Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

The school year is winding down. The weather’s warming up and the days are getting longer. But my kids are still little glassy-eyed screen-time zombies.

During the winter, our TV time increases. It becomes a habit. A go-to. And I don’t feel guilty in the least. But how can I feel okay with letting blue-light bathe their precious faces, when they should be soaking up the warm, vitamin D laden rays of the sun instead?

I can’t.

So let’s get creative.

101 Ideas for Screen-Free Fun www.herviewfromhome.com

101 ideas for screen-free fun:

Sunny days

  1. pick wildflowers
  2. take a walk
  3. draw with sidewalk chalk
  4. go cloud watching
  5. have a picnic

Rainy days

  1. read a book
  2. go puddle jumping
  3. have a tea and toast party
  4. watch raindrops race down the window
  5. set out an indoor picnic
  6. lie in bed and listen to the rain on the roof

Night time

  1. make flashlight shadows
  2. have a campfire
  3. make s’mores on the grill
  4. play glow stick tag
  5. count the stars
  6. catch fireflies
  7. take out the sparklers

Get in touch with nature:

  1. relax and do some bird watching
  2. classify trees
  3. search for bugs
  4. try leaf rubbings
  5. watch the bees
  6. roll down a hill
  7. play in the dirt
  8. catch frogs

Get to know yourself

  1. start a journal
  2. imagine yourself in 5 years
  3. write a short autobiography
  4. draw a self portrait
  5. do some mindfulness exercises

Be creative

  1. write a song
  2. make paper flowers
  3. bake cookies
  4. write a poem
  5. design your dream home
  6. paint old boards with washable paint

Day trips and dates:

  1. visit a local aquarium or zoo
  2. go out for ice cream
  3. have a beach day
  4. take a coffee shop trip
  5. play at an indoor playground
  6. play at an outdoor playground
  7. visit a farm or pet store
  8. visit a historic building or shrine

Get moving

  1. race around the yard
  2. try some new rump rope tricks
  3. take a bike ride
  4. have a dance party in the living room
  5. set up a relay race
  6. make a backyard obstacle course

Cool down time

  1. play with a bucket of ice in the yard
  2. “paint” the house with water
  3. play with measuring cups and a bucket of water
  4. make ice cream
  5. wash the car
  6. rest under a shade tree
  7. have a spray bottle battle
  8. play with the hose
  9. toss water balloons

Calm down activities

  1. stretch together
  2. close your eyes and imagine
  3. give each other backrubs
  4. sing a song
  5. pray or meditate

Go a little crazy

  1. start a whipped cream fight
  2. have a pillow fight
  3. pretend you’re a tickle monster
  4. play leap frog
  5. have cardboard sword fights

For toddlers

  1. practice somersaults
  2. play pattycake
  3. sing nursery rhymes
  4. organize the Tupperware drawer
  5. color in some good old coloring books
  6. play pretend
  7. play dress up

For young girls

  1. have a fashion show
  2. paint your nails
  3. make a fairy garden
  4. tell fairy tales
  5. make a construction paper costume

For young boys

  1. play legos
  2. play good guy/bad guy dress up
  3. have a staring contest
  4. build a recycled robot
  5. have a matchbox cars race
  6. build a blanket fort
  7. do a dinosaur dig (bury fake dinos in the yard)

For teens

  1. clean the yard together
  2. play board games
  3. put on a play
  4. go to the skate park
  5. rearrange the bedroom
  6. have a spa day

For groups and friends

  1. play capture the flag
  2. organize a scavenger hunt
  3. start a game of tug of war
  4. get some energy out with old-fashioned tag
  5. have a three legged race
  6. play hide-and-seek

Download this free printable list and hang it on your fridge to remind you to try these awesome ideas.

101 ideas for screen-free fun printable
Click to download

What are your favorite screen-free-fun activities? I’m always on the hunt for something fun and new, and I’d love to hear your ideas! Inspire me in the comments section.

How can I be ok with blue-light bathing their faces when they should be soaking up the warm rays of the sun? Tweet this.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Sara Estabrooks

Hi, I’m Sara!  A former teacher, sometimes artist, Catholic wife, and mom of 3 (with one on the way).  I’m here to open wide the doors of my heart and let you in on my joys, my struggles, my questions, and my life lessons.   My goal is to grow in kindness, love, and prayer, and invite you to grow along with me.  I'm moving forward step by step every day, and I'm so happy you're joining me on this journey. You can find more from me on my blog: To Jesus, Sincerely.

