Keeping the kids entertained all Summer screen-free sounds easier until you’ve run through all your ideas in the first week of summer. Just a few days into my oath of keeping summer boredom free, and I’m running out of steam. Sound familiar? Then I realized: I don’t have to be the one to come up with the ideas or provide the entertainment. And also I don’t have to do the same kid-geared project alongside my two-year-old. As long as she has something to keep her focus, I’m free to do my own thing.
So here’s a short list I compiled of creative ways to keep kids entertained, screen-free.
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Cupcake Theme Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are any kind of sensory exploration play that is contained in a small bin or box. These are great for keeping kids entertained, screen-free! Roo can play in them for half an hour or more without interruptions.
They can be super simple, or have an elaborate theme geared towards your child’s interests. Usually, they have a filler such as sand, rice, or water. Then you had some toys that promote pretend play. Finally, you give them some tools. There are some sensory bin specific tools like these sold on Amazon, or you can simply prove a cup for pouring and a shovel for scooping.
One of R’s favorite fillers is cloud dough. Cloud dough is kind of like Kinetic Sand as it will hold its shape better than regular sand. But it isn’t as sticky as play dough.
Yesterday, I wanted to make cupcakes with R but it was over 100 degrees outside and I just couldn’t imagine turning on the oven for long enough to bake some. Instead, I made some vanilla scented cloud dough, then provided R with baking tools, and some small bowls of sprinkles.
Here’s a (taste safe) recipe for cupcake themed cloud dough:
4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable/coconut/olive oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
If I’m being honest, I definitely played cupcakes for awhile before heading off to my own project. This was super fun!
More Screen-Free Kid Entertainment Ideas
Local Library Story Time
Summer is the perfect time to check out Story time because many libraries have a Summer Reading Program. Roo and I both signed up as soon as registration began and earned our first prizes today!
Seriously, you get to sit while someone ELSE entertains your kids by singing and reading to your kid. How awesome is that?! Most local library branches have some sort of weekly story time for a variety of ages. If you’re lucky, they even do crafts and other projects.
Speaking of puzzles, they are great quiet activities to keep kids entertained! Roo was honestly not that great at puzzles at first, but after working the same few puzzles over and over again, she’s a pro. I find only offering help when asked is the best way to get R working towards solving a puzzle independently.
Visit the Museum
Museums aren’t always entertaining for kids. You can each sit down to doodle next to a favorite painting. Maybe there’s a garden or other closed in area to let them roam somewhat freely. Or maybe your local museum is like the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth! They have an entire “Studio” set up for small children. There are books galore, fun puzzle games, building blocks, colorful scarves, a giant felt board, and so much more. The room was off out of the way of the rest of the museum, so I didn’t have to worry about her wandering off while my attention was on my book. I literally had to drag R out when it was lunchtime.
Our local Science Museum has a Children’s Museum full of invitation to Role-Play stations like a baby hospital and grocery store! Check out the museums in your area and see what they have to offer.
Age Appropriate Crafts
I’ve been crafting alongside Roo now for almost two years. Here’s a list of her favorites so far!
Another option is subscribing to a kid’s craft box like Kiwi Crate.
I also love Two Pink Balloons’ felt activities.
Or we recently received this Alex Busy Box. It has 13 craft projects to choose from with all the supplies you’ll need.
Here’s a post about constructive boredom and some creative play ideas from Sanya at Raising Independent Kids
I hope you got some fresh ideas for something creative to do this Summer to keep the kids entertained. Even when you really don’t feel like it and need some SPACE, there are still screen-free options. Keep watching the blog for more ideas and sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss one!
Is there anything I missed? What’s something creative you do with your kids that is screen-free?