100 Screen-Free Activities to Keep Kids Engaged at Home

100 free family-friendly activities

Life has taken an unexpected turn, leaving many of us struggling to find ways to entertain our kids at home. While it may be tempting to rely on screens for entertainment, there are plenty of screen-free activities that can engage their imaginations and help them battle boredom. We’ve compiled a list of 100 fun and creative activities that you can try with your kids, shared by some of our favorite creative mamas and experts. So, before you reach for that tablet or laptop, dive into this list and discover a world of analog, screen-free family fun.

Table of Contents

At-Home Art Class

The de Young Museum has put together five amazing art tutorials that will keep your little ones busy. These tutorials use common supplies that you probably already have at home, and they even include kid-sized bits of art history. You can watch the simple YouTube tutorials with your child or print out the lesson plans for an unplugged experience.

Wash Windows Together

Believe it or not, toddlers love to clean! Take advantage of this and get some sparkling windows in the process. Give your child a small spray bottle containing non-toxic soap and water, along with a towel, and let them help you wash the windows. This can be done indoors, too!

Act Out a Book

Is there a book that your kids are obsessed with? Encourage them to act out a live action version of the story. Let them dig into the dress-up box and bring the characters to life.

Make Potions

Kids love mixing things together, so why not let them create their own potions? Set up a few cups of water, flour, corn starch, jam, or any other safe ingredients they can mix and let their imagination run wild.

Dance Party!

Turn up the music and have a dance party in the living room. Not only is it a great way to burn off some energy, but it can also lift everyone’s spirits. Pick a favorite album or playlist and let loose. You can even set a timer so that when the music starts, it’s time to drop everything and dance!

Make Crayon-Scrap Candles

Don’t throw away those worn-down crayon nubs. Instead, follow a few simple steps to turn them into colorful candles. It’s a fun and creative way to repurpose old crayons.

Water Activities

Fill a plastic tub with water and LEGO Duplos. Give your child a strainer and let them fish out the LEGO pieces. Just be sure to only put in as much water as you’re willing to clean up!

Make a Fort

Building a fort out of cardboard boxes, pillows, blankets, or other materials can provide hours of entertainment for your child. Create a cozy spot with books, supportive pillows, and a favorite blanket. Your little one can relax and read inside the fort, giving you some time to get work done. The thought of a “secret” spot can be exciting and empowering for children, offering them a safe and peaceful place to hide and hangout.


Introduce your child to the art of origami. It’s a fun and unique activity that can keep them engaged for hours. Start with simple paper airplanes, and see who can fly them the farthest.

Make and Sculpt

Salt dough is a simple modeling dough made from ingredients you already have at home. It’s engaging, easy to make, and requires no glazes or kilns. Let your child’s creativity soar as they sculpt their own creations out of salt dough.

Learn a New Language

Take advantage of online language programs, such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone, available through your local library’s website. Listen to them while coloring or working on a puzzle. Alternatively, if someone in the family is fluent in another language, designate an hour each day for them to only speak that language to everyone else.

Gluing Project

Artwork is a great fine motor activity for kids. Cut out colorful butterflies or flowers from construction paper and show your child how to glue them onto a larger piece of paper. Encourage them to create a scene with the cut-outs and possibly incorporate other materials for a mixed media artwork.


With April Fools’ Day coming up, now is the perfect time to brainstorm some good-natured pranks to pull on each other. Whether it’s stuffing dad’s shoes with cotton balls, serving someone blue milk (thanks to food coloring!), or making the bed backward, let the laughter ensue.

Be a Florist

Collect branches, ferns, and a few blooms and arrange them in a pretty jar. Let your child unleash their creativity and create their own floral masterpiece.

Go for a Drive

If all else fails, going for a drive can still be a safe and enjoyable activity. Consider your child’s interests and plan a drive that incorporates something they love. Drive past a grassy area with cows for an animal lover or visit the police and fire stations to discuss different emergency vehicles.

Raid Your Closet for Tactile Fabrics

Create a collection of scarves with various textures and let your child explore the different tactile sensations. Show them how to wave the scarves overhead and twirl around. Keep the scarves in a basket within easy reach for ongoing sensory play.

Throw a Bath Party

Turn off the lights, toss in some glow sticks and bubble wands, and crank up the music. Transform bath time into a magical and fun experience.

Craft Collages from Family Photos and Old Magazines

Let your child cut up old magazines and family photos to create unique collages. Provide glue sticks and a sheet of cardboard for them to glue the pieces onto. Encourage them to let their imagination run wild and create something new.

