Plan the Ultimate Screen-Free Funday for the Whole Family - Bookshelf Memories

Plan the Ultimate Screen-Free Funday for the Whole Family

People can easily find themselves interacting more with people they’ve never met than they do with their immediate family. Technology can get in the way of building meaningful relationships. To forge special family memories, screen-free time is essential.

Plan a Family Funday with One or More of These Screen-Free Activities

1. Go Rock-hounding and paint rocks

rocks painted in different designs

The U.S. has a bounty of treasure scattered around every State. Anyone with a fascination in geology will be spoiled. Take that interest, combine it with painting, and you can turn it into a sort of treasure hunt. Find large rocks, paint them, write messages on them, and make time capsules with your family. Go back to the spots they were hidden at and see if you can locate them. Or share your newfound pastime with others near you who can share in the expedition experience. It could become an annual trip with newfound discoveries each time.

2. Visit a literary destination

Powell’s in Portland's Pearl District

Wayne Hsieh (Flickr), CC BY-NC 2.0

A haven for bookworms is Powell’s in Portland's Pearl District. The brand has “City of books” as its tagline because its independent bookstores take up a city block! This is where you can immerse yourself in that city. Over a million books in 3,500 sections, and nine color-coded rooms. An adventure ripe for exploration and discovery! Aside from bookstores, America’s best-known authors of all time have museums dedicated to them. Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and Nobel prize winner, William Faulkner. If you’re up for extending the trip with an overnight stay, consider a trip to the Ingalls Homestead (Little House on the Prairie), in South Dakota. It’s one of the few literary destinations you can camp at. Take an RV or a tent.

3. Build and Fly Kites

Flying Rokkaku kites joined together

Pmau, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Kites are underrated. They’re the perfect pastime for windy days. You don’t need much wind to fly them and you can be as creative as you like with the design. For kids, single-line kites are ideal. You could build the traditional diamond-shaped kite, the Delta kite, make a parafoil kite, or keep things old-school with the traditional box kite. In Asia, kite flying is a tradition at festivals. In China, they have fengzheng with no fewer than 300 designs that range from birds, fish, insects, and written characters. For anyone into Japanese art forms and styles,
build a Rokkaku kite. The frames are six-sided and made with bamboo and washi paper.

4. Visit miniature towns or Museums

Miniature diorama with train traveling across country at Miniature World, Victoria, Canada

InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0

Those with an interest in DIY book nook kits, and other styles of miniatures will be in their element in tiny towns. Young kids are always wishing they were taller. Let them experience that by taking them on a trip to a miniature town. It’s perfectly fine to use tech to plan your trip. Just don't use it on your screen-free funday. To find somewhere near you, toggle on your location settings on your device then search for “miniature museums near me”. If you’re up for a trip farther away, check out this list of miniature towns around the world

5. Plan for the evening with tabletop gaming

Ticket to Ride Railway-Themed Board Game

A day out filled with off-screen activities doesn’t need to end when you return home. Leave the router turned off and ban devices. Continue the fun into the evening with one of the best creative hobbies for the family - Tabletop gaming. If you want to extend the fun, send out invites and host a night of gaming. Fun-filled games, pizza, snacks, and cocktails if it’s an adult game night, mocktails for an alcohol-free game night.

6. Discover new card games

Couple playing cards at table in small RV camper

Card games could be considered a necessity for families who camp. There’s not much else to do in the evenings, in the wild. You don’t need to go camping to play cards. Build your stack of card game knowledge at home, then when you do go camping, you’ll have a bank of card games to call on. With a standard 52-card deck, (54 cards when you include the Jokers), there’s over a thousand games can be played. Some classics, others variations of them.

7. Craft with Cardboard

kids playhouse made of cardboard

Jen (Flickr) , CC BY 2.0

Put all those delivery packages to good use by turning them into crafting material. Make castles out of boxes, farmyard animals from empty toilet roll tubes, turn a shoe box into an aquarium diorama, and for those large boxes, you could make a walk-in cardboard house for toddlers. They’ll love decorating the inside of it.

8. Change things up in the kitchen with different types of cuisines

Yakisoba - Japanese stir fried noodles

You don't need to travel to experience cultural cuisines. Have a go creating cultural culinary dishes from your kitchen. Print out some recipes for different regions, buy the ingredients, and then spend a few hours putting everything together. You don't need to stick to one. Vary things with a Japanese appetizer, a Chinese main course, and wind things up with a traditional Italian dessert.

9. Family Summer Olympics

family day with backyard games

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Flickr), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Backyard games are fun for all the family. It can be even more fun with more people, and a little competition thrown into the mix. Family summer Olympics are essentially a spin on backyard games, turning it into a competition. This is an event to bring families together. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, Nieces. The more, the merrier! Divide into teams and make a day of it.

10. Learn and practice survival skills

 Group learning survival skills = here they are learning to build a shelter in the wood using what's around

by PO2 Lauren Dean,

Survival skills are best learned in practice. Like stripping sticks to make kindling for a campfire, foraging in the wild for edible flora, (or to make press-dried floral art), building a fort that stands up to rough weather (before it’s needed), and basic things like opening a can with only a pocket knife. In today’s tech-driven world, survival skills are becoming more like history lessons instead of practical life lessons. Use screen-free time to practice useful things that’ll be handy to know if the skills are ever needed.