Screen Free Activities: Over 80 Easy Games To Play With Kids

by Faith

We all know we shouldn’t allow kids too much screen time.

But sometimes moms just get so busy and tired that we need some time to catch our breath and we allow the iPhone or iPad to help us with babysitting the kids.

It is not always easy to come up with screen free activities to entertain our kids.

So here is a list to help you with that!

More than 80 easy games to play with kids, any time, anywhere!

All you need to do is pick 3 to 5 games to play with every day, in different combinations, and you have more than enough games to last you through the entire year!

Here is the list of games from A to Z that require minimal tools and are easy to facilitate with your kids!

Look out for the FREE PRINTABLE ACTIVITIES for kids in this post too!

 

screen free activities for kids. 80+ easy games to play with kids

1. A to Z naming game

How to play:

– Take turns to name different objects starting with the letter A, subsequently all the letters in the alphabet.

– The player who can’t think of the word for the respective letter when it’s their turn loses.

For example: “A to Z Name the Animals”

Kid: Alligator,
Me: Bear
Kid: cat
Me: D… I can’t think of any! So I lose. (or skip a turn and keep on going)

Pro tip: Make the game more exciting by doing speed rounds or extend the game by naming as many objects as possible for the same letter.

More ideas for A to Z Naming Game – Name the animals, land animals, sea creatures, plants, mammals, car brands, cartoon characters, fruits, food, snacks, famous people, countries, places, family and friends, people’s names (that’s 15 different topics for just one game already!)

2. Alliteration Tongue Twister

How to play:

– Come up with a short sentence made up of words starting with the same letter.
– Take turns to say the tongue twister as fast and as accurately as possible!

Pro tip: Use your child’s name and make the sentences silly and funny! It is sure bring up lots of giggles!

For example:

– Joyful Jonah jumps and juggles jars of juicy jam

– Maniac Mommy munches many monkeys and MacDonald’s mcmuffins

3. Balloons

How to play:

– Simply blow up some balloons and play catch!
– OR see who can blow/pump the biggest balloon without bursting it!
– OR twist some balloon animals (gotta take some time to learn from YouTube first. But it’s really much easier than you think!)

 

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4. Bubbles

What you need:

– It is always a good idea to stash some bottles of bubbly fun at home!
– Get some bubble guns and bubbles wands from the value shop and you can have kids entertained for 30 minutes chasing and bursting bubbles!

5. Broken telephone

How to play:

– Minimum 3 players. One person thinks of a sentence and whispers it to the second person.
– The second person gets to change a few words of the original message and then tells it to the last person.
– The last person will then have to guess what the original message is.
– The game gets wackier and more challenging with more people playing!

Pro tip: Great for playing while waiting in a queue or even in the car (the driver will always be the last person of the broken telephone!).

6. Balancing act

How to play:
– Try balancing different items on your head and walk a short distance or simply remain seated.

7. Backward alphabet song

How to play:

– Sing the alphabet song backward as fast as you can

8. Coloring

How to play:

– Print out coloring pages and get creative with coloring!
– Experiment using different coloring materials and mixing colors.

 

Screen Free Activities: Over 80 Easy Games To Play With Kids 4

9. Charades

How to play:

– One player acts out a phrase or a character silently and the other players guess what or who it is.

10. Cartoon character guessing

How to play:

– Each player think of characteristic phrases used by various cartoon characters and the other players have to guess which cartoon character it is.

11. Catch the thumb

How to play:

– This game is only for two players

– Both players stretch out their right hands, but instead of a handshake position, hook each other’s four fingers forming a ‘good’ sign interlocked.
– At the count of three, each player tries to catch and hold down the opponent’s thumb while still keeping their four fingers hooked together.
– The player who can hold down the opponent’s thumb for 10 seconds wins.

 

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12. Cheering game

How to play:

– You be the cheerleader and get your kids to follow your cheer.

Pro tip: Play this game in the car so the kids can get really loud and rowdy without bothering other people. It also gets the kids hyped up on a long drive.

