“Mom, I’m bored.” Who hasn’t heard that from their kiddo in the summer season?
Weekday or weekend, it’s no different: elementary school kid at home is equal to hearing “that” statement over and over and over…
As much as it is tempting to give these kids a screen to quiet them down for just a little bit, I urge all of us to resist the temptation and go do something outside (weather permitting).
These are my five favorite fun and easy screen-free summer activities for kids. Enjoy!
1. Head to your local library
Most if not all of the local libraries have a children’s section and lots of fun summer programs. These programs range from reading challenges and storytimes to STEM projects and more.
Local libraries also have wifi so as a working mom, you can take your laptop with you and watch your kiddo get lost in the educational toys and games while you catch up on whatever you need to catch up on.
This may not be a screen-free activity for you but it will be for your kiddo!
2. Go for a walk and…
Make a goal of learning about 3-5 new plants during your walk. It could be an interesting-looking weed with very pretty flowers (Colorado has tons of them), a beautiful rose bush or a plum tree.
Take pictures and jot down notes in a little notebook or record your audio as you come across these plants. Once you get home, have your kiddo research them online (well, here comes the screen but this is purposeful) and ideally add to the notes based on his or her learnings.
You can repeat this activity and focus on other living or nonliving things. Learning about birds, bugs, trees, types of siding, types of fences, are all great candidates for having a fun and easy screen-free summer activity with your kids.
3. Go Geocaching
Okay, so my son and I have recently gotten into this and we are obsessed. According to Geocaching.com, ”Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor adventure that is happening all the time, all around the world. To play, participants use the Geocaching app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered—there are probably even some near you right now.”
It is like doing a treasure hunt but a thousand times more fun. I guarantee that you will discover places near your own home that you never knew existed.
And I mean, fun, beautiful and often times quiet parks, trails, riverbanks, hikes, etc. Download the Geocaching app and let’s go.
And no, this does not count as screen time as there are no mindless games to play or infinite scrolling and swiping opportunities. Try it and let us know about your adventures.
4. Paint rocks and plant them in your neighborhood
Buy inexpensive acrylic paint from Amazon or Michaels and a few paintbrushes and you are in business. Let your and your child’s creativity flow.
Paint happy images and write motivational messages on these rocks. Then, go on a short walk and place these rocks in various locations.
They will make someone’s day, guaranteed. Additionally, this fun and easy screen-free activity will create a great memory for you and your child.
5. Plant something
Head to your local nursery or Home Depot and buy some seed packets. If you have leftover seed packets from your child’s birthday party, use those.
I am a big believer in planting bee-attracting seeds anywhere. So get some inexpensive native seed packets and go to town with your kiddo.
Spread those seeds anywhere that is appropriate; ideally in your own backyard or deck garden. If you are going to plant those on private property, be sure to ask for permission.
Be sure you plant those in locations where you can water them after planting. This will become a daily activity for you and your family to check on those seeds and enjoy seeing the growth process.
Final thoughts on fun & easy screen-free summer activities for kids
I have found that these little, simple activities are so much more fun than a day at the pool or an extravagant visit to the amusement park. These activities will make memories for you and your child, not to mention they will help your local community.