Play Hide-and-Seek

Hide-and-seek is a classic game that can provide hours of entertainment. Even in a small space, kids can get creative and find hiding spots that you would have never thought of.


Challenge your kids’ brains with Sudoku puzzles. There are variations for all ages and skill levels, including alphabet and color Sudokus. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and sharpen their problem-solving skills.

Learn Some Magic Tricks

Master a few magic tricks and impress your kids. Whether you buy trick coins or cards from a magic shop or practice your own sleight of hand, magic tricks are a great way to spend time together and create a sense of wonder.

Rotate in Old Favorite Toys

Give your child an engaging play space by rotating in their old favorite toys. Following the Montessori approach, it’s recommended to put out 6-8 toys or collections at once. This helps foster a sense of order and allows them to focus on their play and build new skills. Rediscover those toys that have been tucked away and let your child engage with them with fresh eyes.

Go Outside

If there’s a park or wooded area nearby, take the opportunity to go outside and let your child run free. You can also set up an obstacle course using pinecones, sticks, and rocks, incorporating different body movements like jumping, hopping, crab walking, and sideways sliding.

Make a Toilet Paper Roll Craft

Save those empty toilet paper rolls and get creative. There are endless possibilities for crafts using toilet paper rolls, from binoculars to animals and more.

Tic Tac Toe

Spice up the classic game of tic tac toe by creating a custom board. Use wood and paint or search for objects to serve as X’s and O’s, such as rocks or pinecones.

Rummage the Closets for an Impromptu Fashion Show

Let your kids have their own fashion show by rummaging through your closets. Let them try on fancy dresses and heels, and watch them strut their stuff.

Rock a Family Band

Turn your home into a concert hall and create a family band. Get creative with instruments and use pots and spoons if you don’t have any musical instruments on hand.

Host a High Tea and Wear Fancy Outfits and Funny Hats

Let your kids dress up in their holiday best and host a high tea. Serve tea in proper pots and cut the crusts off cucumber sandwiches for an authentic experience.

Make a Yogurt Sundae Buffet

Create a spread of classic ice cream toppings like sprinkles, chocolate sauce, nuts, dried coconut, and anything else you have on hand. Let your kids top their creamy Greek yogurt and enjoy a delicious and healthy treat.

Let Them Flip Through Cookbooks and Pick a Recipe to Make Together

Encourage your kids to explore the world of cooking by letting them flip through cookbooks and choose a recipe to make together. It’s a great way to introduce new foods and get them involved in the kitchen.


Let your kids explore their creativity with decoupage. Provide them with scrap newspapers, magazines, safety scissors, and washable glue sticks. They can turn their projects into mixed media pieces by adding buttons, colored paint, glitter, stamps, and more.

Play a Board Game

Put away the screens and bring out the classic board games. From Candy Land to Sorry and Operation to Uno, there are tons of games to choose from that can provide hours of good old-fashioned fun for the whole family.

Karaoke Competition

Most children love singing along to their favorite tunes. Clear out the living room, create a “stage,” and have the kids take turns singing their favorite songs. If you don’t have a microphone, a hairbrush can work just fine.

Put on a Puppet Show

Encourage your kids to put on a puppet show at home. Help them create a script, make a cardboard box theater, and find old socks or brown bags to use as puppets. It’s a creative activity that allows them to express themselves and entertain others.

Indoor Garden

Bring the beauty of nature indoors by creating an indoor garden. Use miniature clay pots, mulch, and seeds to create a mini garden on a non-carpeted floor. Let your kids paint their own pots, choose their seeds, and make labeled plant markers for each flower and herb.

DIY Bowling

Create your own bowling alley at home using a few empty water bottles or other tall plastic containers. Set them up in a long hallway and use a ball of your choice. It’s a safe and fun activity that can be enjoyed indoors.

Spread Some Love

Encourage your kids to spread some love by writing cards or making gifts for relatives and friends. They can also create cards and crafts to send to nearby retirement centers, bringing joy to the residents.

Take a Family Bike Ride

If it’s safe to do so, go for a family bike ride. It’s a great way to be outdoors while practicing social distancing. You can even invite friends or neighbors to join, as long as everyone stays on their bikes and keeps pedaling.

Make Your Own Puzzles

Let your kids get creative by drawing colorful pictures on an entire page, then cutting them into large pieces with scissors. They can then challenge themselves or others to put the puzzle together once they are done with their work.

Play Simon Says

Get your kids moving with a game of Simon Says. It’s a fun way to get them active, especially on days when going outside isn’t ideal.

Do a Riddle Scavenger Hunt

Hide a collection of objects around the house and write riddles as clues for your kids to find them. For example, a rock hidden in the laundry basket could be described as “This is where your stinky socks snuggle up and go to sleep at the end of the day.” Give your kids a chance to hide items and write clues too.

