Remember when you were little and you only had a few TV channels to choose from and there was almost never anything good on? Or how about having to physically go to the library to research things for school? Now think of your kids – growing up in a totally different universe. There are more than 500 million devices connected to the internet in the U.S. and you can watch nearly any show ever made and read almost anything ever in print and play an infinite amount of games instantly. It’s definitely an amazing time to be a kid and to take advantage of all of these advances, but there’s also something missing for a child when they don’t have to search so hard for ways to entertain themselves. Kids need to unplug (we all do!). They especially need to unplug long before nap or bedtime because the lights and activity keep the brain in wakeful mode. Encourage healthy brain development and the sparking of imagination and a natural calming of the mind with these 20 tech-free quiet time activities.
Reading – THE PERFECT thing to do with down time. When you are reading you are almost always learning no matter what kind of book (and choose a book – not an e-book). Getting your kids into reading at a young age benefits them for a lifetime.
Nature Walks – Fresh air, looking at the clouds, big trees, and leaving the hectic day behind are all wonderful for your family and will make you healthier too!
Board Games – The classic family activity that can make amazing memories. Choose calm games like Go Fish, checkers, Memory, etc.
Storytelling – We wrote about this not too long ago (you can find it here) and it’s a great routine to get into with your kids. The story can be told anywhere, anytime – no internet connection necessary!
Tea Time – Making tea time part of your child’s bedtime routine is a great way to help him calm down. Here are soothing tea recipes to use.
Drawing – Everyone can draw something! Even if you don’t have much confidence in your artistic skills, your whole family will have fun seeing what everyone else created.
Puppets – Puppets are wonderful because they can help children not only develop their imagination, but also work through feelings or stressful experiences they’re going through.
Campfire – It is easier than ever to have a safe fire in your backyard with the many fire bowls available in stores these days. And what kid doesn’t like sitting around a fire on a summer night? If you have a fireplace, you can simulate the experience inside. And if you don’t have access to either, create a faux fire using some twigs and white twinkle lights!
Playing Cards – Go fish, Crazy eights, Old maid, and War are just a few examples of games that can be easily taught to kids.
I Spy – This classic activity is super simple and you can do it anywhere, so it’s a good option for traveling or napping somewhere that your kids aren’t used to being.
Shadow Puppets – Check out our shadow puppet printables! Print them and cut them out, so you don’t have to learn how to twist your hands into funny shapes to entertain your kids!
Yoga – There are many simple yoga poses that are great for kids and adults, too. This can be calming AND it’s great for your body!
Massage – Have your child give you one and then return the favor. You’ll both be more relaxed!
Looking at the Stars Outside – Whether you know all your constellations or not, staring up at that huge starry sky is a wonderful way to make memories with your children. They’ll ooh and aah over every falling star as you experience the wonder of the universe together.
Looking at the Stars Inside – Cloud b’s Twilight Turtle brings the stars inside, so you can gaze at the night sky no matter what time it is! Plus, our Twilight products all project real constellations and come with a constellation guide, so you’ll both be learning something together, too.
Journaling – A gratitude journal is proven to help people sleep better because it takes your mind off your worries. Your older kids can write in their own and you can write down what the little ones say each night. They’re really fun to look back on, too! Here’s how.
Clay – All kids love playing with clay. That soothingly sensory feeling of squishing something between your fingers and palms can be inexplicably calming.
Puzzles – Another relaxing classic that can quietly take up a whole afternoon.
Meditation – Put on calm music or white noise, close your eyes together and breathe deeply….
Coloring Books – Another option that’s great for traveling because they’re so easy to take anywhere – plus, they’re inexpensive. You should try it, too! Coloring can be very Zen.
Are there tech-free quiet time activities your family love to do? Let us know in the comments, so we can try them, too!