Through all that stress and instability, my parents both did something I really valued–they spent time with us, out and about, doing things. Not only that, they spent time with us in the house doing things together. We made a lot of memories and those family activities helped shape who I am today.
When my husband and I married, it was important to me that we continue making memories with our family. We’ve worked hard to connect with our kids through screen free activities. Now that two of our children have grown, and the other two are looking decidedly like men (and shaving!), I am so grateful we’ve spent time together free from technology for at least a little while…..
These screen free activities for families are all tested and approved by my four kids, or by another family. You’ll find links to both resources on Amazon and to helpful articles and instructions.
Make sure you download this free trips and vacations notebooking journal so your kids can record their screen free activities with your family!
Screen Free Activities for Your Family
- Read-aloud as a family. Start with When Lightning Struck!.
- Go on a rafting or canoe trip together. Be sure all the kids are wearing life vests!
- Make a midnight snack and find a lawn under the stars. See if you can identify any constellations.
- Play a card game together.
- Go camping as a family.
- Build a tree house or play house.
- Watch a sunset.
- Learn to cook a new meal as a family.
- Host a We Love Our Family Valentine’s Day celebration.
- Visit a nearby National Park or National Forest.
- Make a pie.
- Play catch.
- Go ice skating.
- Go spelunking. You’ll want to take warm clothes (Caves can be around 40 degrees inside.), water (no food or sugary drinks), sturdy hiking boots, headlamps for everyone, and maybe a rope. I recommend starting with gentler cave hikes for young children.
- Create a Family Thankful Tree.
- Go to the fair and check out the animals.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Visit a zoo.
- Feed the ducks.
- Pick your own fruit at a farm.
- Have a skit night.
- Play a board game together.
- Go bowling.
- Go through old family photo albums together and tell stories.
- Toss a Frisbee. Try Frisbee golf it’s available in your area.
- Visit a waterpark.
- Make a bird house and decorate it.
- Visit a farm.
- Play in the sprinkler.
- Set up a bocce ball game outside.
- Find a new ice cream shop.
- Have another family over for a pizza night or taco bar.
- Wake up early to witness the sunrise together.
- Head out on a nature scavenger hunt as a family.
- Go hiking.
- Volunteer to help another family.
- Go to the park.
- Go retro! Make a can and string telephone. See if you can understand each other.
- Listen to an audiobook together.
- Hold a LEGO Family Fun Night.
- Throw a football around.
- Visit a fishery.
- Build an igloo.
- Drive around to look at Christmas lights.
- Paint rocks and hide them for people to find.
- Head to the beach for the day (river, lake, or ocean).
- Go on an Amtrak train trip.
- Make s’mores over a fire pit.
- Visit a holiday bazaar.
- Drive over a long bridge.
- Build a campfire or bonfire.
- Visit a special garden, like a rose, Japanese, or Chinese garden.
- Play Bingo.
- Check out a science museum.
- Visit a firestation.
- Make cookies together.
- Go swimming.
- Turn out the lights and make shadow puppets with a flashlight.
- Start a family scrapbook and work on it together.
- Have a banana split bar.
- Go to a fireworks show.
- Play 20 Questions.
- Play percussion instruments together and have a family jam session.
- Visit a theme park.
- Go inline skating.
- Shoot some hoops.
- Decorate sugar cookies.
- Play croquet in your yard.
- Play a game of pool.
- Take a snow day with your kids. (Make sure you’re prepared in advance!)
- Visit an aquarium.
- Go for a drive and look at architectural styles, scenery, or people.
- Head to a sporting event. Make it an event by color-coding your clothing with your team’s uniforms.
- Go creeking.
- Ride bikes together–pull the littles in a trailer.
- Visit an art museum. children’s, or science museum.
- Catch crawdads.
- Fly a kite.
- Go on a daddy/daughter date or a mother/son date.
- Head out for a hike.
- Go to the zoo.
- Visit a historical site.
- Decorate a gingerbread house.
- Grow a garden together. Allow your children to choose some of the vegetables and to help tend them.
- Plan and go on a long road trip.
- Travel to some native peoples ruins. Talk about what it must have been like to live in the castle, adobe, cliff dwelling, or…
- Paint pumpkins together.
- Write something you like about someone in your family on a piece of paper. Put it on a poster. Repeat with a new person each week.
- Paint a mural in your child’s room.
- Scooter around your neighborhood.
- Make some creative markers for your vegetable garden.
- Play ping pong.
- Go to a children’s museum.
- Visit a bookstore together. Give your children a small budget to choose their own book.
- Go fishing.
- Do a Bible craft together.
- Go out for hot chocolate and let your kids share their hearts with you
- Take the kids to a concert. We’ve been to some that were free or that offered $10 tickets.
- Try a new kind of food (Lebanese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese…)
- Take a short road trip. Allow your kids to choose the destination or the route for fun.
- Work on a family handprint project.
- Play charades.
Now that you have some ideas, go make some memories!
Favorite Family Games
More Posts You’ll Love
Join the newsletter
Get the Family Prayer Box Project FREE!
Teach your children to pray with this fun project that includes 7 printable sets!
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.