8 Screen-free Activities to Support Virtual Learning
From educational apps to various online learning games and tools, it's no secret that technology has been integrated into just about every aspect of the modern classroom. And while tech can be a helpful learning tool, there is too much of a good thing. Excessive screen time has been linked to everything from poor sleep habits to increased anxiety and depression. Therefore, students need to take breaks from screens during the school day.
As a parent, you can continue to support your child's virtual learning at home by providing screen-free activities that will help them to stay engaged and focused. Here are eight great ideas to get you started.
Practice handwriting and penmanship
Handwriting is one of the foundational skills necessary for learning how to read and write. But with so much focus on screen-based learning, many kids are no longer getting the opportunity to practice this important skill.
You can support your child's virtual learning by providing them with opportunities to practice their handwriting at home. This can be as simple as giving them a stack of blank paper and some crayons or markers to use during breaks from screen time. You can also get more creative by utilizing fun materials other than pencil and paper. A sandbox, for instance, can be used by your little one to practice writing letters with their fingers or a stick.
Create a homemade obstacle course
Get your child up and moving with a homemade obstacle course! This screen-free activity is great for improving gross motor skills, coordination, and balance. And it can be easily tailored to meet your child's individual needs and interests.
Some ideas for obstacles to include in your course are:
- Crawling under a table or through a tunnel made out of blankets
- Jumping over pillows or small hurdles
- Balancing on a beanbag or stability ball
Get creative with arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are a great way for kids to express their creativity while also working on fine motor skills. There are endless possibilities for art projects, so try to provide materials that will spark your child's imagination.
Some screen-free art activity ideas include:
- Painting with watercolors, tempera paints, or dot markers
- Building towers out of colorful foam blocks
- Making homemade Play-Doh
Complete a jigsaw puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles are not only fun. They can also help improve problem-solving skills, visual-spatial awareness, and patience. If your child is working on a virtual learning curriculum with heavy on-screen time, provide them with opportunities to take breaks with screen-free activities like jigsaw puzzles.
Play board games
Board games are another great screen-free activity that can help improve various cognitive skills. These include strategic thinking, memory, and problem-solving. And there are games to suit every interest, so you're sure to find one that your child will love.
Put together a homemade scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids up and moving while encouraging them to use their critical thinking skills. You can tailor the difficulty of the hunt to meet your child's individual needs and interests.
Some ideas for items to include on your scavenger hunt list are:
- Something red
- Something that smells good
- Something soft
- Something that makes noise
Write a letter to a friend or family member
Writing letters is a great screen-free activity for kids of all ages. It provides an opportunity for kids to practice their writing skills. It also helps them develop communication and social skills.
Play with legos or blocks
Building with legos or blocks is an excellent screen-free activity for kids. It's a great way to encourage creativity and spatial thinking skills. And it's also a lot of fun! Try giving them the challenge to add more twists. For example, see if they can build the tallest tower or the longest bridge.
Technology is a vital tool for learning and education. However, it's also vital to make sure that kids are getting a well-rounded education that includes opportunities for screen-free activities. Be sure to balance out your child's learning with these activities that will help to support their overall development.
Our Virtual Classes at Mrs. Myers’ Learning Lab, offer the same, play-based, multi-sensory approach as the rest of our programming! To ensure student engagement, children get their own keepsake box shipped directly to their home with materials prepped for virtual participation!