When I drop the “Today is going to be a screen-free day” bomb on my kids, one would think I said, “Today you will be getting liver and onions for lunch and pressing license plates in lieu of video games after school.” They complain and whine at first—such a tough life my 1st world kids lead—but he reality is our screen-free days end up being the most happy, argument-free, tease-free, but-I -had-it-first-free days of all.
The problem? I had no system, so if I have to take care of work, dinner or whatever, the BUT-THERE-IS-NOTHING-TO-DO-I’M-BORED bomb get dropped on me. So, like our routine charts, I created a Screen-Free Activity Chart. Because, let’s admit it, most of the time we ain’t Mary Poppins and giving the command “Go play” only works on TV shows.
- Play outside
- Ride (bike, scooter, Big Wheel, etc.)
- Chalk drawing
- Build: They can build with blocks, make a fairy city from boxes, use LEGOS, train tracks, car tracks, anything as long as they are building
- Craft or Paint
- Put on a show: This can be a puppet show, dance show, dress up fashion show, a cooking show with a play kitchen set, a circus, etc.
- Journal: Get your older kids writing. Little ones can keep a journal made of pictures they have drawn or images they cut up from catalogs as well.
- Listen to music
- Tents: This can be for the pre-made pop-out tents or the way we did this as kids, with blankets and safety pins
- Play Games
How the chart works:
First, print and cut out the circles from our printable download. TIP: Print out two sheets on different colored paper. Some of the activities will need adult help such as play games, cook or paint. Cut out activities that do not need adult help from one color paper the others from the other color. This way when you have children choose, you can designate one activity like, play games, for after dinner.
To make the circles last, laminate them with laminating sheets or cover both sides a 4″-5″ strip of clear packing tape and cut out.
Create your chart
- Using just tape: You can do something as simple as putting a small loop of duct tape on the back and line them up on the back of a door or wall. This works well if you have a small wall painted with chalkboard paint.
- Using clothespins: Tape or glue the circles to the top of a clothespin. Now they can clip to a ribbon or sting or the side of some poster board
- Using magnets: Glue the circles to magnets and use your refrigerator or magnet board for your chart
Put all of the activities on one side of your chart and create another side where they can place the activities they have picked. Use chalk or a letter magnet to mark the child’s side of the chart where they can place their activities.
Questions? Just Ask Holly in comments.
Looking to get more organized?
- Click here for our before school printable routine chart
- Click here for our after school printable routine chart
- Click here for our new additions to the charts.