Start a Pen Pal

Encourage your child to start a pen pal relationship with a relative, friend, or even a stranger. Writing letters or drawing pictures can be a fun and personal way to connect with others even when you can’t see them in person.


Teach your kids some simple yoga poses and start each day with a peaceful stretch. You don’t need a yoga mat to do this, and it can help set a positive and calm tone for the day. Check out online resources for kid-friendly yoga poses to get started.

Spring Cleaning

Turn cleaning into a fun activity by involving your child in decluttering and organizing a cluttered corner of the house or their room. Let them go through their belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard. This can be a great opportunity for them to take ownership and create a sense of order.

Make Up a Song

Encourage your child’s creativity by having them tell a story and turning it into lyrics for a song. Let them come up with the tune and see where their imagination takes them.

Hand Sew Something

If you have fabric scraps or old clothing, show your child how to hand sew simple projects like a felt heart. It’s a fun way to introduce them to sewing and unleash their creativity.

Jump on the Bed

Sometimes, it’s fun to make exceptions to everyday rules. Allow your kids to jump on the bed and enjoy some energetic playtime within the safety of their room.

Read a Longer Chapter Book to Them

Take the opportunity to read longer chapter books to your kids. Spend 30 minutes each day reading a chapter or two from a book that they might not be able to read on their own yet. It’s a great way to build their love for literature and explore new stories together.

Make Paper Flowers

Cut out paper flowers and place them in vases around the house. It’s a simple and creative way to bring some color and cheer to your home.

Write a Poem

Encourage your child’s rhyming skills by writing poems together. Start with short poems and let them fill in the rhyming blanks, Mad-Libs style. Challenge them to create their own poems and express their thoughts and emotions through words.

Get Baking

Baking is a fun and delicious activity that kids love to be a part of. Choose a recipe that you can make together, such as cookies or cupcakes. Let your child participate in measuring, mixing, and decorating. Not only will you have a tasty treat, but you’ll also create lasting memories.

Write Letters to Grandma and Grandpa

Support your child in creating heartfelt cards or drawings for grandparents and other loved ones. It’s a wonderful way to show them that they are remembered and bring a smile to their faces. You can also make cards for neighbors and drop them off on their doorstep during neighborhood walks.

Create a Treasure Hunt

Plan a treasure hunt for your kids throughout the house or backyard. Hide objects, prizes, and miniature candy bars, and create a map with clues to guide them. It’s a thrilling scavenger hunt that will bring excitement and adventure to their day.

Plant Something

Take the opportunity to start a small garden with your child. Snap peas are a great option as they grow quickly and are delicious. Let your child be involved in planting, caring for, and harvesting their own plants.

Turn Those Amazon Boxes Into Something Cool

Don’t throw away those empty Amazon boxes. Instead, encourage your child to piece them together and create something cool. They can make a long maze, a race track, a skyscraper, or anything else their imagination desires. Provide them with tape, glue, scissors, and paper to enhance their creativity.

Play Hair Salon

Let your child explore their hairstyling skills by playing hair salon. Provide them with a water spray bottle, a brush, and hair accessories like elastics, clips, and headbands. They can experiment with different hairstyles and have fun creating new looks.

Make Up a Play

Encourage your child to create characters and a storyline for their own play. They can practice acting it out with siblings, with puppets and stuffed animals, or even for you after you finish your work. It’s a fun and imaginative activity that allows them to express themselves.

Zone Out to Music

Give your kids some quiet time and let them listen to music. Share your favorite songs with them, and let them explore different genres and artists. It’s a wonderful way to introduce them to new music and create shared musical memories.

Start a Chore Chart

Make household chores more fun by creating a chore chart. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your child and let them take responsibility for completing them. Turn it into a game or offer rewards for a job well done.

Become an Activist

Find out what your child is passionate about and help them become an activist on a kid scale. Encourage them to get involved in activities that align with their interests, such as saving the planet or being kind to animals. Introduce them to other young people who are making a difference and inspire them to take action.

Create Chalk Art

Let your child unleash their creativity with sidewalk chalk. Hopscotch is a classic, but the beauty of chalk is that it can be easily washed off various surfaces. Encourage them to create colorful drawings and designs.

Make a Milk Carton Craft

Repurpose empty milk cartons by turning them into crafts. Rinse them out, let them dry, and use them for various projects. Whether it’s creating a maze, a race track, or a skyscraper, the possibilities are endless.

