Creative Family Activities: 77 Amazing Screen Free Ideas

creative family activities - feature

If you need some creative family activities for this summer, look no further! I’m sharing 77 ways to have fun as a family without any screens being involved.

Creative family activities are a must in the summertime! Creating family memories is so important and activities done together can help build strong relationships with your children. If you’re like me though, you might be trying your best to limit screen time and social media time for your growing children. I have 3 kids and I limit device time to weekends only. TV time is something that ebbs and flows for us – some days we might watch no TV and some days we watch a little too much. But most of the time, I try to not let my kids turn the TV on until after 2 or 3:00 PM. And that means activity ideas are a must!

Parenting in the digital age often feels like a balancing act. Screens are a convenient go-to for keeping kids occupied, but as many parent knows, finding creative, screen-free activities can lead to richer, more meaningful experiences for the entire family. That is why I’ve rounded up a list of 77 fun, engaging, and screen-free activities that families can enjoy together. From outdoor adventures to indoor crafts, these ideas encourage bonding, learning, and creativity. Let’s dive in!

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creative family activities

Creative Family Activities: Outdoor Fun

First, let’s get some outdoor adventure ideas because for me, summer is all about being outside as often as possible. We live in New England, so we only get about 3-4 months of decent weather before we are stuck inside because it’s too cold. And since our summers tend to be more mild than the southern states, we can get outside almost daily.

1. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items commonly found in nature, like pinecones, leaves, and rocks. Head to a local park or your backyard and see who can find them all first.

2. Backyard Camping

Set up a tent in your backyard. Enjoy a night under the stars with sleeping bags, flashlights, and a picnic dinner.

3. Obstacle Course

Design an obstacle course right in your backyard with items you have at home like chairs, ropes, and hula hoops. Kids can race through it for fun and fitness. You can add your sprinkler too for even more fun and to cool off on those hot days.

4. Gardening Together

Plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs in your garden or in pots. Kids will love watching their plants grow and learning about nature. Plus, it’s such a great skill to have!

Send Smiles

5. Bird Watching

Grab a pair of binoculars and a bird guidebook. Visit a local park or sit in your backyard and identify as many birds as you can.

6. Treasure Hunt

Hide small toys or treats around your yard. Then create a map to give to your kids for clues to help them find the treasure!

7. Family Bike Ride

Explore your neighborhood or a nearby trail on bicycles. Pack a snack and enjoy a mini picnic along the way.

8. Water Balloon Games

Fill up some balloons with water and play games like water balloon toss or water balloon tag. These reusable water balloons have been a hit for our family this summer.

9. Picnic in the Park

Pack a lunch and a blanket and head to a local park for a relaxing meal outdoors. Then hit the park to play and get some exercise.

family picnic

10. Nature Crafts

Collect leaves, flowers, and rocks to create nature-inspired art projects like leaf rubbings or rock painting.

11. Kite Flying

Head to an open space on a windy day and fly kites together. It’s a simple and delightful way to enjoy time outdoors.

12. Fishing Adventure

Visit a local pond or lake for a fishing trip. Teach kids the basics of fishing and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

13. Sidewalk Chalk Art

Let your kids unleash their inner artist with colorful chalk on your driveway or sidewalk.

14. Stargazing

On a clear night, lay out a blanket and look up at the stars. Use a stargazing app or book to identify constellations. Don’t forget your bug spray!

15. Nature Walks

Take a leisurely walk in a nearby forest or trail. Encourage kids to observe and collect interesting natural items like leaves or acorns. Mindfully watch the birds, listen to animals, and hear the crunch of leaves as you walk.

16. Outdoor Storytime

Bring your favorite books outside and read together under a tree, on a swing/hammock, or in a cozy corner of your yard.

17. Bug Safari

Equip your kids with magnifying glasses and go on a hunt for bugs in your garden or a local park.

18. Sandcastle Building

If you live near a beach, spend the day building sandcastles and playing in the water. Bring lots of shovels and pails and see who can make the biggest sandcastle!


19. Geocaching

Participate in this real-world treasure hunt using GPS to find hidden caches in your area.

20. Leaf Printing

Collect a bunch of different shaped leaves and use paint or crayons to create leaf prints on paper or fabric.

Creative Family Activities: Indoor Activity Ideas

For those who live in areas where it just gets too hot to be outside, these creative family activities are great for inside time! They are also great for a rainy day, or a too cold days. Have fun inside without using screens!

21. DIY Slime

Make your own slime with ingredients like glue, baking soda, and contact lens solution. Customize it with glitter or food coloring. I have a super popular blog about how to make slime using Elmer’s glue you can check out for the full recipe!

