child plays with baking soda and vinegar


6 Out-Of-The-Box Activities That Will Make You And Your Kid Forget About Screens

Apr 29, 2019

My idea of a massive parenting win? Activities for kids that are not only simple to set up, but super fun and engaging for both of my little ones despite their five-year age gap. These kinds of activities are also perfect for family gatherings, play dates and parties when your house is filled with kiddos of all ages.  

Here are some of my very favourite screen-free activities that kids of all ages enjoy. Which do you think your kiddos would love most?

Giant Sticky Collage

An almost bird's-eye view of child working on wall art.

Have you set up a sticky wall for your kids before? If you haven’t, you must! The only specialty item you’ll need for this activity is contact paper, which is available at almost all dollar stores. And though it does take a little bit of setup, it’ll last all week long once up! Set out different crafty bits now and then, and watch your kiddos add to their masterpiece day after day.

Large Scale Art

Place mats with hand-drawn picture frames on table accompanied by paints.

This might be the simplest of all the activities, but kids love it. There’s something really fun and special about a really big drawing or painting surface!

Simply cover the floor or table with roll paper and set out some interesting art supplies — think chunky block crayons, bingo dabbers, paint and brushes, washi tape and dot stickers. Then let the kiddos at it. Sometimes I like to draw some quick picture frames on the roll paper to create some designated drawing areas and sometimes I leave it blank. Switch it up to keep the activity fun and fresh.

Fizzy Eruptions

Child with eye-dropper adding colour to plate.

This is one of my all-time favourite activities for kids! Not only is this activity incredibly simple to set up, it also requires only a few basic household materials. It doesn't matter if the kiddos are three or 10 years old, they all seem to truly love making colourful eruptions using vinegar and baking soda.

When this activity appears to be done, pour off the excess liquid and invite the kids to go for round two.

Be Sure To Also Check Out: Build An Adventure Day In The Box

Potion Making

A child injects her potion.

Which kiddo doesn’t love mixing and concocting and creating potions? Set out some vinegar, baking soda, shaving foam, colouring and sparkles or sequins on a tray along with several empty jars and let your kiddos begin brewing up their very own elixir! 

We love doing this one on a larger scale outdoors when the weather’s nice, but it works well indoors with a few set expectations and a good tray.

Making Squishy Soap

Child holds four colourful-looking balls of soap.

This is one of our very favourite play recipes! It’s like play dough and can be moulded and shaped and squished, but it’s also soap!! Yes, soap that can actually be used. The best part is that it only requires four ingredients and the process is so easy that kids can easily make their own.

While older kids aren’t always into play dough, I find that they love making their own squishy soap because they’re left with something that has an actual purpose.

Ice Excavation

A frozen block filled with glass beads and toys.

So this activity definitely requires the most prep time because it has to be kept in the freezer overnight, but it’s well worth the effort in my opinion. 

Ice excavation activities can be adapted to meet the interests of almost anyone, so if your kiddos love LEGO, create a LEGO ice excavation! Or if they’re ocean-lovers, create a frozen ocean animal rescue; or if they love vehicles, create an icy blizzard car rescue.

Once your ice block is ready, give your children some warm water, some salt and some tools. Rescuing the frozen toys really does require persistence and focus, but I find that this is easy for kids when they have friends or siblings working on it with them.

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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