Family Life


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5 Fun, Easy and Screen-Free Indoor Activities for Families

Parent dances happily with children, budget-friendly and screen-free

Staying indoors doesn’t always have to mean reaching for a screen. These five fun, budget-friendly and screen-free indoor activities are all great ways to bond. 

Whether it be phones, video games or TV, screen time has become the norm for downtime. While the occasional movie can be fun for your family, what about some good old-fashioned indoor activities screen-free?

There are plenty of ways to spend time together without even needing to leave the house. If you’re looking to reconnect with your kids without technology getting in the way, read on for fun, family-friendly indoor activities that are budget-friendly and screen-free:

1. Host an Open Mic Night

A great alternative to the classic family game night is an open mic night where family members show off their singing, joke-telling, poetry, magic tricks, or anything else they wish to perform in front of a supportive audience. Open mic with the family is an excellent opportunity for kids to flex their creative muscles and make something original to share.

Open mics can also promote exploring their curiosities and make them more comfortable with new experiences. Kids who love to belt tunes can sing their favourite songs. Someone else can juggle, read a story, or play an instrument. Let their personal talents shine, and don’t hold back with yours, either!

2. Hand-Dye Napkins and Placemats

Like tie-dying and other crafts, hand-dying can be fun for the whole family. Even if your kids are “too old” for arts and crafts, they can still enjoy picking fun colours to dye cloth napkins or placements. Each person can design their own, and you can use them at the dinner table every night.

Start by cutting your fabric to the appropriate size, soak it in water and then wring it out. You want to begin applying your dye at the bottom and work your way up the material. You can personalize your hand-dyed items however you want, like creating an ombre effect by adding water to lighten the colours as you paint.

3. Play Dress-Up

Playing dress-up isn’t just for kids! Rummage through everyone’s closets for clothes, shoes, costume jewellery, ties, scarves and purses to put together ensembles for a fashion show. Depending on how many kids are in your family, why not create a runway somewhere in your home or backyard?

You and the kids make the rules here, so you can customize this idea as much as you want. Challenge each other to pick from another person’s closet or set a theme for your outfits—bonus points if you can raid Grandma’s house. Even the dog can participate if you have pup-appropriate accessories.

4. Make Ice Pops

Get crafty in the kitchen with your family and make ice pops as a fun DIY treat. The options are endless. You can layer them with fruit slices, add food colouring, dip them in chocolate or mix in nut butter.

Younger children will love mixing the vivid colours and tasting these delicious treats, while older kids will likely enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. Most popsicle recipes take time to set since layers need to freeze individually, which adds a bonus lesson for kids: patience.

5. Start a Family Scrapbook

How fun is it to go through family photos? Scrapbooking helps you organize loose pics into themes: celebrations, vacations, sporting events, or anything special your family experienced together. The process can be as simple or as detailed as you want. No matter what, having the whole family pitch in will make your creations even more meaningful.

It’s easy to source scrapbook kits with paper, stickers and more to get started. Once complete, you’ll have an album everyone can enjoy looking through, and you’ll remember the fun you had making it together as a family.

You don’t need to go out or spend a lot to have some quality time together as a family. Try one of these fun activities at home to be budget-friendly and screen-free, and enjoy one another’s company.

A version of this article was originally published in March 2023.

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