22. Homemade Playdough

Create playdough at home with flour, salt, water, and food coloring. Kids can mold and shape it into their own creations. There are many super simple recipes you can make at home with ingredients you probably already have in your cabinets. You can make as much playdough as you want and whatever color you want too! Check out a great homemade playdough recipe here.

23. Indoor Fort Building

What kid doesn’t love making forts? Use blankets, pillows, and furniture to construct a cozy fort. Enjoy reading books or having a snack inside. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even let your kids sleep in their fort for a night!

24. Board Games

Play classic board games like Monopoly Junior, Scrabble, or Candy Land for hours of fun and learning. Board games are a great way to build traditions together and learn skills like how to win and lose!

25. Puppet Show

Create simple puppets using socks or paper bags. Then have your kids be the star by putting on a puppet show for you.

creative family activities

26. Baking Together

Involve your kids in baking cookies, muffins, or bread. It’s a great way to teach them measurements and following instructions. Plus you get a yummy treat at the end!

27. DIY Science Experiments

Conduct simple science experiments like making a volcano with baking soda and vinegar or growing crystals with salt.

28. Puzzle Time

Work on jigsaw puzzles together. Choose a puzzle that matches your child’s age and skill level then start working on it. It might take a few days, but it will be a great bonding activity.

29. Family Yoga

Follow along with a family-friendly yoga video. It’s a great way to relax, improve flexibility, and exercise. Plus it’s usually a calm and quiet activity if you’re feeling overwhelmed! Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great place to start if you’re unfamiliar with yoga.

30. Dance Party

Having a dance party is always a great idea! Turn up the music and have a family dance party in the kitchen. It’s a fun way to burn off energy and lift spirits.

31. Indoor Bowling

Set up a bowling alley with empty water bottles as pins and a soft ball. Take turns knocking them down. If you have a long hallway, this would be perfect for that space!

32. Story Writing

Encourage your older kids to write their own stories. Provide them with prompts or let their imaginations run wild. If they can’t spell yet, have them draw a story instead!

33. Art and Craft Time

Spend an afternoon doing various crafts like painting, drawing, or weaving.

34. DIY Music Instruments

Create musical instruments from household items like a rice-filled bottle shaker or a cardboard guitar. Create your own family band and play music together.

35. Family Scrapbooking

Make a family scrapbook using photos, drawings, and notes. It’s a wonderful way to preserve memories.

36. Indoor Treasure Hunt

Create clues and hide treasures around the house. Your kids will love the adventure of figuring out each clue and finding the treasures. Make a final prize for when all the treasures are found! This could be a popsicle, ice cream, or a park trip.

37. Reading Marathon

Pick a series of books and have a reading marathon. Take turns reading aloud or cuddle up for quiet reading time. It’s a great way to relax and even catch up on Summer Reading programs.

38. Learning New Recipes

Find a new recipe online or in a cookbook then cook meals from different cultures together. It’s a fun way to introduce new foods and cooking techniques. Plus you’ll bond and have fun!

39. Sewing and Knitting

Teach your older kids to sew or knit simple projects like scarves or a blanket. There are many kits you can find to help you get started.

40. DIY Bird Feeders

Make bird feeders with your kids using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Hang them outside with some yarn and watch for visiting birds!

Creative Family Activities: Arts & Crafts

For those that love arts and crafts, this section is for you! These are great ideas that can be done inside or even outside to avoid some big messes.

41. Paper Mâché Projects

Create paper mâché sculptures using balloons, newspaper, and glue. Paint them once they are dry.

42. Tie-Dye Shirts

Use fabric dye to create colorful tie-dye shirts. This can be a fun outdoor project on a warm day. My kids always love seeing the finished product of their tye-dye creations.

43. Origami

Learn the art of paper folding with origami. Start with simple shapes like butterflies or boats. There are many books to help you get started if you don’t know how to do it!

butterfly origami

44. DIY Jewelry

Make bracelets, necklaces, or anklets using beads and string. Creating jewelry can be time consuming, so this a great one if you need a longer project!

45. Homemade Greeting Cards

Create personalized greeting cards for family and friends using paper, markers, and stickers. Write a nice message inside and send it using snail mail! Everyone loves to get happy mail.

46. Recycled Art

Use recyclable materials like egg cartons, plastic bottles, and tin cans to create unique art pieces. This is a great way to let your kids imagination soar and just have fun creating. The end process isn’t the point!

47. Clay Sculpting

Use air-dry clay to sculpt small figures or ornaments. Paint them once they are dry and save them for holidays or hang them up around your home.

48. Handprint Art

Create handprint art by dipping hands in paint and pressing them onto paper or canvas. These are great keepsakes to save for the future to remember your children’s tiny hands!

handprint art for kids

49. Paper Quilling

Learn the art of paper quilling to make intricate designs by rolling and shaping strips of paper.

