Screen-Free with Preschoolers

It is recommended that children not watch T.V. before the age of 2 years. This is easiest time to develop screen-free habits. Here are some ideas.
photo credit: a.pasquier via photopin cc

Most of us are aware that too much T.V. time isn't the healthiest thing for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under age 2 not watch any television and children over age 2 be limited to 1 to 2 hours per day of quality programming (10 hours per week maximum). Sadly, the average toddler or preschool-age child watches 32 hours per week. 

The list of things children can do outside of screen-time is endless. What did children do for thousands of years before the invention of the television? Left to simply be children, they will find much to do on their own. Sometimes a little inspiration from mom is necessary, but given the tools and proper environment, imagination is the name of the game.

Here is a small list of things young children can do instead of watching television.

  • Make a jungle - This is a neat paper craft that young children could do with mom or dad's help.
  • Make play dough - We've all done this. It's simple and fun. It entertains for hours!
  • Play with feet - Here are some great ideas for learning about feet. The children can compare feet to those of other animals, make foot prints with fingerpaints and explore movement.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities - I found an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this. 
  • Decorate a flower pot
  • Paint- fingerpainting is easy (and you can make your own). Kids love watercolors too. This is a great opportunity to refine motor skills and explore colors. 
  • Make mud pies - They can do this out of doors, of course. But have you ever seen a mud pie kitchen? Kind of cool!
Again, this is a small list. But hopefully it inspire you to more ideas for screen-free activities with your preschool child. 

Could you add to the list? I'd love to see your ideas in the comments.

Then please go visit the other talented ladies at the Spring 2013 Hopscotch.

Happy Homeschooling!


  1. Puzzles
    Empty boxes, scissors (or mom's help with a box cutter), and decorating supplies. From little boxes to boxes bigger than they are, my preschoolers have always loved boxes.
    A corner of the garden to dig, plant, and pull up things.

    1. Great suggestions! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing.


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