Fun Activities: No Screens Necessary!

kids feet in white socks poking out of box

With schools across the country going back to remote learning as COVID-19 cases rise, it’s important to find some fun, off-screen activities for down time!


A school year unlike any other is changing yet again. Many districts are making the decision to go fully remote in an effort to keep kids and staff as safe as possible from the coronavirus. That means lots of time at home. And, as we’ve all learned over the past several months, families need to make some pretty significant adjustments to accommodate both learning from home and filling the off hours once spent doing extracurricular activities.

One way to make the days a bit easier is to balance remote learning with fun, off-screen projects done as a family. While yes, many parents are also trying to squeeze working hours in wherever they can, it can be nice for everyone to take a short break from school and work and do something fun together. Plus, lots of these activities are great for building independence.

Try some of these ideas to come together as a family as we all make our way through these fraught months.

Letter Writing

Family and friends near and far will love to get letters and drawings from kids. Also consider writing to people at a local retirement homes and hospitals, teachers and school staff, your favorite take-out restaurant. During a time when people are anxious and worried, getting a letter, card, or drawing in the mail goes a long way to lift spirits.

Indoor gardens

While the cold weather is settling in across the United States and outdoor gardening is no longer an option most places, you can put little green thumbs to work inside the house with container gardens. Bean plants, sprouts, amaryllis—there are a lot of indoor plants that thrive with care from kids.

Form a Band

No instruments? No problem! Music is a great glue for people who want to spend time together and you can make music with almost anything. Drums are everywhere, and guitars aren’t far behind—just cut a hole in a shoebox and wrap a few rubber bands around it and give it a pluck! You can find more music-making activities in our book 3-D Engineering: Design and Build Your Own Prototypes!

Fort Building

Not enough adults spend time in living room forts. Get the whole family in on the game and build a family-sized fort! Bonus: your kids are developing some very useful STEM skills as they figure out the best materials and blueprints to use.

Cook Around the World

Even though we can’t really travel right now, we can use imaginations to visit places all around the world. Have your children choose a recipe from a region of their choice and together make the dish. Depending on their age, this might be a cooking-free evening for the adults in the house. Encourage them to learn about the food and region they chose so you can all share some fun facts as you eat.

Do Some Science

Because science is always fun, even after school hours! Need some project ideas? Check out our page of printables – science fun for ages 5 to 15.


Need more activities?

Try some hands-on science that kids love! The activities in this free ebook are designed for independent learning no matter where school is taking place.

Winter Science: A Guide for Home and Classroom

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