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Self Care

39 Screen-Free Activities To Do At Home

Curb your technology addiction and allow yourself to find some connection.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

The term “screen time” and the search for “screen-free activities” is something that has become an increasing topic of conversation in recent years. With the rise of technology and its integration into our daily lives, it can be difficult to disconnect and find activities that do not involve screens. So in today’s digital age, it’s become increasingly critical to find the balance between screen time and engaging in activities that foster creativity, physical health, and interpersonal connections.

With all our gadgets, it’s easy to get an almost accurate log of your screen time, especially on your cellphone.  From endless Zoom meetings (both personal and professional) and scrolling on social media — your screen time quickly adds up.  Plus, keep in mind; that this does not include the actual work you have to do on your computer, watching TV, or reading ebooks. So if you would like to include rituals and activities that are productive and perfect for those slower days spent indoors, here are some screen-free activities to do at home that can curb your technology addiction and allow you to find some connections.

In this article you will find a list of screen-free activities to enjoy at home, perfect for anyone seeking to reduce gadget usage and reconnect with each other away from the digital world. So whether you’re an adult looking to unwind or a parent seeking to keep children entertained, these activities offer a healthy and enjoyable alternative to the ubiquitous screens in our lives.

What are screen free activities?

Screen-free activities are pursuits that one can engage in without the need for electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, televisions, or tablets. These activities promote conscious disconnection from the digital world, encouraging physical movement, stimulating creativity, and fostering face-to-face social interactions. Examples of such activities include reading physical books, playing board games, doing puzzles, engaging in outdoor sports, or exploring the arts through painting or playing a musical instrument. Screen-free activities offer a refreshing break from the digital world, enhancing our overall wellbeing and allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and those around us.

How to do a screen free day?

Embarking on a screen-free day may appear daunting at first, but with a bit of planning, it can be an enriching and rejuvenating experience. Here’s how you can go about it:

  1. Planning Ahead – Set out a clear plan for the day. List down the activities you want to do, making sure they’re varied to keep the day interesting. Planning meals or snacks in advance can also help prevent resorting to digital devices out of boredom.
  2. Inform Others – Let people know you’ll be having a screen-free day. This will help manage expectations, especially if they’re used to reaching you via digital channels.
  3. Create a Relaxing Environment – Make sure your environment is conducive to a screen-free day. This might mean cleaning up your space, preparing art supplies, setting out board games, or gathering books you’ve been meaning to read.
  4. Engage in Physical Activities – Physical activities such as going for a walk, doing yoga, or even simple stretches can make your screen-free day more fulfilling. They can serve as a break between more sedentary activities and help you stay energized.
  5. Stay Hydrated and Nourished – Regular meals, healthy snacks, and plenty of water will keep your energy levels steady. Remember, sometimes we resort to screens when we’re actually just hungry or dehydrated!
  6. Embrace the Quiet Moments – There might be moments during the day when you’re not doing anything. That’s okay. Use these moments to meditate or simply enjoy the quiet.
  7. Reflect on the Day – At the end of the day, take time to reflect. What did you enjoy? What did you learn? This is also a good time to journal about your experiences.

Remember, the goal isn’t to be busy every moment of the day, but to engage in meaningful, rewarding activities that allow you to disconnect and recharge.

List of Screen-Free Activities To Do At Home for the Family

39 Screen-Free Activities To Do At Home

Now that we understand the importance of screen-free time, let’s explore some screen-free activities you can do by yourself, with your children, and together with your family at home. Here are some ideas to get you started:

19 SCREEN FREE ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO BY YOURSELF

  1. Journaling: Reflect on your thoughts and feelings through writing.
  2. Coloring or Doodling: A simple yet calming activity that can help you unwind.
  3. Meditation: Take a few minutes to practice mindfulness and focus on the present moment.
  4. Physical Exercise: Whether it’s yoga, running, or strength training, make time for physical activity.
  5. Crafts: Get creative and make something with your hands, such as knitting, painting, or jewelry making.
  6. Reading: Lose yourself in a good book and let your imagination run wild.
  7. Cooking/Baking Experimentation: Try out new recipes or create your own dishes without following a screen.
  8. Gardening: Spend time in your garden, whether it’s tending to plants or simply enjoying the outdoors.
  9. Writing: Let your thoughts flow through writing, whether it’s fiction, poetry, or journaling.
  10. Puzzles and Brain Teasers: Challenge your mind with puzzles, crosswords, sudoku, or other brain teasers.
  11. Explore Your City: Go on a solo adventure and discover new places in your city.
  12. Learn a New Skill: Take an online course or teach yourself something new, like a language or instrument.
  13. Nap: Catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation.
  14. Practice Mindful Breathing: Spend a few minutes focusing on your breath and calming your mind.
  15. Listen to Music: Put on some music and let yourself get lost in the melodies.
  16. Collecting: Start a collection of something that interests you, whether it’s stamps, coins, or rocks.
  17. Volunteer: Give back to your community by volunteering at a local organization or event.
  18. Go on a Walk: Take a stroll around your neighborhood or a nearby park and enjoy the fresh air.
  19. Plan Out Your Goals: Use pen and paper to create a plan for achieving your goals and dreams.

