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10 Ways to Go Technology-Free this Summer


Here are 10 activities to get your family to close the screens on their devices and spend quality time together this summer, technology-free.

Father and Daughter Being Technology Free
  1. Get Your Game Face On: Break out the classics! Remember Chutes & Ladders, Operation, Candy Land and checkers? Spread a blanket outdoors or head to the screened porch and let the games begin.
  2. Create an Art Box: Fill a plastic bin with “found” supplies—glue sticks, crayons, stickers, construction paper, old buttons, scrap fabric. And check those junk drawers (string and paper clips work great for temporary displays).
  3. Set up a Scavenger Hunt: In the backyard or local park, hide clues that lead up to a small surprise—a pack of jacks or playing cards—but remember sunscreen to protect skin from sun damage. You might also prepare for handling unexpected cuts and scrapes when heading out away from home.
  4. Bring the Books Outdoors: After a trip to the library, have a book picnic in the yard under a shady tree. Serve refreshing lemonade as you pore over piles of books together. (If your child has allergies, take some steps to keep sensitivities in check.)
  5. Deck the Walls: Let your older kids plan and lead a creative bedroom makeover—they can even choose the paint color and theme. More the outdoor types? Let them tackle the deck, wood-slat fence, or patio furniture that was left out all winter.
  6. Gardens Galore: Assign your child a little spot and a little something to grow. Herbs are a quick and easy choice for beginners. They’ll love adding a little something special to their next salad or pasta—with mom’s help, of course. (Gardening can get a little messy so keep some cleansing washcloths on hand!)
  7. Raise Money for a Cause: Encourage your teen to bake treats to sell or plan a garage sale as a way to raise money for a cause they care about.
  8. Tempted to Tie-Dye: Got whites? Find old sheets, pillowcases, bandanas, or T-shirts and have a tie-dye party. Your kids can add pizazz to almost anything. Consider a sleepover with the new colorful pillowcases.
  9. A Path of Their Own: No set plan, just a walk. Follow your child’s lead when he kneels down to watch the ants march along the jagged sidewalk’s edge or races into the woods looking for animal tracks.
  10. What Did You Do Last Summer? Gather a wire-bound sketchbook to fill with doodles, drawings, stories, glue and glitter. Your child can watch, wonder, record, and come late August, share favorite pages—and memories.

And if all this activity warrants a little rest—open the windows and settle in for a noontime nap.

In collaboration with National 4-H Council. Visit for more tips, ideas and activities for the entire family.