If your family is navigating online learning, you may be feeling apprehensive about the amount of time your kids are spending screen-side. While screen time isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s important to find balance.
In the spirit of moderation, these fun activities are sure to get kids reading, making, moving, and playing.
Take it outside.
1. Take a quick spin around the block for a head-clearing pick-me-up. As a bonus, neighborhood jaunts make great transitions to mark the start or end of the school or workday.
2. Visit a local park in accordance with any local guidelines that may exist in your area.
3. Weather permitting, swap the kitchen table for a blanket or beach towel and take a meal outside.
5. Whip up some cocoa and break out a star map (or a star app) for an evening of stargazing.
6. Throw down the gauntlet with your own Backyard Olympics. Generate ideas for events together as a family, or challenge older kids to create a list amongst themselves. Pro tip: this can be a great way to integrate history and physical education for kids who are studying ancient Greece at school.
Crack open a new book.
7. Inspire your future world-changers with a story with a visionary theme.
8. Remind kids of the importance of courage with one of these titles.
9. Reinforce the value of teamwork and building on one another’s ideas with one of these collaborative tales.
10. Start a conversation about perseverance and grit with one of these stories featuring determined characters.
11. Get reflective with a story about taking a step back to creatively solve a problem.
12. For more advanced readers, check out this list of chapter books for K – 7th graders.
Raid the recycling bin.
14. Make your own rules as you invent a super-fun game using just three types of household materials.
15. Put your own spin on a classic with this innovative version of croquet in your kitchen.
16. Turn a cereal box, a bucket, and a little teamwork into a rip-roaring game of Marble Madness.
17. Shoot some hoops with a DIY game of paper basketball.
18. Create an in-home carnival that’s out of this world as you design your own solar skee ball game.
19. Use found materials to build a Rube Goldberg machine that allows you to pass the popcorn in the most convoluted way possible.
20. Add some pizzazz to your next celebration with a homemade confetti popper.
21. Step up to the challenge of building a weight-bearing cardboard stool that you can really stand on.
22. Put your own spin on putt-putt as you design your own in-home mini-golf course.
23. Create an imaginative automaton, then set the scene into motion.
24. Take your maker skills to new heights with a paper crane that can hoist a cup of coins at least a foot off the ground.
25. Get cracking with this challenge to whip up an omelet that looks and tastes great!
26. Raise your glass to innovation and down a delicious smoothie of your own invention.
27. Roll out some DIY pie dough, then load it up with a filling you research and design yourself.
28. Take on the primo pancake challenge and create a dish unlike any you’ve ever eaten before.
29. Explore the fascinating world of baking chemistry as you whip up an impressive dessert classic—sugary, crisp meringues.
30. Bake an all-new kind of muffin. Stretch yourself to try unfamiliar ingredients and experiment with new flavor combos.
31. Ice some sugar cookies to serve up a sweet thank-you treat for someone in your life.
32. Create your own gourmet popsicles or tackle a range of delectable desserts at Camp Galileo Anywhere.
Burn off some energy.
33. Pick up some fun fitness moves from the fabulous folks at Fit Kids.
34. Try charades with a hilarious twist! Make up your own character and location cards which can be mixed together to create random situations to act out in charades.
35. Bust the ultimate move as you design your own dance.
36. Work with a partner to navigate a crowded field of space junk—while blindfolded!
37. Think outside the box to create a challenging obstacle course in a tiny space.
38. Get your body and brain moving with a custom game of hopscotch indoors or outside.
39. Imagine funny and surprising characters and actions, then put them on two handmade spinners and act out the combinations for a rousing game of Wheel of Wacky.
40. Using only a roll of tape, create a sticky spider web that can capture as many objects as possible.
41. Team up and tackle a variety of quick challenges that’ll make you listen, laugh, and liven up!
42. Create a series of elaborate security defenses, then sneakily slip your way past them in a design-it-yourself agility course.
Throw it back.
43. Break out a board game for an evening of analog family fun.
44. Let daylight be your guide by limiting screen use after sunset. For an extra-adventurous level-up, try swapping out evening overhead lighting for lamps or candles.
46. Work on a family jigsaw puzzle. This works especially well as a wind-down activity for the space in between dinner and bedtime.
47. Tell a story together—literally! Take turns in the telling with each family member contributing a sentence or a word at a time.
48. Bust out a flashlight for a little shadow puppet theater.
49. Take on an art challenge by creating one drawing a day for an entire month. If you’re looking for inspiration, these one-word prompts can help spark some ideas.
50. Develop a daily writing practice. Whether you write pages at a time or just a couple of bullet points, there’s no wrong way to journal.
51. Turn passion into action with a service project.
Ready for the next adventure?
CAMP GALILEO ANYWHERE: Innovation-igniting, live online classes + free resources for Pre-K – 8th graders. Social interaction and joyful exploration taught by skilled, enthusiastic instructors kids love.
GALILEO AT HOME: Fun, enriching activities for your pod that build innovation skills and boost kids’ creative confidence—all while giving grownups a much-deserved break. Limited availability in California and Illinois.