Screen-time has been a controversial topic in the field of education for years now. During this period of remote learning, students are spending a large amount of time on screens. In our classrooms, we try to minimize tech for tech’s sake, but how can we discourage overusing screens at home as well?
The EdTech Classroom Team has put together this list of 100 screen-free activities for kids during coronavirus quarantine. We’ve included everything from STEM and maker challenges to social emotional activities to ways to spend time outdoors (while practicing social distancing, of course!). We’ve also made sure that all activities on this list are free (if not very low cost).
Check out the list below. Please share it with your students, friends, family, and anyone and everyone who needs some extra support right now!
Design Thinking (1-10)
- Build a bridge using LEGOs.
- The year is 2570. Design a time machine to make it back to 2020.
- It’s Trashion Show time! Design a new outfit using only recyclable materials.
- Design your dream playground. Check out the free design thinking packet here.
- Did you know that sneakers aren’t super environmentally friendly? Design and build an Earth-friendly sneaker (Great for Earth Day!). Check out a free resource from PBS Kids here.
- You have been hired by an amusement park to design the most thrilling roller coaster of all time. Create your design and build a model using recyclable materials. Check out the free packet here.
- Design a robot that helps make the world a better place.
- Build the tallest tower possible using only uncooked spaghetti, a marshmallow, tape, and string.
- Invent a new sport. Build an arena for your team to play in.
- Design a mini-golf course, using a small ball (golf ball if you have it), a plastic cup, and a few obstacles. Can you make a hole-in-one?
DIY / Maker Activities (11-20)
- Make and decorate your own craft box.
- Make your own Play Doh. Here are some directions.
- Make your own sidewalk chalk. Check out directions here.
- Make some kite paper stars using tissue paper. Did you know that these are a symbol of hope? Here are some directions.
- Make a melted bead bowl. Not only is this a fun activity, but these bowls also make great decoration! Check out directions from PBS Kids here.
- Make an arcade game out of cardboard. Not sure what to make? How about a pinball machine?
- Make your own bookmarks. Add quotes from your favorite books.
- Make your own board game. What will the theme be? How many players does it need? What are the rules? How many rounds does it have? How do you win?
- Make your own catapult. What materials will you use? How will you test it? Check out this example lesson here.
- Make your own windsock. It looks beautiful in your yard or on your balcony, and you can learn about wind. Check out directions from PBS Kids here.
Brain Breaks (21-30)
- Do 5 jumping jacks, 4 lunges, 3 toe touches, 2 sit ups, and 1 tree pose.
- Pretend you are stirring a big pot of soup for 30 seconds. Now reverse your direction.
- Stretch your body really tall like a piece of uncooked spaghetti. Now curl up into a tiny ball. Do this five times.
- Pretend you are cooling a piece of pizza. Take a deep breath in and slowly release to cool it down.
- Close your eyes and just breathe for 60 seconds.
- Yoga time! Do yoga and stretch for 5 minutes.
- Pretend you are a crab, and crab-walk across the room. Next, gallop like a horse around the room. Now, pretend you are a dinosaur and move around the room.
- Pretend you are on a tightrope, walking across the room. Be careful!
- Wiggle your body for 1 minute.
- Play Simon Says with someone in your home. Take turns being “Simon.”
Outdoor / Backyard Activities (31-40)
- Put on a poetry picnic! Grab a blanket, a basket, your favorite stuffed animal, a book, and a snack. Have fun reading outdoors!
- Go on a nature walk. What do you see? Draw or paint a picture after your walk.
- Participate in the Rainbow Campaign. People around the world are coping with social distancing by spreading rainbow designs around their neighborhood. What will you create?
- At nighttime, go outside and stargaze. Can you name any constellations?
- Try to grow your own avocado plant. Follow the directions here.
- Go on a walk around your neighborhood. Count how many blocks you walk. Which directions did you go? North, south, east, west? Did you make a shape? Map out your walk after.
- Create some beautiful sidewalk chalk creations.
- Play a game, like tag!
- Play Red Light Green Light. This game is fun to play in the classroom, but it’s even more fun to play outdoors.
- Make your own version of hopscotch.
Physical and Mental Games (41-50)
- Play Keep It Up with a balloon. How long can you get the balloon to stay in the air without hitting the floor?
