Social Distancing? 10 Screen-Free Ways to Keep Kids Entertained at Home

No charging required.

By Anne Campbell
kitchen counter, kids, breakfast

Parents, raise your hands if your spring break plans were foiled, school cancellations were announced and the mantra of social distancing created unprecedented challenges.  Yep, me too.

When we made the tough decision to cancel our spring break family reunion trip to New Orleans and instead, to self-quarantine, my knee-jerk reaction was to allow my three kids to turn on and tune out, while I consumed unhealthy amounts of anxiety-inducing Coronavirus news updates from the other room.

Today, I face the reality that over the next week – or possibly several – at home, I know I must do better. Here’s what I’ll be picking up in my next Target run after the novelty of hide-and-seek, backyard picnics, neighborhood walks, family dance parties and Star Wars marathons has worn off.

Easy as Uno, Dos, Tres

Uno: A fun way to keep your kids entertained while also working on math skills and number recognition. Up to four players.

Liven up the Conversation

Weary of incessant COVID-19 talk? These conversation starter cards for families can help.

Cards Anyone?

Between a game of solitaire for one, Go Fish and Concentration, a deck of cards is great to have on hand. This may be the week that I finally teach my kids my old childhood fave, Spite and Malice.

Royal Amusement

My girls learned Sleeping Queens last school year and they entertained themselves with it all summer long. Accommodates up to five players.

Mad for Mad Libs

A hilarious way to pass the time, and there are options for everyone – from superhero fanatics to cat lovers.

Healthy kids school lunch

Tickle their Funny Bone

This joke book for kids is just what we all need right now – a little laughter.

Stix and Stones

Even my ten-year-old daughter loves Wikki Stix. Insider tip – store in a cool place so they don’t end up a melted mess between your couch cushions.

Reuse, Reduce…

Another great option is are Melissa and Doug reusable sticker pads. My girls enjoy playing interior designer and creating beautiful spaces, all with stickers that can be used over and over again.

Haiku, You-ku

Ever considered a family haiku contest? It can be silly or serious, depending on the family mood.

Cook Up a Storm

The kids are taking turns looking through their kids cookbook and selecting recipes they can make this week… we’ll substitute where we can using ingredients we already have in our refrigerator and pantry.

The next few weeks will be challenging for all of us, that’s for sure, but they could also become some of our greatest, most cherished family memories if we handle it right.