Monday, November 24, 2014

Fun Freetime: 150+ Screen-Free Activities

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book as a thank-you for this post.

It's common sense that too much screen time isn't good for kids. A recent study highlighted this by pointing out it can affect how kids recognize emotions. It's easy to give kids screens, but it can be tricky to come up with entertaining alternatives.

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from! by Asia Citro, ME.d. provides step-by-step instructions and handy photographs to help develop kids’ creativity and skills. Each budget-friendly project will keep children entertained, engaged, and learning all day long. 
As a homeschooling mother, I loved that these activities contained an element of learning. As a frugal mom, I loved that most used things we had around the house, or things that were very inexpensive. And as someone who has always loved many different activities, I was impressed that many things in the book were new to me - or things I had been too intimidated to try.

Other great features: there are activities for all age ranges, including babies; any potential allergens are clearly indicated; and many activities are intentionally designed for families with kids in different age groups.

I'm going to share one of my girls' favorites here:

Baked Cotton Balls 

This is appropriate for toddlers on up. You mix a cup of flour with 3/4 cup water and food coloring (you can use different colors). Then dip cotton balls in the mixture, place on foil-lined tray (it can ruin the cookie sheet otherwise), and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

I had never thought about doing this, but my girls had so much fun using them for art projects and crumbling the shell around the outside, playing with the textures and being creative! There are tons more ideas in the book, so check it out!

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