Two children reading books outside

20 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids with Bleeding Disorders

Ways for children to stay active, engaged and unplugged
Author: Donna Behen

Fortnite. Minecraft. YouTube. Instagram. Snapchat. These days, the list of digital distractions for kids goes on and on and on. During the summer, all parents—whether they have a child with a bleeding disorder or not—face the struggle of limiting screen time and getting kids to take part in screen-free activities.

The following are fun summer activity ideas for children—no Wi-Fi required.

Get your child interested in reading

  1. Visit the library. Swapping screen time for storytime (with printed books) is one of the best ways to cultivate a lifelong love of books and reading. Local libraries have free summer programs with reading activities and incentives for kids of all ages.


  1. Bring audiobooks in the car. If you’re going on a road trip, stash the screens for a while and listen to an exciting audiobook instead.


  1. Create your own comic book. Have fun coming up with the characters and story, and then drawing all the scenes.

Family-friendly home activities

  1. Have a family game night. Go old school and dust off that Monopoly or Scrabble game on a closet shelf, or dig into something newer like the wildly popular The Settlers of Catan.


  1. Have fun with puzzles. A big jigsaw puzzle can keep the whole family engaged, but you can also find brain teasers and logic puzzle books at your local library.


  1. Get cooking. Make a fun summer dessert, like strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie.


Easy arts and crafts at home

  1. Use materials from around the house. Choose an old-fashioned craft project, like milk carton bird feeders, flower crowns or tie-dye T-shirts.


  1. Make art with recycled materials. Make a collage using pictures and words cut from old magazines.


  1. Create a time capsule. First, choose which items to include, such as a few photographs, a recent magazine and an empty cereal box. If you don’t want to bury the time capsule, put it in storage with a label “To be opened in 10 to 15 years.”


  1. Build something. Create a giant castle with building blocks.


Outdoor activity ideas

  1. Take in a free outdoor concert. Listen to beautiful music while enjoying the great outdoors. Don’t forget the blanket, snacks and bug spray.


  1. Play with water. Have a water balloon toss, or set up the sprinkler in the backyard for the kids to run through.


  1. Take a bicycle ride on a nearby trail. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has a list of more than 2,000 trails across the country.


  1. Go for a nature walk. Bring binoculars for bird-watching, or collect interesting stones or other objects along the way.


  1. Organize a yard sale. Search the attic and basement for stuff you no longer use, and don’t forget the lemonade stand. You can use the proceeds for a special dinner out.


  1. Create a colorful chalk mural. You can also play hopscotch or tic-tac-toe.


  1. See a local theater production. Lots of communities offer free Shakespeare in the park performances—as well as other productions—during the summer months.


  1. Go camping in the backyard. Pitch a tent, play flashlight tag and roast some marshmallows over a campfire.


Fun things to do inside on a hot day

  1. Plan a staycation. Visit a local museum or science center you’ve never been to before.


  1. Make an indoor fort. Raining outside? No problem. Big cardboard boxes work great as construction materials, but so do couch cushions, pillows and blankets.