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4 things for kids to do screen-free

Screen-free activities for children
Step away from the iPad, turn off the TV and put down the phone: there are so many brilliant things to do that don't involve screens (but do involve lots of fun!). Learn to make chalk paint, create a space nebula, fold your own pet (paper, origami) frog and take your first steps into garden art with an extract from 101 Things for Kids to do Screen-Free by Dawn Isaac.

It's true: screen-free time doesn't have to hurt. In fact, turn off your screens and you might find there are other things to do. Just off the top of my head I can think of 101 of them.

So how about experimenting yourself? Why not try walking on tin can stilts, making a magic wallet, cooking a mug cake, creating a mini golf course of painting with water guns? You might even find you have fun at the same time.

Make chalk paint

Sometimes things are so small they're of no use at all. Stop looking at your little brother like that – I was talking about chalks! Yes, when you've used them so often they're just a little stub, it can be tempting to throw them away, but don't! Because old ends of coloured chalks are perfect for recycling as chalk paint.

Create a space nebula

Creating space in your bedroom – that’s tricky. I mean it probably involves tidying for starters.

Recreating part of space in your bedroom – that’s a lot easier. In particular we are going to create a nebula, otherwise known as a giant interstellar cloud of dust and gases where stars are born or die. Like I said, it’s a lot easier than tidying up.

Fold an origami frog

If you’ve always wanted a pet frog, this is the one for you. After all, real frogs are tricky – what with them being wild creatures and avoiding human beings wherever possible. This one though is happy to be tamed, has slime-free skin, needs no slug-heavy diet and best of all, will turn somersaults whenever you want.

Create garden art

Now let’s face it – nature is already pretty good at this whole artistic thing, but in most gardens it is a bit limited. Oh look, it’s made a flower, and a tree, and there’s a flower and what’s that? Oh yes, I do believe it’s another tree! But actually there are all sorts of potential artworks waiting to happen – nature just needs to borrow a bit of your creativity.

More screen-free boredom-busters for kids

If you've enjoyed this small selection of hands-on, screen-free activity suggestions, 101 Things for Kids to do Screen-Free by Dawn Isaac (£10.35, Kyle Books) has 97 more ideas to try!

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