Most of us are at home for spring break this year.  By now we have all collectively spent too many hours in front of screens and so have our kids.  Are you looking for some non-screen activities?

Below you’ll find some great ideas to entertain or engage with your kids that don’t involve screens.  To be efficient – team up with a friend with similar aged children if an activity requires advanced planning so you can share the workload and double the fun.  If these ideas sound good but also overwhelming given all of your other responsibilities perhaps reach out to a teenager or former teacher you know and offer to hire them to create a more detailed plan for you to execute.

And because there are some good programs on screens, after you’ve exhausted the below list, check out this CALENDAR for live streaming from Africa, storytelling classes, dance parties and more.

  • Visit outdoor historical monuments near your home.  Link to some near Hanover, NH.
  • Create an Amazing Race themed afternoon for your family or with another family (to different destinations at different times)
  • Go on a family hike.  Seek out the less well known trails.  Check out AllTrails app for ideas.  Consider painting colorful, happy-looking rocks to leave as surprises for others on your route.
  • Create your own challenge for charity through Positive Tracks – walk/run/bike/hike X miles
  • Have themed family dinners – based cuisine or dress.  Wear in unique attire to add to the fun.  Some ideas –  rock-n-roll stars, sports figures, famous TV stars, dress as someone else in the family.
  • Recreate famous works of art from home.
  • Go on a walking tour of local art.  Here is a link to Dartmouth’s.
  • Enjoy free books/stories on Audible. “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Right now, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.  All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.”
  • Do you have a book full of science projects for kids?  Now is a great time to get it out.  Or look up experiments on line or order from your local bookstore.
  • Learn to juggle and then get outside and practice!
  • Have a unicycle?  Pogo stick?  Now is the perfect time for kids to learn how to use them and challenge themselves with contests for distance or time.
  • Create a puzzle full of family memories on Shutterfly and have it delivered as a surprise (or send one to a friend for a bigger surprise).
  • Learn a language – Notes in Spanish is my favorite podcast/program.
  • Knitting – learn to knit or crochet. Get started with the South End’s Third Piece tutorials. Or bust out the sewing machine you put into storage.
  • Guitar – learn to play an instrument. Guitar maker Fender offers online guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons (with a free three-month trial period). Meanwhile, on YouTube, find any play-along song you can imagine for countless instruments.
  • Have a family spa day with facials and pedicures.  Use what you have or look up recipes for homemade treatments.
  • Do you have rollerblades?  Using cones, create a course for the kids to do.
  • Create a course for a family biathalon.
  • Practice daily meditation.  Insight Timer has lots of mediations just for kids.  What a great way to make this part of your daily routine.
  • Spend 10 minutes making a pickleball court in your driveway.
  • Bike the Rail Trail if you live in the Upper Valley.  Or other wide trail near your house.
  • Camp in your backyard or roast hotdogs and s’mores over a firepit.
  • Go fishing – NH trout pond opening day is April 25.
  • What is your kids favorite restaurant dish or desert?  Look for a recipe and replicate it at home.
  • Plan a blind taste test of different brands of their favorite foods.
  • Have a Dinner in the Dark – restaurants around the world sell these for high prices.  You can replicate at home.
  • Have a family band – using instruments you have or make some up!
  • Journal about this experience.
  • Or fill out a time capsule…
  • Plant a garden
  • Offer to help a neighbor – raking leaves, planting, shopping etc.
  • Rearrange a bedroom or invite your child to help you with a home improvement project – painting, building, organizing.
  • Ask the kids to draw happy pictures and phrases on the sidewalk to make walkers in the neighborhood smile.

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