble Play

family blowing bubbles at the park happy
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For reasons only little brains can explain, babies (of all ages) love bubbles. If you want to get the kids away from the screens without much persuasion, suggest bubble play. You can have bubbles in a tub or basin or blow bubbles from a wand and chase them around in the garden.

You can get the older kids involved in blowing the bubbles while the littles chase them. There are also bubble machines these days that allows everyone (adults even) to chase the bubbles all afternoon long.

You will then need to devise clever ways to return these kids to the house.

4. Toy Parade

Lovely blond kid boy playing with lots of toy cars indoor
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A toy parade helps children with motor skills while giving them much-needed time away from screens. It’s also a chance to play with all those toys they insist they need.

Start the procession with all of their favorite vehicles. They can also get creative with legos, stuffed animals, or anything else that they want to bring down the road.

5. Digging In the Dirt

farm family outside nature rural happy hats
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Many parents today are obsessed with keeping kids away from dirt as much as possible. While licking bathroom floors is an absolute no-no, dipping their hands in soil and digging things up is great.

Kids are attracted to dirt, like moths to light. Indulge their explorative spirits with a little dirt digging. Grab a shovel or toy truck and designate a spot where they can dig. Or find a local sandbox where they can play.

To make the digging productive, put them to work on digging holes for your garden in the spring.

6. Racing Them

mom running with girls in woods
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Running is a great outdoor activity, but kids racing against their parents is even more fun! If you want to keep kids off the screen, you must be prepared to play with them as well; racing is a beautiful way to create memories and remind you of how old you are.

Pssst: It’ll tire them, and they’ll be in bed before they know it.

7. Dance Party

Happy family mother father and child daughter dancing at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Notwithstanding your two left feet and high center of gravity, dancing is a good way to keep kids entertained and away from screens. Throw on some dance-worthy tunes and get that botty shaking.

If you’re a parent who likes to go the extra mile, put on a show with costumes and lights. That’s a core memory created right there.

8. Hide and Seek

Two cute brothers playing together at home, smiling and looking into the camera
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Hide and seek will never grow old. It’s one game that makes kids feel like they’re good at something, which they are! Good luck finding them behind the door with their feet sticking out.

You can get creative with hide-and-seek in the dark with flashlights, hide-and-seek tag, or any other fun you want to inject into this classic form of entertainment.

9. Pack a Picnic

happy family reading on a picnic blanket book
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A picnic outdoors in great weather will make everyone jolly. If the weather isn’t allowing for a picnic in a park or the backyard, make one in your living room with blankets and pillows. It’ll be well worth the cleaning up after.

A picnic doesn’t have to be complicated. Bring some of your family’s favorite snacks, such as cheese, lunch meat, crackers, a veggie tray, and some whole fruit, and lay it all out for munching.

10. Painting

Side view portrait of blonde little boy painting on easel enjoying art class
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Colors light up children’s worlds in unimaginable ways. Make your home a canvas and paint with the children on whatever surfaces you feel comfortable with.

You can paint the bathtub or on actual canvas with brushes or cotton tips. If you’re no Piccaso and have no idea what to paint, check out a few ideas from YouTube. If you’re painting is bad, just call it “abstract.”

11. Baking Together

mom and daughter laughing cooking having fun
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Don’t chase the kids away from the kitchen; show them how to make a few things from scratch. Baking is a golden chance to teach your kids responsibility and self-reliance, all while connecting and making them feel useful (a great self-esteem booster).

You can start simple with kid-friendly tasks like “chopping” a few vegetables with a plastic knife or throwing pre-measured ingredients into a bowl.

12. Cleaning up

Mom with daughter doing cleaning
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Are your kids’ noses stuck to screens while the house looks like a hurricane passed through your house? Get them to arrange their toys or books on the shelf to keep them busy and away from the screens. Turn it into a game or competition if you’d like.

Work should not be used as a punishment but as a way to learn to be organized while having fun. If you can make it fun, teaching children the value of living in a clean, uncluttered space will stay with them forever.

13. Dress Up Party

Happy father and daughter posing in the camera with their dress-up
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Playing dress-up is a memorable way to have fun with the kids without spending a dime. You do not have to buy clothes for this; your wardrobe and Mom’s make-up kit are sufficient.

Let the kids dress up the adults and each other however they’d like, then let the giggling ensue as they showcase their masterpiece outfits.

14. Tracing

happy family of four holding a drawing
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Children will always love anything that involves drawing. To make it more fun, trace hands or a body lying down. You’ll need chalk for concrete or pencils for large paper and a lot of patience.

Traced body parts can be framed and hung as wall hangings for future reference when your little one feels too big for Daddy.

15. Building Stuff

Children playing with blocks
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Lego, building blocks, Magna-tiles, or actual brick and mortar are excellent building materials for fun and play. This helps build their motor and eye-hand coordination skills.

See what masterpieces they can come up with, or give them a specific idea and see how they problem-solve to bring it to life.

16. Letter Writing

Mother and son writing with workbook at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The lost art of letter writing must be revived at all costs, and teaching it to kids is a great start. If they have friends living far away or just good old grandma, help them write a letter (and picture) to them to bond and perfect their writing skills.

A trip to the post office will be an additional fun activity.

17. Read Books

Mother and shocked daughter read book
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Sometimes, kids love books only when they’re being read to them. Indulge them and have a little book-reading session by the fireplace or anywhere you prefer. You can even make a trip to the library to find some new favorites.

You’ll be surprised at how books grow a child’s imagination and intellect. Books aren’t just for bedtime.

18. Upcycle

Little girl and container with trash in kitchen
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Encourage your kids to find recyclables or old items that were going to the trash or thrift store, and encourage them to get creative. Find instructions online and print or write them out to start working on.

Examples include sensory bottles, cardboard box cities, magazine collages, and more.


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sad girl please forgive me pray
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