- Play water bottle bowling. Recycle plastic water bottles by creating your own bowling game. Can you roll a strike?
- Play 2 Square. If you don’t have a rubber ball, what else might you use? Check out directions here.
- Play Toilet Tag. Never played this game before? You can learn how to play here.
- Play Hide and Seek. This one is a classic!
- Play Bananagrams. This word game is a favorite for kids and adults of all ages. If you don’t own the game, try making your own tiles.
- Play What’s The Time Mr. Wolf? If you’ve never heard of this game, you can learn how to play it here.
- Play Freeze Tag. This game is a hit!
- Play a giant game of rock, paper, scissors. Add a new rule.
- Invent your own game using a small ball, a cup, and a paper plate. What else might you use? Be creative, and have fun!
Social Emotional Activities (51-60)
- Write Thank You letters to heroes in your local community. There are so many first responders helping during coronavirus. Here is a free activity for kids.
- Write a letter to loved ones (family, friends, and neighbors!). Mail it to them to make their day.
- Make your own stress ball. These stress balls are perfect to help you relax and get through a tough moment! Check out directions here.
- At the dinner table, share your “Peaks and Valleys,” or highs and lows, from the day.
- Draw your “rose, thorn, and bud” on a piece of paper. What was the best part of your day (rose)? What was a difficult part of your day (thorn)? What are you looking forward to (bud)?
- Practice journal-writing.
- Make a collage that describes what makes you unique.
- Come up with a list of strategies to help manage your emotions. Illustrate this list with fun colors!
- Play Emoji Charades. Act out a different emotion and see who can guess it. Don’t use any words!
- Design a meaningful and thoughtful gift for a friend.
Puzzle / Detective Games (61-70)
- Go on an indoor scavenger hunt. How many doorknobs do you have? Can you find something fluffy? Find something that has an on/off button.
- Do you want to learn how to be a spy? Create your own invisible ink. Learn how to make it here.
- Play “Detective” with your family. This game is both physical and mental, and it’s entertaining for everyone! Not sure how to play? Check out this link.
- Set up a “laser maze.” This is a fun spy training game. Tape a bunch of string to the walls like an obstacle course. Can you make it to the other side without touching the “lasers?”
- Create your own secret language. Challenge someone in your home to crack the code.
- Make your own binary bracelets.
- Use an ink pad to stamp your fingerprints on a piece of paper. How are your fingerprints different from someone else in your home?
- Try these free, printable mazes designed for kids.
- Check out these free, printable crossword puzzles for kids.
- Play Guess Who!
Performing Arts Activities (71-80)
- Write your own musical. Come up with creative costumes. Put on a performance.
- Create your own pots and pans band.
- Recreate The Three Little Pigs. Act out an alternate ending.
- Practice some tongue twisters. Try this one to start: She sells seashells by the seashore.
- Play “mirror” with someone in your home. Face each other, and see if you can mimic their movements like you are looking in the mirror.
- Put on a wacky hairstyle fashion show.
- Read your favorite picture book. Act out your favorite scene.
- Write your own lyrics to the tune of your favorite song.
- Make your own puppets and put on a puppet show.
- Create a choreographed dance to your favorite song.
Science Experiments (81-90)
- Try the classic Diet Coke and Mentos experiment.
- Test different objects to see if they float or sink.
- Put 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a bowl. Pour in some vinegar. What happens?
- Fill a glass with sparkling water or Sprite. Put in a handful of raisins. What happens?
- Place a pinch of salt on top of an ice cube. Put it in the fridge for 10 minutes. What happens?
- Put a chicken bone in some vinegar. Check back in 5 days. What happened?
- Plant some seeds and write observations down in a journal everyday.
- Create your own hot air balloon in a jar. Follow directions here.
- Make a parachute to safely carry an object to the ground.
- Make a tornado in a jar. Follow directions here.
Relaxation Activities (91-100)
- Hold smooth rocks in your hand and with each breath squeeze the rock slightly.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Try mindful walking.
- Do the downward dog yoga pose.
- Practice belly breathing.
- Take a mindfulness coloring break.
- Blow bubbles.
- Design your own fidget. Use it when you need to relax.
- Imagine you’re walking on the moon, weightless, with very little gravity.
- Listen to meditation music.