After a tough year for much of the world, we’re in the middle of summer now and the sun is shining! While we may have the COVID BA5 variant on the horizon (and the potential for further restrictions), that’s not going to stop the kids from enjoying their summer break. With plenty of free time on their kids’ hands, the issue for parents is ensuring they don’t spend too much of it on social media, videogames, and internet browsing.
Recent studies have shown that, in the US, our children watch an average of 99 minutes of TikTok and 61 minutes of YouTube. Together, that’s more than two and a half hours on just two platforms. Other platforms include: Disney+ (47 mins), Netflix (45 mins), Amazon (40 mins), and Twitch (20 mins). These are worrying figures in their own right, but it’s even more concerning how they’ve grown: pre-COVID, it was only 38 minutes of TikTok and 48 minutes of YouTube.
With all that in mind, we thought we’d put together a handy list of screen-free fun activities! The possibilities are almost endless… For this writer, his happiest childhood memories are of summer fun: days at the beach; jumping in the waves and hiding in the dunes; building mini film sets for Lego men out in the woods; roaming and cycling the fields and suburbs with friends — not to mention “borrowing” berries from neighbours’ gardens!
50 Screen-Free Summer Activities
- Go for a walk in the woods.
- Start a summer sketchbook and do a picture a day together.
- Go watch a baseball/soccer/football game.
- Make your own bubbles!
- Paint with sidewalk paint! Let the kids design some crazy patterns.
- Make a book together — write your own story too!
- Start a garden.
- Go to a new park & take pictures together.
- Play in a sprinkler.
- Make paper fans — give them to friends and family.
- An old classic: start a lemonade stand.
- Bake some cookies.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Teach your kids to sew (and learn yourself, too.).
- Visit historical sites.
- Make your own musical instruments.
- Visit the local library.
- Do some star gazing at night.
- Have breakfast/lunch/dinner outside (or all three!).
- When summer rains come along, go make a mess in those puddles!
- Go swimming — outside or in a sport centre.
- Make a kite & take it out.
- Have a barbecue in the garden. Classic S’mores?
- Make your own play dough — and pick some cool designs.
- Catch bugs & insects — make a little zoo and observe them… but set them free afterwards!
- Schedule a park playdate with other children.
- Set up a scavenger hunt out in the woods.
- Set up camp in the backyard.
- Make your own popsicles at home.
- Build a fort & hang out in it all day and night.
- Climb a tree together (choose wisely!).
- Go fishing.
- Take an epic bike ride together.
- Play some good ‘ol fashioned catch out in the yard.
- Search your local government’s website for parade listings. Go join in!
- Skip rocks together on a lake.
- Make a bracelet of flowers or grass. (If you’re near the coast, sand dunes are great for this!)
- Play “duck duck goose” in a field.
- Go to the zoo.
- Have a craft day and make some bracelets or necklaces.
- Lie in a hammock all day long.
- Go to that museum you’ve always meant to visit.
- Watch a fireworks display — or do your own!
- Make fresh strawberry jam (maybe pick your own berries!).
- Send letters to a pen pal.
- Use aluminium foil to make sculptures.
- Go to a classic farmer’s market — good education, too!
- Make homemade pizza — let the kids pick the toppings.
- Have a photography day — you could even make your own dark room.
- Try to learn the different types of bird song in your area.
A Helping Hand from Trend Micro
With those concerning screen time statistics — not to mention tragic news stories of fatal TikTok challenges — parents can be forgiven for despairing at the thought of all this free time their kids currently have. But here at Trend Micro, we understand the challenges of modern parenting. That’s why we’ve been excited about the success of Trend Micro Family, our FREE digital wellness solution that has linked apps for both parents and kids.
Recently, TechRadar even published an organic review of Trend Micro Family, awarding it an impressive 4.5/5.
With this all-in-one parenting tool, you’ll receive updates from Trend Micro on what your children are searching for, viewing, and even what locations they have visited. Add to that our real-time AI that blurs inappropriate content, as well as our social media privacy protection tool — and you’ll be getting the support you need when it comes to managing screen time.
Why not also check out our Internet Safety for Kids and Families program? It was founded in 2008, since becoming a great success by reaching over 3 million students, parents, and teachers in 20 countries. Its Cyber Academy is a fun interactive series for children and their parents to learn lessons on internet safety and digital wellness. The lessons, “Time Online”, and “Healthy Habits” would be a good start!