37 Things Our Kids Did (Without Screens) in Our Device-Free Summer

We did not do any devices/video games last summer. For the most part, we kept the TV off too.

But when I napped with the preschooler, and when we had sick days, we did freely enjoy I Love Lucy. So we didn’t outright ban TV, but we did purposefully and sharply limited screen time.

We’re following the same basic approach this summer.



BECAUSE it’s summertime!




Here are 37 things our kids did, other than screen time, last summer:

  1. Get outside.
  2. Find a ladybug.
  3. Splash in the pool.
  4. Water the plants.
  5. Build a fort.
  6. Go for a walk.
  7. Learn to unicycle.
  8. Plant a squash seed.
  9. Walk barefoot in the grass.
  10. Dig a hole.
  11. Be “bored” long enough to come up with some great, creative ideas.
  12. Pick and eat berries.
  13. Catch and pet a chicken.
  14. Sweep off the deck.
  15. Help mom build something in the yard.
  16. Tidy the garage.
  17. Learn to correctly pitch a tent.
  18. Camp out in the backyard in your tent.
  19. Get plenty of sunshine.
  20. Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows.
  21. Catch a butterfly and watch it in a jar.
  22. Weed the garden together.
  23. Look for frogs.
  24. Bake a fresh berry pie from scratch.
  25. Take bike rides.
  26. Trim the widow’s tree (teach your kids the proper way to do it).
  27. Pet sit, or mow a lawn for neighbors.
  28. Sell lemonade.
  29. Build a tire swing. (Because we don’t have any tall trees on our city lot, the kids got creative and hung ours from the rafters, in the garage!)
  30. Read books.
  31. Go on a family hike near a waterfall.
  32. Focus in on life skills, like cooking together.
  33. Be more disciplined about keeping the kids going on chores, since there’s no schoolwork/schedule to worry about.
  34. Jump on the trampoline.
  35. Lay on the soft, high grass that grows beneath the trampoline.
  36. Mow the lawn because the grass is too high.
  37. When it’s too hot and everyone comes inside, do short, intensive cleaning of problem spots in the house.



IN THE COMMENTS: Do your kids need a screen detox? Do you? Could your family take a similar approach, this summer?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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