Many teachers appreciated my screen-free activities during the sudden school closures this past spring during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Schools went to distance learning and using online platforms to teach students stuck at home to prevent further virus exposure. So here is a blog post with a video I made with a bunch of screen-free activities back in March. (I’m sorry I didn’t post this back then, but hey, we were in a pandemic and my daughter and I were postponing her wedding 10 days before the event!)
And as we look to the 2020-21 school year, many schools will continue distance learning or some hybrid version using online learning platforms. I am all for technology like this, however, it is essential that kids have screen-free activities when they get overwhelmed with all the online assignments and video class meetings. Below are some engaging and active screen-free learning activities you can easily assign your students (or children, if you are a parent reading this). Screen-free in this instance is that they do not require a computer or tablet to do them.
Screen-Free Activity Video
These activities could be beneficial in several different situations:
- If your school will provide online platforms or video conferencing for the core curriculum, then the lessons in this resource will likely be extra activities that you can tailor to your class or students.
- However, many families in rural areas don’t have the internet, but parents have cell phones. So teachers can copy the text of activities they choose and send to families via text or phone app. Then kids do the activities. Optional: Ideas are given if you want kids to send back a photo or short video showing what they did (if they are able).
- Finally, these activities might just be included in a printed packet that goes home for families with no internet/wifi at all. (I have quite a few families in this situation).
Academic and Functional
As you can see in the video, I designed these screen-free activities in many subject areas and tried to make them applicable to being at home. For example, some challenges include sorting/folding laundry or reading words on cereal boxes. However, please note that the video just goes over some of the activities. I have added several more, such as art and science, which can be found in the free download from my TpT store.
Get Kids Moving
Finally, I designed the screen-free activities to be active when possible. We all know that kids (and adults) need to keep moving to use up all the pent up energy. These challenges will help! In addition, I tried to make them flexible enough so teachers can adapt them to their specific class. For example, a teacher can easily provide a custom list of words or vocabulary to fit their student population and special needs. Moreover, in a few weeks, the teacher can use the same activity with a different set of words, or use it with a different subject area.
Teachers have requested more screen-free activities, so I have created additional Google Slide documents for a second and third week. They are both available in my TpT Store. I hope they help teachers engage students during this time of school closures. Below are links to everything:
- WEEK 1: Google Slides format
- WEEK 1: Video explaining WEEK 1, plus support document in an editable PDF format
- WEEK 2: Google Slides format
- WEEK 3: Google Slides format
In Week 3, I also include ideas and strategies for how you can reuse activities in the future just by changing the directions a little, or choosing a different topic or word list. I think doing this will help kids settle into new routines of learning at home. Below I am including some feedback I have gotten from Wee 2 and 3:
Shortly after schools closed in March, many of my students’ parents were looking for resources of educational activities that their children could do without more screen time. This was a great resource that I could send them on short notice without a whole lot of work on my part. -Anne C.
Finally, I have gotten a few requests to create a WEEK 4 set of challenges. If you are interested in those, please follow my TpT store so you will be notified when I create new screen-free activities or any new resources.
You might also like…
Here some other ideas for teaching during the pandemic.
Check this blog post out for ideas for home visits with your students… these good idea will still work during a pandemic if you “visit” their home via Zoom, Google Meet, etc. video conferencing app.