For example: Cheer A
Me: when I say “Let’s Go, you say ‘yay’! Let’s Go!”
Kids: Yay!
Me: Let’s Go!
Kids: Yay!

Cheer B
Me: “when I say ‘mummy is’, you say ‘pretty’!”

Go silly and wacky for more fun! And get the kids to go louder and louder.

Cheer C
Me: B-E-A-C-H! What’s the word?
Kids: Beach!
Me: where are we going?
Kids: Beach!
Me: Say it again!
Kids: Beach!
Me: I can’t hear you!
Kids: Beach!!

Me: As loud as you can!

Kids: BEACH!!!

As you can see, many of our car rides are rather rowdy. =P

 

 

easy games to play with kids

Pin me to your kids’ activities boards!

 

13. Color game

How to play:

– Name as many items as possible for a particular color

14. “Can you do this?”

How to play:

– One person does an action and the other player has to follow.

Pro tip: The idea is to do funny and strange actions to make it challenging for other players to follow.

15. Doodle

How to play:

– Simply draw anything you want! Be creative and imaginative!

Pro tip: Avoid telling your child what to draw or how to draw. You can make suggestions but it is best to give them ample room to express their own creativity and imagination! I am usually surprised by my kids’ creativity when I just let them be!

 

free printable doodle pad for kids

16. Draw and Guess

How to play:

– One play will draw something while other player guesses.

Pro tip: Do a timed game to make it more challenging and exciting!

17. Dancing

How to play:

– Play any funky music and get groovin’!

My kids lurveee Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”!

Dancing is a wonderful screen-free activity to get your kids up on their feet and expending energy in a fun and safe way!

18. Dance ‘n’ freeze

How to play:

– Play music and everybody dances. When the music stops, everyone has to do a wacky pose!

19. Either-Or Game

How to Play:

– Take turns to ask questions which give only two options.

For example:

Qn: Would you like to eat Brussels sprouts or broccoli?

Qn: What do you think is smellier? Daddy’s fart or the bin in the kitchen?

Pro tip: Make the questions silly for some laughs or ask more serious questions to get to know your child better!

20. Eagle and chicks

How to play:

– This game requires at least three players.

– One player is the ‘mother hen’, one is the ‘eagle’, and the other players are the ‘chicks’.

– All the ‘chicks’ line up behind the ‘mother hen’ with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The ‘eagle’ tries to catch the ‘chicks’ by touching her arms/shoulders and the ‘mother hen’ needs to prevent that from happening.

– When a ‘chick’ is caught, he/she goes behind the ‘eagle’ and holds onto his/her shoulder. The ‘mother hen’ then needs to try and save

 

 

easy games to play with kids

Pin me to your parenting boards!

 

21. Follow the leader

How to play:

– This game requires at least four players seated cross-legged on the floor in a circle.

– One player chooses one other person to be the leader by tapping on the person’s shoulders while everyone keeps their eyes closed.

– To start the game, everyone creates a rhythm by patting twice on the lap then clap their hands. (pat-pat-clap, pat-pat-clap)

– The chosen leader has to add on an action according to the rhythm to replace the ‘clap’. Players need to follow the actions as soon as they notice the change.

– The leader gets to keep changing the action until someone decides to stop the game to guess who the leader is.

For example:

Pat-pat-clap, pat-pat-clap, pat-pat-touch nose, pat-pat-touch nose, pat-pat- touch shoulders…

Pro tip: This game is most fun and challenging when there are many players involved!

22. Family bonding

How to play:

– Take turns to ask a question about likes and dislikes and everybody answers either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

– Take note of everyone’s answers to each question and find out who has most in common at the end of the game!

– Modify the game by asking questions only pertaining to one family member and everyone tries to guess the correct answer to see who knows the particular family member best.

For example:

Qn: Who likes to eat pizza? (Everyone answers and see who has most in common)

Qn: Does Daddy like to swim? Does Daddy like to drink coffee? (Everyone answers, then Daddy states his correct answer, and see who has the most correct answers wins!

23. Favorite part of the day

How to play:

– Take turns to share what is everyone’s favorite part of the day.

