Families share their screen-free activity ideas for kids


Kemp Mill mother of five Rose Litwack recently posted on Facebook that she feels like she’s reliving her 1980s childhood this summer.

Ranging in age from three to nine years old, the elder Litwack children are occupying themselves with a range of throwback crafts (baby Azaria is not involved). They are using perler beads, shrinky dinks, popsicle sticks, and one of those little weaving looms you have to see to understand if it is from before (or after) your time:

Image may contain: indoor
Photo by Rose Litwack/Facebook

The Litwack family isn’t alone in their retro pastimes right now. With indoor playdates still a no-no and camp options limited due to the pandemic, parents are drawing creative inspiration from the time before Twitch and iPads (even Game Boys!) to keep their kids happily occupied without resorting to all day, every day screen time.

Other Washington-area families shared photos and videos of their creative endeavors:


Break out the Crayolas

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Helgeson/Facebook

For Rockville toddler Anne Latwin, refilling the crayon box after coloring time is an activity in of itself, according to mom Jennifer Helgeson Latwin.

Whether your kids are freehand artists like Anne, prefer to stay within the lines of a coloring book or are old enough to create a comics ala George and Harold from “Captain Underpants,” crayons and colored pencils can be a staple supplies of the summer.

Be the bubbles

Rysel Cohen, another Kemp Mill mom, posted the video below on Facebook of her boys Seth and Mikey engaged in a twist on the classic activity of blowing bubbles: armed with a pan full of homemade bubble solution, they formed shapes with their hands and used them in place of plastic wands.


Get in the 4th of July spirit

Heather Horn recommended this craft project (and gave credit for it to her daughter’s teachers at the Silver Spring Learning Center): Make multiple 1/4 to 1/2 inch cuts upward on the end of a toilet paper roll. Fold over the cut pieces so they stick out at a 90 degree angle. Dip in various paint colors and press onto paper to make fireworks.

Photo by Heather Horn/Facebook

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