SCREEN-FREE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN

  1. Arts and Crafts: Let your little ones get creative with paint, glue, and other art supplies.
  2. Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items for your child to find around the house or in the backyard.
  3. Indoor/Outdoor Obstacle Course: Use household items to create a fun and active obstacle course.
  4. Baking/Cooking Together: Involve your child in the kitchen and teach them new skills while making delicious treats.
  5. Build a Fort: Gather blankets, pillows, and other materials to build a fort together.
  6. Board Games/Card Games: Have some friendly competition with classic board games or card games.
  7. Read Aloud: Choose a book to read aloud together and take turns reading out loud.
  8. Nature Walk/Scavenger Hunt: Take a walk outside and try to find different types of plants, animals, or objects on a scavenger hunt list.
  9. Dance Party: Turn up the music and have a dance party in your living room.
  10. DIY Science Experiments: Use household items to conduct fun and educational science experiments together.

SCREEN-FREE ACTIVITIES TO DO AS A FAMILY

  1. Game Night: Have a family game night with a variety of board games, card games, or even video games.
  2. Cooking/Baking Together: Prepare and enjoy a meal as a family, with each person responsible for different tasks.
  3. Outdoor Picnic: Pack a picnic and enjoy it together in your backyard or at a nearby park.
  4. Hiking: Go on a family hike and enjoy the outdoors together.
  5. Volunteer Together: Find local volunteer opportunities and give back to your community as a family.
  6. Family Book Club: Choose a book to read as a family and discuss it together.
  7. Arts and Crafts Day: Spend time creating art projects together, whether it’s painting, drawing, or making collages.
  8. Explore a New Place: Take a day trip to a nearby town or attraction and explore together as a family.
  9. Family Yoga/Workout: Engage in physical activity together through a family yoga or workout session.
  10. Theater Night: Put on a play or musical at home, with each family member taking on different roles.

Why Screen-Free Activities Are Important

Before we dive into some specific ideas, let’s first discuss why screen-free activities are important, especially in today’s digital age. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Promotes Mental and Emotional Well-Being: Constant screen time can take a toll on our mental and emotional health by increasing stress and anxiety. Taking breaks from screens allows us to recharge and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment.
  2. Encourages Creativity and Imagination: Screens can limit our imagination by constantly providing us with visuals and information. Engaging in screen-free activities, especially creative ones, allows our minds to freely explore and create.
  3. Strengthens Relationships: Spending too much time on screens can harm our relationships with loved ones. Screen-free activities allow us to connect with others on a deeper level and create meaningful memories.
  4. Promotes Physical Activity: Too much screen time is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, which can have negative effects on our physical health. Screen-free activities such as outdoor play or sports can keep us physically active and healthy.
  5. Reduces Dependence on Technology: In today’s digital world, it’s essential to find a balance between technology and real-life experiences. Screen-free activities help us disconnect from screens and focus on the present moment.

Incorporating screen-free activities into our lives, both at home and in our leisure time, can have a positive impact on our overall well-being. So next time you’re tempted to reach for a screen, consider trying one of these activities instead!

What are some hobbies to get off screen?

