101 alternatives to screen time

If you’re at home with the kids it can sometimes be difficult to keep them entertained without resorting too often to TV programmes and computer games. If you are worried about them having too much screen time (on TVs, tablets and gaming devices), one way to overcome this is to have lots of alternative ideas available for them to choose from.

A ‘boredom jar’ filled with suggestions can help with this, so I’ve put together below a list of 101 ideas that you can download here and then print off and cut out. You don’t need to include all the ideas, just the ones that your children might like, and you can also add more of your own, or let the children come up with some themselves . Every time you hear the words “I’m bored”, or want to get your child away from a screen, direct them to the jar!’ You can even get your kids to try and complete all of them by the end of the school holidays!

101 alternatives to screen time…
1.    Find a recipe and cook a meal together
2.    Do a science experiment
3.    Draw an alien
4.    Bake cakes or biscuits
5.    Copy a picture in a book
6.    Create a family flag or coat of arms
7.    Draw a dinosaur
8.    Draw an animal
9.    Make some homemade ice lollies
10.    Do gymnastics
11.    Draw your house
12.    Build something out of Lego
13.    Dance
14.    Do a puzzle
15.    Do brain teasers

16. Dress up
17.  Face painting
18. Find five toys to donate to charity
19. Draw a picture blindfolded

20. Find out five facts about a country
21. Make a musical instrument
22. Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet
23. Do some colouring in
24. Have an indoor picnic
25. Have a quiz
26. Do a good deed
27. Make a necklace out of dried pasta
28. Interview someone
29. Do some exercises
30. Make a healthy snack buffet
31. Invent a new language
32. Draw a family portrait
33. Invent your own board game
34. Find out five facts about an animal

35. Learn a magic trick
36.    Learn origami
37.    Make a present for someone
38.    Learn ten words in a different language
39.    Learn the words to a song
40.    Learn to juggle
41.   Play skipping games
42.    Make an obstacle course
43.    Look at old photos
44.    Make a card for someone
45.    Make a paper doll and clothes
46.    Organise your toys
47.    Make a sock puppet
48.    Paint a picture
49.    Make friendship bracelets
50.    Phone a relative
51.    Sew something

52. Make up a story using first line starters
53.    Make a treasure hunt
54.    Plan a trip or holiday
55.    Play a board game
56.    Play hide and seek
57.    Spelling quiz
58.    Play a card game
59.    Play a memory game
60.    Play a musical instrument
61.    Update your birthday wish list
62.    Play I Spy
63.    Water the plants
64.    Play with playdough
65.    Write a poem
66.    Make a collage
67.    Put together a time capsule
68.    Write a menu for your dream restaurant (or tonight’s dinner)

69.    Play schools
70.    Tidy your bedroom
71.    Play tag
72.    Play with a toy you haven’t played with in a while
73.    Press flowers
74.    Write a family newsletter
75.    Put on a sock puppet show
76.    Play with dolls
77.    Read a book
78.    Sort out a drawer
79.    Sort out your wardrobe
80.    Take photos
81.    Write a letter to a family member or a friend
82.    Play the alphabet game
83.    Write a play
84.    Write and illustrate a story book
85.    Junk modelling
86.    Make a picture with hama beads
87.    Cornflour play
88.    Pom pom making
89.    Make firework pictures using glitter glue on black paper
90.    Draw each other’s outlines while lying on lining paper and then decorate.
91.    Make a pretend shop with prices and toy money
92.    Set up a pretend café or restaurant
93.    Papier mache
94.    Paper chains
95.    Invent a martial art or sport
96.    Choose a country and plan a theme day with it’s traditions, foods etc.
97.    Learn to juggle
98.    Play a guessing game e.g. ‘who am I?’
99.    Decide on your house rules
100.    Play party games e.g. sleeping lions
101.    Guess the weight or length of different items and then check


With thanks to Janine from The Parent Fairy for this article



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