Need some ideas for screen-free indoor independent play? Here are 10 no or low-prep ideas.

Need some ideas for screen-free indoor independent play? Here are 10 no or low-prep ideas.

  • Build a crash course with pillows – my kids love to use all the porch cushions and pillows.
  • Sing, giggle, play with me – Sing Along with Mandy Podcast has a new show every week.
  • Water plants – teach your child how to water your indoor plants or garden – they will love the real work!
  • Practice your namesearch this site for your child’s name. Print and staple and let them at it! Don’t see your kid’s name? Here’s Valerie’s – you can make something similar!
  • Create ‘centers‘ – blocks, puzzles, costumes, reading, water play, writing, etc. Keep materials in boxes and bins and invite your child to take one out at a time. I have a stack of boxes near our dining room table (ie the primary workspace).
  • Create a house under the table. cover a table with a sheet, give your child a measuring cup as a pretend pot. I give my 4yo dried noodles to pretend to cook mac n cheese.
  • Make a new puzzle. Tired of putting together the same old puzzles? Put together that Thomas the Train puzzle one more time – and then flip it over (or challenge the kids to put it together upside down!). Then give them markers or crayons and have them create their own drawing on the back. All of a sudden you’ve got a brand-new, unique puzzle! Originally posted here.
  • Give a toy bath – provide a bin, water, dish soap and a sponge and let your child go! Lay a towel under your bin, or play in the kitchen sing bathtub if you’re worried about spillage.
  • Tear paper. Really, some kids love this and it’s a great intervention for building the hand muscles needed for writing! Give your kid paper to tear and a box in which to tear it. I’ve seen a set up that involved a box big enough for the kid to sit it. Why not?
  • Real” Science: water play + dramatic play. Full details here.

Need more indoor play ideas?

Looking for a way to manage the chaos AND teach independence? Check out this post for an awesome idea with sticky notes.

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