50. DIY Photo Frames

Make photo frames from cardboard, paint, and decorations like buttons or shells.

51. Collage Making

Cut up and collect magazine cut-outs, photos, and other paper materials to create a themed collage. Using scissors is great find motor practice for toddlers and preschoolers!

52. Fabric Painting

Use fabric paints to decorate plain T-shirts, bags, or pillowcases. This is another great way to let your kids build their creativity and imagination!

53. Nature Mandalas

Create mandalas using leaves, flowers, and other natural materials arranged in symmetrical patterns.

54. DIY Bookmarks

Make bookmarks using paper, ribbon, and stickers. It’s a practical craft for your little bookworms and everyone could use a bookmark!

55. Painted Rocks

Collect rocks and paint them with bright colors and designs. Use them to decorate your garden or give as gifts. This is a favorite craft in our home!

56. Upcycled Planters

Transform old containers like cans or jars into colorful planters for your garden.

57. DIY Stamps

Create stamps using foam shapes glued to bottle caps or blocks. Use them to decorate paper or fabric. This is a fun way to pass the time!

58. Wind Chimes

Make wind chimes using items like shells, beads, and sticks. Hang them outside to enjoy the gentle sounds. I can hear the serene sounds now!

Creative Family Activities: Educational Games

Sometimes, an education game is a fun way to pass the time! Even though all the activities above can also be educational in different ways, these creative family activities below focus on basic concepts like math, english, and reading!

59. Homemade Flashcards

Create flashcards for numbers, letters, or vocabulary words like sight words. Use them for educational games or practice. Repetition is key for younger kids, so this is a great way to help with early learning!

60. Math Bingo

Make bingo cards with math problems. Call out equations and players mark the answers on their cards. This is great for the more advanced mathematician.

61. Word Search Puzzles

Create word search puzzles based on your child’s favorite topics. It’s a fun way to build vocabulary. If you don’t want to create one yourself, you can always Google a word search and millions will pop up!

creative family activities

62. Science Journals

Keep a science journal to record observations from nature walks or simple experiments. This is a great way for children to recognize what they learned while on a nature walk and work on critical thinking skills.

63. DIY Geography Puzzles

Create puzzles from maps by cutting them into pieces. It’s a great way to learn geography.

64. Alphabet Hunt

Hide letters around the house. Kids can hunt for them and practice spelling words with the found letters. For more advanced learners, have them find toys that start with a certain letter.

65. Memory Matching Game

Create a memory game with pairs of cards featuring pictures, words, or numbers.

66. Homemade Board Games

Design your own board game based on a favorite theme. Use cardboard and markers to create the board and pieces.

67. Activity Packs

Grab one of my many activity packs to enjoy with your family! There are a few options you can choose from based on your child’s interests.

68. DIY Math Games

Create simple math games using dice or playing cards. Practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication in a fun way.

69. Animal Bingo

Create bingo cards with pictures of different animals. Call out the names, and players mark the animals on their cards.

70. Homemade Instruments

Create instruments like maracas or drums from household items. Learn about rhythm and music by playing them together.

creative family activities

71. DIY Weather Station

Build a simple weather station with a thermometer, barometer, and rain gauge. Record and discuss the daily weather.

72. Letter Tracing

Use sand or salt in a tray for tracing letters. It’s a tactile way to practice writing and fine motor skills.

73. Homemade Puzzles

Create puzzles by drawing a picture on cardboard and cutting it into pieces. Reassemble the pieces to complete the picture.

74. Counting Games

Use objects like buttons or beans for counting and sorting games. It’s a hands-on way to learn basic math.

75. Sensory Bins

Fill bins with materials such as uncooked pasta, dry black beans, or sand (kinetic sand works great!) Then add small toys or objects for a fun sensory experience.

sensory bins for kids

76. Nature Alphabet

Find objects in nature that start with each letter of the alphabet. It’s a fun way to combine learning and outdoor exploration.

77. DIY Reading Nook

Create a cozy reading corner with pillows and blankets. Stock it with books to encourage quiet reading time.

creative family activities

Final Thoughts

Getting creative with your family definitely doesn’t need to be difficult! It can be a fun and simple experience when you don’t overthink it. From outdoor fun to indoor fun to education games, these creative family activities are bound to give you endless fun this summer. These activities are designed to stimulate creativity, learning, and family bonding without the need for screens. Whether you’re looking for a way to spend a rainy day indoors or want to explore the great outdoors, this list has something for everyone. Try a new activity each week and discover the joy of spending quality time together as a family! Let me know which activities you will choose in the comments section below.

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