By Jaimi Erickson
Every parent feels the challenge of trying to have a stress-free summer vacation with the kids. A big part of this is determining how to balance summer activities with screen time. We want to keep the kids active so they can chill out without screens all the time. Having a variety of screen-free summer vacation activities planned or available will help you feel better about what your children are doing with their time off from school.
Micro-managing my children’s screen time is the only way I have found to keep them accountable to time spent away from electronic devices. When I limit their screen time — and hold them to that — I feel less stress as a mom. This summer is an opportunity to thrive and enjoy the kids’ time off for summer vacation. My plan to accomplish this involves being clear about my expectations, providing activity ideas when needed, and getting the kids to help around the house.
Screen-Free Activities for Kids During Summer Vacation
Start with clear expectations on what the screen time limits will be in your home — whether you limit them to the time of day they can watch or play online, or just the amount of time they spend doing it. We have limits and they are enforced. That means we hear, “I’m bored,” a lot! But part of parenting is holding your ground. These screen time tips will help.
Also, this free printable checklist to keep kids accountable for their screen time is a great visual. Have each child follow the list every day to teach good habits.
Activity Lists for Ideas
After establishing expectations, keep some activity ideas handy for summer vacation boredom busters. I previously shared this list of summer boredom ideas.
Cool Mom Picks has a big list of screen-free activity ideas for kids. They are great for a variety of ages.
Sometimes kids just need a reminder of all the activity options they do have. This list of over 25 summer vacation activities is helpful. There are many you can do together as a family, too.
Some quiet time at the table is good for everyone to avoid the burnout from constantly being busy. These printable worksheets can help kids work on skills through the summer. Put together a pack for your child for road trips or just time at home on rainy days.
This list of simple, activities that only require one supply are handy, too. Multi-age groups of kids can play together and they require little prep or set up.
Children who have to-do lists or chores are children learning that they can and need to help at home. I am a fan of chores for kids. For one, it teaches them life skills. Secondly, it takes tasks off of my own to-do list.
Kids can help with a lot of household chores. I have shared many ideas for age-appropriate chores for kids if you need suggestions.
Keys to a Successful Summer
These tips will help you set screen time limits, enforce them, and have a great list of screen-free quiet time activities for kids. The activities will help you give your kids options when they say they are bored. Some are fun, some teach concepts, and some are just necessary for raising children that help at home.