As the holidays come and go, your family may feel a little overwhelmed after rushing around from one get-together to the next. When it’s finally time to relax, the temptation to bury yourselves in electronics takes over.
In a technology-driven world, it’s common for both children and adults to be consumed by screens – from smartphones and tablets to televisions and computers.
Although technology aids in many aspects of life, it’s important to limit screen time or completely unplug when you need to bond as a family during the winter months.
Screen-Free Fun: 400 Activities for the Whole Family originated from a need to fuel families with creative ways to bond with each other. This book includes chapters focused on embracing your creativity, supporting your community, getting to know the great outdoors and riding out those road trips.
If you’re struggling with new ways to entertain the entire family, consider these screen-free activities from Screen-Free Fun.
Tech-Free Fun: Make Glittery Slime
You can easily make cool-looking slime that kids of all ages like to play with by mixing together just two inexpensive ingredients. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup glitter glue with 1 tablespoon liquid laundry detergent (any old kind will do). Use a spatula to mix well, adding more detergent as needed until the mixture no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Once the slime is ready, you can begin to stretch it, make shapes, or form glittery stick people. This solution doesn’t stain when it comes in contact with surfaces, so don’t worry about messing up your table or kitchen counter. Keep the slime stored at room temperature so you can break this out the next time the kids are bored.
From Chapter 1: Embrace Your Creativity
Tech-Free Fun: Create a Racetrack
If you’re finding Matchbox cars all over your home, take those little toys outside and create a racetrack to entertain your kids. You don’t need expensive equipment or huge plastic toy sets to host a car race when you have small cars and sidewalk chalk. After gathering up enough cars for each child, have your kids choose an area of the driveway for their racetrack. Using sidewalk chalk, draw solid lines to mark the straight lanes, preferably on an incline to gain speed. After the racetrack is drawn, host races with the Matchbox cars. Little ones can bend over and physically move each car down the road while older children can use remote control cars to navigate the track. Host a race or let your kids make up their own challenges. And, if you have snow on the ground, take advantage of the natural ramps and hurdles for the cars.
From Chapter 2: Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Tech-Free Fun: Decorate a Food Collection Bin
Many organizations host food drives and place bins in community centers and retail stores. Your children can attract more attention to their efforts by decorating these collection bins to encourage more donations. Before letting your kids’ artistic talents flourish, obtain permission from a nonprofit organization or pick up a bin to place in a store of your choice. Using colored construction paper or a roll of plastic tablecloth, have your children completely cover the bin. Tape the paper or plastic to the bin for a secure fit before decorating. Next, using markers, crayons, stickers, and glitter, add a festive look to the bin. Multiple children can decorate each side of the bin with their individual tastes or they can work together to color coordinate their art. If you have crepe paper, twist it around the opening of the food collection bin for additional flair. Once the colorful bin is ready, deliver it to the appropriate destination and watch as the donations pour in.
From Chapter 3: Support Your Community
Tech-Free Fun: Grocery Memory Math
Whether you need several bags of groceries or just a few, make the trip much more enjoyable by prompting your children to test their memories and their math skills. Grocery memory math is ideal for tweens who can do some rounding and mental math. All you need to do is shop while your children carefully observe the items you toss into the cart. Let each one see the items and the prices. They should keep a running tally of your total bill by rounding the prices (for example, rounding $2.99 to $3). Once you reach the checkout lane, have each child estimate the total cost of the groceries before tax is applied. The player closest to the price without going over the total wins. Be sure to restrict calculators from this game.
From Chapter 4: Put a Fun Twist on Local Travel
If you’re running out of space in your home, you can still enjoy some screen-free fun with the help of StorageMart. Offering a variety of spacious storage units to house excess clutter that gets in the way of your family spreading out for quality time and games, StorageMart can house your household items, furniture, family heirlooms and prized possessions.
Read part two of our series to see even more ways to enjoy the winter season without the use of too much technology.
The extra space is also perfect for screen-free activities that require more space than you have in your home. Check out StorageMart to maximize your screen-free fun this winter.