Pro tip: Great to be done before bed time to reflect on the day’s highlights

24. Guess the subject (animal/cartoon character/family member/famous people/fruit/food/snack/place/country)

How to play:

– One person describes the characteristics of the subject and the other player guesses.

25. Humming game

How to play:

– One person hums a tune and the other player guesses what song it is.

Pro tip: Great for playing in the car!

 

screen free activities for kids. 80+ easy games to play with kids

26. Hide and seek

How to play:

– All players hide while one player goes seeking!

Pro tip: If there is limited space for people to hide, take turns to hide toys instead!

27. Hangman

How to play:

– One person thinks of a word and writes down the ‘blanks’ to represent each letter in the word.

– The other player guesses one letter at a time and each time a wrong attempt is made, the player giving the question will draw one stroke.

– If the player cannot guess the word before the entire hangman is drawn, the player loses

For example:

The question word is ‘January’, the person asking the question writes down: ‘_ _ _ _ _ _ _’

28. Heart Attack

How to play:

– A pack of cards will be required. You may use playing cards, UNO, or any set of cards with repeating cards.
– This game requires at least 3 players seated in a circle.
– Start the game with a total number of cards = number of players x 4
– 4 identical cards make up one set. Number of sets = Number of players. Each set of cards should be different from.

– Shuffle and distribute 4 cards to each player.
– At the count of three, each player has to pass one card on their hand to the player on their right.
– The passing of cards keeps continuing until one player has four identical cards in his/her hand.
– When that happens, this player (the winner) shouts “Heart Attack!” and places one hand on the ground/table in the center while all other players stack their hands on top.
– The winner then uses his free hand to hit the hands piled up at the count of three.
– So if the other players don’t remove their hands away at the third count, they risk getting their hands hit!

This is most certainly one of the rowdier screen-free activities!

 

easy games to play with kids

Pin me to your kids’ activities board!

 

29. Imagination game

How to play:

– Someone suggests a theme or a place and everyone takes a turn to say what they imagine to see or do.

For example:

– Setting: At the airport, in outer space, at the beach

Pro tip: This is best played lying down. Great as a game before bedtime or getting the active kids to settle down.

30. I spy with my little eye

How to play:

– One player ‘spies’ something and other players guess what it is.

For example:

me: I spy with my little eye”
Kid: “what do you see?”
Me: “I see something starting with the letter ‘B’”
Kid: have three chances to Guess what it is
– Other suggestions: spy colours and shapes.
– Great as a game in the car or outdoors.

31. I like this but not that

How to play:

– Everyone takes turns to say a sentence about something they like and something they dislike.

– Get creative with the sharing for more laughs or it’s simply a good chance to get to know your child better!

For example:

“I like popcorn, but I don’t like cornbread”
“I like mushrooms but I don’t like mushroom soup”

There’s more where these came from! Want the entire list (A to Z) that will keep your kids engaged the entire year!

 

For more ideas on how to engage your child in more meaningful ways through screen-free activities for families, check out our 5-part series Engage Without Gadgets Challenge!

engage without gadgets challenge. screen free activities for families

 

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12 Comments
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Erin
March 16, 2020 2:48 pm

So many great ideas! I’m going to keep this handy over the next few weeks. Pinning for later!

Sandra Tanner
March 16, 2020 7:33 pm

Awesome ideas! I can see our family playing these and we have kids of all ages. Thanks for the sight!

Anitra Jackson
March 16, 2020 10:20 pm

This is an amazing list of fun and easy games for kids! There are some games on the list I remember playing as a child, and bring back great memories!

Sonja - Too Much Character
March 16, 2020 11:16 pm

Thanks for sharing such helpful game ideas during such an important time. Can’t wait to print some off!

Sarah
March 17, 2020 12:06 pm

Love these! Definitely saving for when my little one is a bit older! Thanks 🙂

Rikki Ridgeway
Rikki Ridgeway
March 17, 2020 1:44 pm

I love these ideas. It’s so incredibly hard to find activities to do that do not require the use of a screen!