30+ Unplugged Play Ideas

Unplugged Play Ideas ::: SimpleKids.net

Today”s the day!  We”re beginning our much anticipated series on  Unplugged play:  no batteries required.

We”ve got over 30 Ideas (and counting) for unplugged play.

It seems, at times, like play and childhood are becoming obsolete.  We live in such a hurry-up world that it can be easy to forget that life doesn’t have to be that fast-paced and play doesn’t require batteries or the endorsement of a television character.   I invite you and your kids to slow down and reconnect with simple play

(scroll down for the complete list)

Unplugged Play

Each idea will feature a short post with a simple idea or two for “unplugged” play – no batteries or power cords required.

Activity Number 1

Unplugged Activity #1 – Today, I”m starting you off with perhaps the easiest unplugged play idea:  simply open the backdoor today and send your kids outside to play.  Bonus points if you go with them. 

Overly simple?  Maybe.  But when was the last time you played with your kids outside?  I have a feeling some of you are overdue for some backyard frolicking and I bet your kids would be thrilled if you joined them for some sandbox digging, a game of tag, or  a walk around the yard.  Get out there!

Need a little more direction?  Kids looking at you wide-eyed with no idea where to get started?  Have  children who don”t really want to play tag or dig in the dirt?

  1. Hand them a camera or sketch pad and tell them to take picture/draw what they see.
  2. Go on a nature walk, around the yard or neighborhood.  Don”t forget to look up and look down.
  3. A pile of picture books and a blanket = a reading picnic.  Enjoy the October sunshine while we have it, friends.

However, I would also stress that you shouldn”t be afraid to give your kids what Kim John Payne calls “the gift of boredom.”  Don”t feel like you have to direct their every move outdoors.  Give them some space casino online to get a little bit bored and eventually they will find something to do, even if it is just to sit and cloud watch or daydream  (good for grown-ups, too).

Unplugged Activity #2 –  two words:  blanket fort.  I”ll leave how simple or elaborate it becomes up to you and your kids.

Have fun!

More Unplugged Play Ideas:

Activity #3Stuffed Animal Zoo

Activity #4 – Story Themed Playscape

Activity #5May I take your order?

Activity #6Take dolly for a walk

Activity #7Apple painting

Activity #8 – Cardboard Castle

Activity #9 Games for Paper and Pencil

Activity #10Stick Puppets

Activity #11Garden Playscape

Activity #12Calm Down Jar (glitter bears)

Activity #13Play a game together

Activity #14Play Dough

Activity #15 Post Office Pretend Play

Activity #16 – Apple Orchard Playscape

Activity #17 – Junk Mail Art Projects

Activity #18Stacking and Building

Activity #19 – Bathing baby dolls

Activity #20Knock! Knock! Jokes

Activity #21 – Newspaper Hats

Activity #22 Sidewalk Chalk

Activity #23Kiddie Pool Bubbles (think GIANT bubble bath)

Activity #24Solar Oven S”mores

Activity #25Build a MEGA Fort

Activity #26Jump Rope

Activity #27Have a Park Day

Activity #28Ride a bike

Activity #29Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Activity #30Host an Outdoor Art Party

Activity #31Play with Cloud Dough

Activity #32watch the clouds (and do some simple weather experiments)

Activity #33Get Messy! Homemade Playdough, Silly Putty, and Finger Paint

Activity #34Paper Plate Farm Animals

Activity #35Go on a Color Hunt Nature Walk

More ideas are added all the time, so check back often as we gather more fun ideas for Unplugged Play!

Are you ready for some simple, unplugged playtime fun?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. Robin from Frugal Family Times says:

    I’m in! Looking forward to starting this with you!
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Hard, Sweaty, Fun: Organize Your Day for YOUR Happiness!

  2. We’re always up for some good unplugged play ideas. I absolutely love taking books outside, and we don’t do it nearly enough. I’ll make sure that my littlest one and I do that tomorrow. Looking forward to it :).
    Two Chicks and a Hen´s latest post: Happy October!

  3. Love, love, love this idea! Thanks for the inspiration! :-)
    Debi´s latest post: Why We Love Ranger Rick Magazines

  4. Love this series already. Thank you!
    Caroline´s latest post: Weekend Inspiration: Clinging to the Vine

  5. Oh – this is wonderful!

    Can’t wait to hear more ideas for this type of play (is it just me, but I feel that this is fast becoming a lost art for so many children and parents alike).
    Becky´s latest post: A Nature Shelf! {week 1, October 2012}

  6. We’re actually headed out on a walk in the woods today! Woot!
    Johanna @ My Home Tableau´s latest post: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Mornings

  7. The leaves are just perfect here, I think a little walk is definitely in order!
    Molly Makes Do´s latest post: Underground: Reclaiming the Little Holidays

  8. I can’t seem to shake off the sleepys this morning. I think a walk outside is the perfect idea.
    Ashlee´s latest post: Miss Me?

