50 screen-free activities for kids to do over summer break, indoors and out (#20 - #29) Post 3 of 5.


This is a series of 5 posts. We will post each Monday in August.


20. Have an indoor dance party. Alexa will play most any song you ask her to, so pick an upbeat one and dance your tush off right in the kitchen. Or, play Jeopardy or 20 questions or any of the other fun skills Alexa knows.

Of course you don’t need Alexa for a dance party; just a good playlist! Spotify Free has tons of them, as does Apple Music if you are a subscriber.


21. Choose a random act of kindness. Mail a real letter to a sibling or cousin at camp (or a grandparent, hint hint), start a free mini library, walk an elderly neighbor’s dog, bring in a neighbor’s trash can, or complete any of our ideas for random acts of kindness for kids.

22. Decorate lunch bags for Meals on Wheels. This was one of my favorite ideas for kids in Georgette’s post on ways to give back all year long with your family, and it’s a great summer activity for kids. They can design and save their bags throughout the summer, then deliver them all with a huge smile to a local Meals on Wheels or food pantry at the end of the summer.

23. Get a job. Okay, so my 8-year-old isn’t going to start pouring Flat Whites at Starbucks, but he’s very keen to make some money this summer. He’s offered to wash the neighbor’s car, walk another neighbor’s dog, and baby-sit for his younger sister (while I’m working from home in the next room).

These above-and-beyond chores are great ways for kids to earn a little cash and learn more responsibility, too.

24. Stickers. Need I say more? I never leave home without a few sheets of stickers in my bag to distract my youngest at restaurants, and when we’re at home I can sit her in her high chair for a solid 30-45 minutes and let her play with stickers. See also: literally any other craft supply.

25. Start a collection. Speaking of stickers, starting and maintaining a collection is such a throw-back, old school tradition, but even our modern tech-loving kids seem to get into it.

If you had a collection as a kid, pass it down to your kids and let them continue it (that’s how my own kid-collection started). Or, just find something they like and let them add to it — rubber stamps, unicorns, stickers, cool enamel pins, seashells, painted rocks, you name it.

26.Get crafty So many ideas, whether you’re getting out the glitter glue, building with clay or Play-Doh, dusting off your rainbow loom, or my pick, making creative lanyards. These are a summer-camp classic! Once your kids get the hang of it, they’ll be hooked.

27. Start a lemonade stand or other business. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of setting up shop with a lemonade stand. Give your kids some realistic expectations, help them price their drinks appropriately (looking at you, neighbor kid selling cups for $5 each), and make them pay you back for their starter supplies.

They’ll learn a great lesson in business management while they’re outside having fun — and maybe they can even raise money for a favorite cause.

But don’t stop at lemonade. A few entrepreneurial teens in my own neighborhood have recently started selling baked goods and homemade popsicles at our neighborhood pool at snack time. They’re enjoying being creative in the kitchen, and they’re making some serious money from all the hungry kids at the pool.

28. Make slime. While you may want to put the Great Slime Craze of 2017 behind you, your kids will probably still find it lots of fun. We have tons of safe, borax-free slime recipes your kids can use including 4 DIY Star Wars themed slime recipes, and even one for star-spangled slime!

29. Volunteer. Find out what your kids’ passions are, and look for opportunities to volunteer there. My kids volunteered as “buddies” at a day camp for kids with special needs this summer. Christina’s kids walked rescue dogs at the local SPCA.

Liz’s kids have called and written letters to congress about issues that matter to them. My neighbor’s daughter is reshelving books at the library this summer. Ask around to see what activities your other kids in your area are doing, and pick something that inspires them.


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