5 Screen Free Activities for Children*

*This is a collaborative post*


As children head towards adolescence, it’s very normal for their interests to change. Smaller children tend to enjoy physical activities far more than teenagers do – although there are exceptions of course.


One thing most modern adolescents have in common is a deep love of screen time. Screen time can of course be very valuable and educational but research shows that too much is unhealthy and can cause mental health issues.


Whether your child loves watching films, playing computer games or just scrolling through social media, it’s very important to encourage a balance. Some schools, like this senior school in Essex, offer a wide range of extracurricular clubs and one-off activities and this can be a great way to help your child keep their lifestyle varied and healthy.


Finding the right screen free activities for your child


Not all children are the same so of course, one screen free activity won’t suit all. When considering the best screen free activities for your child, consider their personal interests. Here are some suggestions for screen free activities which take into account the varying interests of teens.


Arts and crafts


Many teenagers enjoy arts and crafts and there’s a wealth of activities to choose from. Children do need encouragement though and it might not be enough to simply provide paint and paper. Consider taking your child to your local craft fair or art gallery to see what inspires them. Then a visit to a good art supply shop to find supplies. There are lots of interesting crafts they could try, from beading to crochet and from ceramics to sewing.


Horse riding


Horse riding is a very fulfilling hobby for animal lovers. You don’t need to own a horse for your child to enjoy a weekly riding lesson. Visit a few local stables to find out more and to see what classes are on offer.




For community minded teens, volunteering opportunities could be just the thing to get them away from the screen. If your teen feels strongly about the environment, search for a local environmental awareness group and you could discover a lot of local opportunities for your teen. Volunteering is also great for teens’ CVs.


Nature walks


For younger children, nature walks can be absorbing and entertaining at all times of year. Before you set out, discuss what sorts of things you’re going to be looking out for. This will vary depending on the time of the year but in summer, you can watch out for certain species of flower, autumn brings nuts and berries, whilst spring brings nesting birds. Winter is also full of fascinating, natural phenomenon. Find a website which lists your local area and discusses the flora and fauna of the landscape. This can act as a guide for your walks. Collecting pretty pebbles, picking up a good stick or finding an empty birds’ egg are all fantastic outcomes for smaller children.


Local sports clubs, guides and scouts


Local sports clubs offer the fun of the game and the camaraderie of the team. Sporting activities can be a great way to make new friends and forge long lasting relationships. The same goes for Brownies, Cubs, Guides and Scouts – these clubs often have long waiting lists so call your local packs when your child is still small, that way you’re more likely to get them a place.


Ensuring your child has a healthy, varied life away from the screen is very important for their social and emotional development. Remember though, part of discovering what they enjoy most, might involve a few misses as well as hits – don’t worry if they don’t enjoy one activity. Just try another!

*Photo via Pexels

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