  9. This is just brilliant – I love it!!! I can’t wait to see the fun you get up too!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Where in the World is Wally… A Wonderful Awesome Amazing Collection of GiveAways and Swaps…

  10. Thank you Kara! It’s been a while since we’ve play outside ALL together. =)
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: A simple guide to cooking dried beans

  11. I love both ideas so far. You are right, I am almost always outside with my kids, but rarely am I ever actually playing with them. I am usually puttering in the yard and trying to get something accomplished!

    I am really looking forward to your other posts!

    Thanks so much!
    The Orchard´s latest post: Bedtime Coziness

  12. Fun!! I hope the rain stops, then we may go for a walk. If not DEFINITELY the blanket fort!!
    Heather´s latest post: Another Zoo Day

  13. Yay – this will be fun!!
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: How to deal with twaddle in your homeschool

  14. Thanks for these great ideas! My kids are now outside playing in a tent(close enough to the idea I figure)! Can’t wait for tomorrow .

  15. Sounds great, Kara. I’m looking forward to a month of play. We were outside yesterday painting. I have bought a giant canvas, which we are decorating to hang on our wall.
    Catherine´s latest post: An Invitation to Build: Lego Vehicles

  16. Love this series already. I would like to give my kids the gift of boredom! Glad to have found you through Nester’s link up. I’m looking forward to what you have to share. I am blogging “I Wear Pink”. Please stop by.

  17. Fun! And this is a perfect time to be sure we’re enjoying outside time–never know how long that will last!
    Lynda @ Rhody Reader´s latest post: Lois Ehlert Toddler Crafty

  18. Thank you for the mom inspiration. We just moved and I wanted to start “fresh”. I need simple ideas and I am looking forward to reading each day. Thanks in advance.

  19. This is going to be good! Looking forward to a daily dose of inspiration. We’re doing the 31 day series too.
    Melitsa´s latest post: 31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Three} Reading Car Maze

  20. I love this 31 Day Topic! We love getting outside and playing. Especially now that we can run around without Mama getting sweaty (I get cranky when I sweat).

    We’re doing a 31 day series, too.
    Allyson @ All Our Days´s latest post: Duplo Blocks Counting & Tower Matching Busy Bag

  21. Thanks so much for these great ideas. Our focus this month has been on slowing down and living a bit more simply. Your ideas are wonderful ways to do just that while connecting with our little ones!

  22. This is my kinda 31 days. I pride myself on not turning the tv on. I like the challenge of finding activities for my toddler and I to do. It’s memory building and so much more fun than being “plugged in”.
    Mel@ThDizzyMom´s latest post: Fancy Ramen

  23. This fits perfectly with our theme: Bonding with Family Fun. Single moms need more ideas just like this one to increase family together times.


  1. […] Just joining us?  Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  2. […] Just joining us?  Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  3. […] the tv off my sweet Littles will have more time for unplugged play. {Photo: The Geeky […]

  4. […] of Jump Into a Book. The topic of kids and screen time seems like the perfect compliment to our 31 Days of Unplugged Play series and I’m looking forward to hearing what Simple Kids readers have to say about balancing screen […]

  5. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  6. […] outside, once again, and take a nice, slow walk around the neighborhood, bringing your child’s favorite doll […]

  7. […] 31 Days of Unplugged Play {Simple Kids} […]

  8. […] 31 Days of Unplugged Play | Simple Kids […]

  9. […] Just joining us?  Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  10. […] enjoying 31 days of unplugged play – over at Simple Kids […]

  11. […] you are enjoying our 31 Days of Unplugged Play series so far.  We’ve got more great play ideas, no batteries or power cords required, coming […]

  12. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  13. […] 8. Thirty-One Days of Unplugged Play Do you ever think of encouraging your child to experience a day or a week or even longer of unplugged play, with very limited use of electronic devices or possibly no use at all? Simple Kids has outlined ideas for thirty-one days of unplugged play, and they invite you to share in the experience of no batteries and no television! CLICK HERE for More […]

  14. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  15. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  16. […] 31 Days of Unplugged Play :: Simple Kids […]

  17. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  18. […] Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here. […]

  19. […] you noticed that I’m a bit behind on my 31 Days of Unplugged Play series?  Real life keeps getting in the way of blogging, but that certainly isn’t something […]

  20. […] Looking for the rest of the 31 Days of Unplugged Play series?  Click here. […]

  21. […] you noticed that I’m a bit behind on my 31 Days of Unplugged Play series?  October has been a fantastic month, but I’m finding that life off-line is keeps […]

  22. […] MY friend Rebecca linked to this great list called 31 Days of Unplugged Play and I love […]

  23. […] some unplugged activities with the […]

  24. […] other things, I’ve given the Unplugged Play and Want.Need.Wear.Read. ongoing series their own buttons in the sidebar so that their archives are […]

Share Your Thoughts


We prefer humans! *

CommentLuv badge