I Am a Mother Evolving

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Mother and child walking by water in black and white photo

Those who mean well squawk the refrain— “The days are long, but the years are short.” They said I would miss it— little feet and newborn baby smell nursing in the wee hours with a tiny hand clutching mine. Tying shoes,  playing tooth fairy,  soothing scary dreams. They were fine times, but I do not wish them back. RELATED: Mamas, Please Quit Mourning Your Children Growing Up I rather enjoy these days of my baby boy suddenly looking like a young man in a baseball uniform  on a chilly Wednesday in April. And my Amazonian teenage girl  with size 11...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

As a Nurse, This Is How I Prepared My Daughter for Her First Period

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Woman wearing sunglasses with hands on the sides of her face and smiling, black and white photo

I don’t remember my first period, which means my mother had me well prepared. This doesn’t mean I was okay with it. I remember feeling awkward and tense each time. And honestly, for many years, shopping for feminine hygiene products filled me with unease. But wait a minute! There shouldn’t be anything shameful about something that will recur for about half of a woman’s life! Who decided it was to be a sensitive subject? Aren’t we all supposed to show empathy toward each other when it comes to this?  I say, pass the Midol around, sister! I knew the time...

Keep Reading

With Grandkids, It’s The Little Things

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Nine children sitting on a couch together

We had just pulled into the driveway when our youngest grandtwins, 3-year-old Ellis and Brady, came running out the front door and down the steps to hug us. “Let me see your earrings, Grandma,” Ellis said, reaching up to pull me down to his level. “The green M&Ms!  I told you, Brady!” “Those are the ones our brother Adler picked out for you!” Brady yelled as he ushered us into the house and started going through the tote bag I always carry for them, filled with favorite books from our house and three little bags of snacks in the bottom....

Keep Reading

Childhood Is Not a Race

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two young girls playing in creek bed, color photo

Sweet child, I know you want to grow up. You want to get older and do more and more. I see you changing day after day. You are no longer a little girl, but you’re turning into a young lady. You’re becoming this wonderful person who leads and cares for others. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. But don’t rush out of your childhood. It’s this beautiful season where wonder and discovery live. It’s this beautiful time when you don’t have to carry the weight of adulthood. It’s this beautiful time. Savor it. Slow down and enjoy it. Breathe in...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Band Kids

In: Kids

There is something incredibly special about band kids. The hours of practice that begin in elementary school. It’s the squeaking and squawking of a new alto or the flutter of early flute days, high-pitched honks from a trumpet, constant and consistent tapping . . . drumming on everything. And gallons of spit too, until one day a few years down the road, you realize all that practice time has turned into an incredible melody and skill. The alarm that goes off at 5:35 a.m., and before most people are awake, band kids have sleepily found a quick breakfast bite, grabbed...

Keep Reading

You’ll Grow So Much In Kindergarten and I Can’t Wait to Watch

In: Kids
Two young children in backpacks walk toward a school building

On her seventh day of school, my kindergartener doesn’t cry. It was a long road to this day. For the first six days of school, we experienced varying degrees of screaming, clinging, running back inside our house and slamming the door, and expressing general displeasure with the whole idea of school. “I wanna stay home with YOU, Mommy!” “But Charlotte, you are bored out of your mind every day of the summer. You hate it.” “No I don’t. I LOVE IT.” “Well we can spend every afternoon after school and all weekend together. You’ll be tired of me in five...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Football Boys

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Football captains lined up at 50-yard line, color photo

There’s something about football boys.  Maybe it’s the sunrise practices when the heat is too strong mid-afternoon. Or maybe it’s the late nights lying in their beds, studying game film long after practice has ended and once their homework is done. Maybe it’s the way they look under the Friday night lights, with pads over their broad shoulders and light reflecting off their glossy helmets.  Maybe it’s intangible, something that can only be felt deep in the heart as you watch them run through the paper banner, past the cheerleaders and fans, and onto the field. Yeah, it’s true, there’s...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Look For You on the Sidelines—Do Everything You Can to Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Parent watching soccer game from the sidelines

After putting in a full busy week, with countless other parents, we flocked to the sidelines to cheer our little youth athletes on this weekend. In our particular case, we were up by 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday and not back home until around 6 p.m. Each time this happens, I always think back to my own parents and the parents of my friends and think God bless the parents who always show up. I see them in a whole new light of heroism now. Sometimes I drive 30 minutes in one direction to watch one kid play one sport,...

Keep Reading