technology free

50 things to do without technology and screens

Things to do these holidays without technology. Surely we don’t need a list? Well of course you don’t. However. I do hear over and over again that parents are complaining about the amount of time their kids are spending inside glued to the screens. I hear them lament years gone by when kids went outside and made their own fun. I hear them longing for days when kids never got bored. So I thought I’d provide a little reminder for all of us about the many, many other ways our kids can be entertained on the holidays. Or anytime really.

I want to say firstly that I love technology and the benefits it affords both myself and my kids. And my kids love technology too. And they will continue to use technology over the holidays. BUT. They need to have other ways to fill the days and the hours and the minutes. They need all the different elements of their little and increasingly bigger bodies and brains to keep developing.

Sometimes we need to push a little. Sometimes we need to push a lot. Sometimes we need to show the way and provide opportunities to steer them away from the technology for a while. It’s easy to see why kids don’t bother sometimes. Screens are easy, portable, require little effort but still provide enormous amounts of joy and entertainment. But kids also still love to play. They still love to get outside, be active, connect with real people and explore and create. We just need to give them a little nudge and remind them of the many ways to ensure a balanced life that is not ruled by the screens, the games and the technology.

These are not new or groundbreaking. They are just some examples of things you can have up your sleeve when the screens get put away for a while and the “I’m bored” starts to set in.

  1. Build a cubby house
  2. Make a billie cart
  3. Have some running races and handicap the runners based on ability to make for a closer race
  4. Bake something you’ve never made before
  5. Have a treasure hunt
  6. Perform a play or a scene from a favourite story
  7. Get out the craft box
  8. Create a chalkboard mural on a wall, fence  or driveway
  9. Take bikes to a park and have a picnic
  10. Go horseriding
  11. Find some fruit to pick
  12. Find a walking track you’ve never been on
  13. Take out a ‘proper’ camera and photograph nature
  14. Start a game of cricket with friends in the neighbourhood
  15. Find some rocks and paint some rock people
  16. Make mud pies
  17. Get some beads, shells, noodles and string and make some jewellery
  18. Kick a footy, soccer ball, backyard tennis, downball, shoot baskets
  19. Make a fairy garden
  20. Climb a tree (yes we can still do that stuff)
  21. Make a kite and fly it
  22. Go to a beach and collect shells or build a sandcastle
  23. Learn how to knit
  24. Ask an elderly neighbour if they have any chores they need doing
  25. Make a sock puppet (I have a million spare socks if you need some!)
  26. Play elastics (children of the 80’2
  27. Do a great big jigsaw
  28. Grab an instrument, write a song or learn your favourite tune
  29. Paper plane races
  30. Pick flowers, make a daisy chain, a flower crown or press flowers between books
  31. Write a poem
  32. Volunteer at an animal shelter or community service
  33. Learn to sew
  34. Plant a herb garden
  35. Play your favourite board game
  36. Choreograph a dance routine
  37. Make a terrarium
  38. Learn to surf or boogey board
  39. Grab wood, nails and hammer something
  40. Set up a beauty salon and give your mum a pedicure and foot massage
  41. Make pom poms
  42. Go fishing, real or with paper and magnets and paperclips
  43. Take the dog for a walk, or offer to walk a neighbours dog
  44. Write a letter to someone and post it
  45. Camp out in the back yard …..or the lounge room if weather not kind
  46. Learn to juggle
  47. Practise some card tricks
  48. Tie dye some clothing
  49. Clean your room….I know! crazy fun but super productive! 
  50. Clean the family car…..who said chores can’t be boredom busters!


Now of course some of these things require more effort than others. Some are suitable for different ages and some may not be entirely possible. But we need to remember that our kids only know what they know. And unless we help them find that balance and fill up their days with all sorts of different experiences, then we risk them moving in to territory where they rely on screens and technology to keep themselves occupied. And whilst we love our screens and our tech….we owe our kids the exposure and experience to many many more ways to beat the boredom.

What do you think your child would choose if you showed them this list and asked them to pick some things to fill in the time?

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Krystal

    It’s always good to be reminded of things we can do with our kids to get them away from their screens. My kids love their screen time but will also love to do some of the activities you have listed, I think they’ll enjoy doing it altogether the most!

  2. Hannah

    It is difficult to keep your kids occupied and off technology when you are not at home, I should know as I am a teenager but this has definitely inspired me to do something with my sister

  3. Cat lover

    This post has helped me . thank you

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