We have no shortage of educational apps and websites these days, which is great! But if you’re like me and you don’t want your kids sitting in front of a screen all day, here are 10 simple screen-free educational activities that will engage their brains without apps, videos, or websites.
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From the time schools started shutting down during this Coronavirus pandemic, online educational learning opportunities started coming out of the woodwork. We have no shortage of apps and websites for our kids to use and videos for them to watch.
And I love it! I love seeing the generosity and creativity people have shown to make sure kids are still learning and growing during this time. (And boy, is it helpful as a parent!)
We’ve had a blast exploring different sites for reading, math, science, history, art, and even PE! We are definitely not lacking in fun, educational opportunities while we’re homebound.
But… I don’t want my kids sitting in front of a screen all day. Even if what they’re watching is educational. There are too many ill effects from that much screen time.
(I highly recommend reading the eye-opening book, Growing Up Social by Arlene Pellicane and Gary Chapman if you want to learn more.)
So, how can we get our kids to engage their brains and help them learn without apps, videos, or websites?
We go back to the basics. Do it the old-fashioned way.
Here are 10 simple, but effective, screen-free ways to keep your kids’ brains growing while they’re home from school.
10 Screen-Free Educational Activities
The best thing you can do is to keep them reading! Not only will it help keep their reading skills sharp, but regular reading has MANY great benefits, including building analytical skills, expanding vocabularies, and improving focus and concentration.
Plus, you can read books on just about any topic, which means you can kill two (subject) birds with one stone! *thumbs up*
Learning doesn’t have to be formal or high-tech to count (in fact, it’s often better when it’s not!). Grab some LEGOs, K’NEX, Magnet tiles, or some of these STEM building sets and let them go to town!
Building sharpens logic and reasoning skills, enhances creativity, develops problem-solving skills, and builds focus and patience. Plus, it’s fun!
For older kids, check out this list for some awesome DIY engineering projects you can do at home!
Playing board games
Board games aren’t just fun and games — they’re brain-building, too! Not only will they lead to some wonderful family bonding, they also help your kids learn how to follow directions, juggle multiple tasks at once, solve problems, and think logically. They also help develop specific skill sets depending on the goal of the game.
Here are some fun brain-boosting games: Monopoly, Boggle, Wordplay, Proof!, Sequence, Bananagrams, Continent Race
As with reading, the best way to keep your kids’ writing skills sharp is… to write! Have your kids keep a writing journal during this time and write every day. You could give them creative writing prompts or simply let them free write. You might also consider having them write letters to friends, relatives, or neighbors.
Exercise their brains with some memory work. Have them memorize Bible verses, short poems, facts in a subject area that interests them, or geographic locations.
Fortunately, we live in the age of Google, and there are gobs of educational worksheets available online. (No kid wants to do worksheets all day, though, so make sure you mix it up with some of the other activities on this list!)
Puzzles are soooo good for brain-building. And they’re great for building kids’ self-esteem, too. Choose from a variety of different types of puzzles, including jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, logic puzzles, and more!
There’s a lot to learn from the great outdoors. Not only is the exercise good for your kids’ brains (and bodies!), but it’s ripe with educational opportunities. The nature found in your very own backyard can be turned into a science lesson, or you could have your kids write, sketch, or photograph what they see!
Turn everyday household management tasks into home economics lessons. Have them come alongside you as you cook a meal, plan your menu, set your budget, plant a garden, or tackle a home improvement project. Depending on their age, you might even assign them their own meal/budget/project. (By the way, this has the added benefit of working yourself out of a job. Win-win!)
Now is the perfect opportunity to work on some non-academic life skills. Depending on the age of your kids, this could be anything from tying their shoes (I tackled this one with my kindergartner!) to changing a tire to investing money. It’s never too late or too early to start teaching them skills they’ll need for the rest of their lives.
SHARE WITH US: What are some of YOUR favorite screen-free educational activities? Share them in the comments below!
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