Do we need parental controls for Legos, books, or pulling weeds in the backyard? No. Rethink how toxic screen use is controlling our kids lives and stop giving kids smartphones and video games.


Do we need parental controls for Legos, books, or pulling weeds in the backyard? No. Rethink how toxic screen use is controlling our kids lives and stop giving kids smartphones and video games.

To remove toxic screens we need to replace that time spent with extracurricular and non-tech activities. 

Reading is one of the first life skills that gets pruned when a child is immersed in gaming or social media. A love for reading must be cultivated early. If it’s not, then kids can lose out on a lifetime of blessings. Books are as powerful as best friends because they help build empathy. 

There are thousands of games, activities and hobbies that will encourage social interaction and real-life play. Get your kids and teens involved—open their eyes to real world activities, make it fun, and leave the screens behind.

What to Do When Your Kids Are Bored


Start a collection, cook, learn a foreign language, read (start a book club).

Painting, pen and ink drawing, sketching, photography.

Writing—short story, poetry, novel.

Drama club/acting—check community theatre in your town.

Filmmaking is easy with all the new software. Give them assignments to make home movies with their friends or interview people.


Organized Sports:  Baseball, Flag-Football, Basketball, Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Martial Arts, Golf, Fencing

Start a new tradition and cheer for the local teams. Go to local high school/college/professional sporting events. Parents can coach little league or help with Scouts.

Building & Creating

Little Kids

  • Duplo Legos, Tinkertoys, Playmobile
  • Wooden blocks, train sets, puzzles
  • Plastic action figures: army men, superheroes etc.
  • Plastic animals
  • Play kitchen
  • Dollhouse, dolls, Barbies
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Play-Doh
  • Dress up/make believe/costumes

Big Kids & Teens

  • Legos
  • Art supplies: drawing, painting, model clay, etc.
  • Science experiment kits
  • Plastic model kits—make sure age-appropriate or it will be frustrating
  • Wood burning (craft)
  • Wood carving
  • Knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, embroidering, sewing
  • Model car building

Outdoor Activities

  • Shoot hoops in the driveway
  • Bike ride in neighborhood
  • Throw football/baseball in the backyard
  • Build forts outside
  • Trampoline
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Play tag
  • Exercise outside
  • Backyard camping
  • Frisbee golf
  • Scouting
  • Hiking/nature walks
  • Swimming
  • Rock climbing
  • Paintball
  • Flying kites
  • Bowling
  • Escape Room
  • Snow skiing
  • Fire-pit night
  • Geo-caching
  • Stomp rockets
  • Kickball
  • Badminton
  • Archery
  • Frisbee
  • Hang a tire swing
  • Flashlight tag
  • Backyard golf
  • Draw with lighted sparklers (parental supervision)
  • Plant a garden
  • Play an indoor game outside
  • Wash the dog
  • Throw a tennis ball against the garage door
  • Backyard picnic lunch
  • Make a dish garden
  • Reading outside
  • Art project outside
  • Live sporting events
  • Go to plays or other live entertainment events
  • Water skiing
  • Vacation
  • Road-trips
  • Water balloon fight
  • Firefly search (at night)
  • Catch bugs
  • Play on the swing
  • Climb a tree
  • Metal detecting
  • Hide and seek
  • Whippleball
  • Four square
  • Jumprope
  • Soccer
  • Fishing
  • Running (track)
  • Juggling


Collect songs on iPod/MP3 player from different music genres; classical, pop, jazz, top40, etc.

Join a choir

Try out for a musical theater show at school or in the community.

Listen to favorite songs/CDs as a family, introduce vinyls and cassettes

Attend musical concerts

Sign up for music lessons (vocal, piano, guitar, violin, drums, etc.)

Learn to read and write music


Taking care of a family pet builds responsibility, empathy, and a lot of family memories!

Dogs and cats are best, but you can also think outside the box: rabbits, birds, turtles, snakes, alpacas and chickens (as space allows).

Start a Business

Mowing lawns/yard work, babysitting, chop firewood, pet sitting/walking.

Volunteer Services

Individual: Tutoring younger kids through community group, school, church etc., Big Brother/Big Sister organization, animal shelter volunteer.   

Group: Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank volunteer, mission trip/youth group, helping at nursing homes, feed the homeless.

Board & Card Game Ideas

Podcast Episodes

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