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7 screen-free indoor activities for your kids

If bad weather or lack of safe open spaces is keeping your children from going out to play, a list of indoor activities to aid creativity and imagination

Take story time up a notch by encouraging your children to retell stories using self-made puppets, picture flashcards, or enact them. (Pexels)

By Sukhna Sawhney

LAST PUBLISHED 02.08.2023  |  01:00 PM IST

As an early childhood education expert, I firmly believe that playing outdoors is an incredibly enjoyable experience for children. The fresh breeze and open air provide a perfect setting for them to interact with the world around them and indulge in their favorite outdoor activities.

However, there are times when venturing outside is not feasible due to various reasons—monsoons, lack of a safe open space, or the unavailability of trusted adult supervision. On such occasions, we can engage young minds with delightful indoor activities that do not rely on screens.

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Here are seven captivating and educational screen-free activities that not only entertain children but also foster their imaginative and cognitive development.

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Storytelling and puppet shows

Storytelling has been an age-old tradition that continues to captivate young hearts. Beyond simply reading age-appropriate books, you can make story sessions engaging by incorporating iterative and interesting components. Children can create their own stories on specific themes, characters, or using a bunch of hook words and nouns. Engaging in a family activity where each person adds a line to the story can be great fun. To take it a step further, children can retell stories using self-made puppets, picture flashcards, or enact them. These story-time activities stimulate creativity, language skills, emotional expression, and promote family bonding.

Indoor treasure hunt

Designing an indoor treasure hunt with clues and hidden treasures is an excellent way to promote problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. Children can search for easily available items like grains, pulses, or bottles with written or verbal clues leading to the next place and object to seek. This activity provides hours of excitement and entertainment while enhancing their cognitive abilities.

Building forts and dens

Encourage children to gather pillows, blankets, and cushions to design and build their own forts or dens. This creative activity fosters spatial awareness, collaboration, and imaginative play. You can add an educational twist by asking them to consider the needs of birds or dogs and design an ideal house for them. This encourages scientific thinking and problem-solving.

 

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Making chores fun and involving children in sorting and classifying activities is a great way to stimulate cognitive development and support their fine motor skills. (Pexels)

Sort-and-segregate games

Encourage children to help in household chores and make it fun for them. Involve them in different types of sorting and classifying games using basic household materials—from sorting clothes based on colour or what belongs to who, to sorting fruits and vegetables based on how they are to be stored, or sorting a mixed cup of pulses or washed utensils. These sorting and classifying activities are not only enjoyable but also great for stimulating cognitive development in children and supporting their fine motor skills. The joy and satisfaction that children get from helping their loved adults boosts their self-esteem and confidence.

Music and dance party

Turn up the music and let the little ones dance their hearts out. Dancing not only enhances gross motor skills and rhythm but also encourages self-expression. Encouraging them to create their own sounds, lyrics, and use homemade or available instruments fosters a deeper understanding of sound and music.

Science experiments:

Simple science experiments are an exciting way to introduce children to the wonders of science. Under adult supervision, let them explore age-appropriate materials and understand cause-and-effect relationships. From floating and sinking objects, to understanding what is soluble and insoluble, experimenting with baking soda and vinegar, tocreating a volcano eruption using household items, these activities stimulate their curiosity and love for learning.

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Origami and paper folding

Origami is an excellent activity for improving fine motor skills and spatial awareness. Children can learn how to fold paper into various shapes and objects, nurturing their curiosity and creativity. Utilizing old newspapers or used papers for such activities also instills a sense of environmental responsibility. Add a layer of excitement to the activity by encouraging children to collect other recyclables like cardboard boxes, buttons, scraps of cloth, bottles etc. and let children explore-experiment with these to create different DIY objects like pen stands, bird houses, storage boxes, planters, etc.

Role-playing games

Encourage imaginative play by pretending to be different characters or acting out scenes from their favorite stories. Role-playing games help children develop empathy, creativity, and communication skills.

By fostering imagination, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, we empower children to become curious learners and confident individuals. Such fun indoor activities are great opportunities for you to play, engage and have fun with your children, develop loving bonds with them and create memories for life, all while significantly contributing to their holistic development.

Sukhna Sawhney is Lead for Early Childhood Education (ECE) - Content and Curriculum, Rocket Learning