Exploring hobbies that don’t involve screens can be an exciting way to diversify your leisure time and learn new skills. Here are some hobbies that could help you reduce your screen time:

  1. Photography: Discover the joy of capturing moments and landscapes, and learn techniques to improve your skills. Start with whatever camera you have, even if it’s just your phone.
  2. Reading: Dive into the world of literature. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or graphic novels, reading can transport you to different worlds and broaden your perspective.
  3. Drawing and Painting: Express yourself through art. It’s a therapeutic activity that can help you relax and explore your creativity.
  4. Learning an Instrument: Whether it’s the guitar, piano, or even your voice, learning to play an instrument can be both challenging and rewarding.
  5. Hiking: Get in touch with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking offers both physical exercise and the opportunity to explore new places.
  6. Cooking or Baking: Expand your culinary skills and discover new recipes. It’s a practical hobby that results in delicious outcomes.
  7. Gardening: Cultivate your green thumb. Gardening can be a calming activity and it’s rewarding to see your plants grow over time.
  8. Knitting or Crocheting: Creating your own garments or accessories can be a fun and relaxing pastime.
  9. Meditation and Yoga: These practices promote mental and physical health, helping you stay centered and balanced.
  10. Writing: Whether it’s journaling, writing stories, or poetry, writing is an excellent way to express yourself and explore your thoughts.

Remember, the key to a fulfilling hobby is to choose something that truly interests you. It’s not about being perfect or productive all the time, but about enjoying the process and learning along the way.

What to do when there is no screen time?

When there is no screen time, there are plenty of enriching and enjoyable activities to engage in. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Reading – Pick up a physical book and lose yourself in a different world. It’s a great way to relax and expand your knowledge.
  2. Board Games – These are not just for kids. Games like Scrabble, Chess, or Monopoly can be a great way to bond with family or friends.
  3. Exercise – Whether it’s a home workout, yoga, or just a walk around the block, physical activity is good for your health and mood.
  4. Cooking/Baking – This can be both a creative outlet and a practical skill. Plus, you get to eat something delicious at the end.
  5. Arts and Crafts – Drawing, painting, knitting, or making jewelry can be therapeutic and rewarding.
  6. Gardening – If you have a backyard or even just a few pots on a windowsill, gardening can be very satisfying.
  7. Writing – Journaling, writing letters, or even starting on that novel you’ve always wanted to write.
  8. Learning a new skill – This could be anything from playing a musical instrument to learning a new language.

Remember, the aim here is not just to fill time, but to engage in activities that are rewarding and aid in personal growth. Screen-free time can be a gift, offering you the opportunity to explore interests and hobbies, foster connections with loved ones, and take a break from the constant inflow of digital information.

How do you entertain a child without a screen?

Entertaining a child without a screen can be a joyful, engaging experience that both encourages their creativity and strengthens your connection with them. Here are some screen-free ideas for kids:

  1. Storytelling: Engage your child in the timeless art of storytelling. You can read from their favorite book, or better yet, create a new story together. It enhances their imagination and listening skills.
  2. Creative Play: Whether it’s building with blocks, creating a pretend-play scenario, or crafting with play dough, creative play is a great way to keep kids entertained and promote their cognitive development.
  3. Outdoor Adventures: Take your child on a nature walk, play catch in the backyard, or organize a scavenger hunt. These activities provide not only fun but also physical exercise.
  4. Arts and Crafts: Encourage your child’s artistic side with some painting, drawing, or crafting. This not only keeps them busy but also fosters creativity and fine motor skills.
  5. Music and Dance: Turn on some music and have a dance party, or engage your child in learning a musical instrument. It’s a fun way to develop their rhythm and coordination.
  6. Cooking Together: Simple recipes, or even just pretend cooking, can be a lot of fun for kids. Plus, it’s a great way to teach them about different foods and the importance of nutrition.
  7. Board Games and Puzzles: These are excellent for keeping kids entertained while also teaching them about rules, strategy, and problem-solving.
  8. Gardening: If you have space, involve your child in planting seeds or watering plants. It’s a unique way to teach them about nature and responsibility.

Remember, the key is to be present and engaged during these activities. This not only makes the activities more enjoyable for your child but also strengthens your bond with them. Screen-free time with kids is not just about keeping them occupied, but also about spending quality time and creating lasting memories.

What do you think about these screen-free activities?

Do you have a favorite screen-free activity?  Are you planning to try something new? Please share with us in the comments!

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List of Screen-Free Activities To Do At Home for the Family

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  1. Caryl Fletcher says:

    My favorite screen-free activity is diamond painting, which I just started doing in July 2020. It is relaxing and I always listen to an audiobook while I am doing it.

    • Victoria Wood says:

      Painting is an excellent screen-free activity, and pairing it with an audiobook is a bonus. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Suzi Bales says:

    Thank you for bringing these to my attention. Sincerely. Suzi Bales

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