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50 Things to do Instead of Screen Time

If you are looking for alternative ways to entertain the kids and yourself this winter, try leaving the electronics in their chargers. Here are 50 suggestions to help combat cabin fever and get you through until the Spring thaw.

Use your imagination:

Make paper airplanes out of colored paper

Cut out paper dolls and accessories from newspapers

Create doll houses and furniture out of felt pieces

Build skyscrapers out of Lego® or Tinkertoys®

Use large cardboard boxes to create kid-sized houses that they can decorate

Get outside:

Take a walk around the neighborhood with the dog(s) or a friend

Make a family of snow people

Play a game of tic-tac-snow

Snow graffiti

Ice cube scavenger hunt

Make a game of it:

Pick card games like Uno, Hearts or Rummy

Try a dice game like Tenzi or LCR

Bring out the board games - classics like Monopoly or Sorry!

Create a Battleship game out of two pizza boxes

Tape a tic-tac-toe board on the floor and use colored bean bags for the X and O

Expand your mind:

Play Sudoku or complete a word search

Browse your local library for a good book

Set up a home laboratory and create some science experiments

Put together a model car

Work on a puzzle

Play a road trips game without leaving the house:

Name that Tune - Turn on the radio and see how quickly you can identify the songs

I Spy - Describe something in the house so the other players can guess what it is

Alphabet Game - Name animals, foods or athletes starting with the letter A, then B and so on

Mad Libs - Fill in the blanks to a short story with nouns, verbs and adjectives

Bingo - You will find free printable bingo sheets online

Spend time with family:

Look through photo albums or school memorabilia

Use your talents to create a family variety show

Cook dinner together or bake cookies

Sing karaoke or have a dance party

Listen to a book on CD together every night

Get crafty:

Make homemade play dough from Kool-Aid

Build structures with marshmallows and toothpicks

Create pasta people with glue and a variety of pasta shapes

Use duct tape and cardboard to make swords and shields

Design Popsicle stick snowflakes, paint white and hang in the windows

Get out and go:

Go bowling

Play indoor laser tag

Head to an indoor pool for a game of Marco Polo

Get messy with a game of paintball

Try rock climbing

Do something for the animals:

Teach your dog a new trick

String popcorn on a string or make homemade suet for the birds

Collect towels and blankets for the animal shelter

Create a maze for your hamster

Make a no-sew pet bed for your cat

Think Spring:

Have an early Easter egg hunt

Have an indoor picnic or beach party

Use watercolors to paint a summer sky

Make fork printed flowers with paint

Order a caterpillar or butterfly kit and watch them grow

Pam is a freelance writer and mother of three. This list was compiled over the last 16 years of hearing her children say,  “I’m bored!”

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