Make a List

Give your child a topic and have them create a list. It could be movies they want to watch, books they want to read, places they want to visit, or even things they want to update in their rooms. Let their imagination run wild as they debate and brainstorm in their journals.

Paint Little Finger and Toe Nails

Let your child express their creativity by painting their own nails. Non-toxic kiddie polish is easy to clean up, so let them have fun and experiment with different colors and designs.

Write a Book with Them

Encourage your child to tell a story and write it down. Help them turn their story into a book by thinking about which words would be on a page together and what pictures would go with each page. Let them illustrate the pages to bring their story to life.

Armchair Travel

If a planned trip was cancelled, bring the destination to life through an art project. Have your child draw the things you were expecting to see or do, and research the buildings, plants, and animals that are unique to that location. They can even build a scene using recycled materials to create a mini representation of the place.

Make a Rock and Stick Garden

Create a rock and stick garden by collecting rocks and sticks during your nature walks. Arrange them in a designated area to create a beautiful and natural garden.

Make a DIY Animal Charades Game

Let your child’s imagination soar by having them draw pictures of as many animals as they can think of. Cut them out into little squares and fold them. Place them in a bowl and play charades. This game works especially well for younger kids who can’t read yet but can act out animals.

Practice with a Rubik’s Cube

Teach your kids how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. There are books and online resources available to guide you through the steps. It’s a challenging puzzle that can provide hours of entertainment.

Browse Some Books

Take out a stack of books and let your child independently and quietly look through them. Kids need quiet downtime too, and this is a great opportunity for them to explore books and find ones they can read on their own.

Create Your Own Coloring Pages

Print out black and white photographs of friends, family members, or favorite memories and let your child color them in. They can bring these images to life with their own artistic touch.

Make Friendship Bracelets

Teach your child a few basic weaving and knotting techniques, and let them create their own friendship bracelets. They can pick out their own colored string and experiment with different patterns.

Draw or Paint a Self Portrait

Set up a mirror and let your child draw or paint their own self-portrait. It’s a creative and personal activity that allows them to express their individuality.

Do a Selfless Act

Encourage your child to perform selfless acts of kindness. It could be starting a free mini library, walking a neighbor’s dog, bringing in a neighbor’s trash can, or simply helping out a sibling or parent. Aim to have them do one selfless act each day and cultivate a sense of compassion and empathy.

Jump Rope

Get your child jumping with a jump rope. It’s a physical activity that takes a lot of energy and can be done in a relatively small space. You can come up with songs or movements to try. If you have a big living room and a couple of siblings, try double Dutch!

Teach Them a Hand Clapping Game from your Childhood

Introduce your child to hand clapping games from your childhood. From Miss Mary Mack to Patty Cake, there are various games suitable for different age groups. Let them practice with a sibling, stuffed animal, or even against a wall.

Play with Stickers

Stickers are a simple and engaging activity that can entertain kids for a long time. Provide them with a collection of stickers and let them get creative as they decorate notebooks, cards, or even their own artwork.

Start a Collection

Starting a collection can be a fun and nostalgic activity. Whether it’s collecting rubber stamps, coins, seashells, or painted rocks, find something your child is interested in and let them add to their collection. It’s a wonderful way to spark curiosity and foster a love for collecting.

Make Flarp

Making Flarp, also known as slime, from scratch is a gooey and sensory activity that the whole family can enjoy. Find a recipe online and create a tactile material that offers hours of ongoing play.

Play Jacks

Jacks is a classic low-tech game that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. It’s a great way to improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Camp In

If you’re not ready for a backyard campout, try camping in instead. Bring your sleeping bags to the living room, tell silly stories with a flashlight, and make s’mores in the fireplace or microwave.

Take Photographs

If you have an old camera lying around, teach your kids the basics of photography and set them loose. Let them explore their surroundings and capture their own unique perspectives. You can even print out the images and make a photo book.

Learn Solitaire

Teach your kids how to play solitaire. With over 150 variations to choose from, it’s a card game that can provide hours of entertainment and quiet concentration.

Have a Puzzle Marathon

Challenge your family to a puzzle marathon. See how many puzzles you can complete and leave them all out on the floor. It’s a great way to work together and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a puzzle.

Host a Soup Party

Throw a soup party for the kids. Set up a toppings station with various options like Annie’s bunny crackers, croutons, bacon bits, shredded cheese, and more. Let the kids customize their own soup bowls and enjoy a warm and delicious meal.

These are just a few of the many screen-free activities that you can try with your kids at home. Hopefully, this list has inspired you to get creative and have fun together. Remember, staying engaged and imaginative is possible without relying on screens. Get ready for endless laughter, creative exploration, and quality time spent with your little ones.

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