According to a 2010 study by Kaiser Family Foundation, kids between the ages of eight and 18 spend around 4.5 hours a day staring at the TV. They spend about an hour and a half on computers each day, and more than an hour playing video games.
A Pew Foundation survey found teenagers' lives are pretty busy with online time, too. Approximately 92% of teenagers between 13 and 17 years old go online every day, and 24% state they are "almost constantly" online. About 87% of them have access to or have a laptop or desktop computer, and almost three-quarters have access or have a smartphone.
Parents struggle with screen time, too. Many can't seem to unglue themselves from Facebook, and watching reruns of their favorite television series, or binge watching a new streaming series.
Here you'll find a list of screen-free hobbies and activities you, as well as your teens and children, can dive into to put technology away for a little bit while we all are quarantining.
For adults, back in the day the only way to view photos would be on printed images. You can gather up your old camera prints and photos, and glue them in to make a scrapbook of memories. While there are digital scrapbooks where you can take all your online photos, and display them for the world to see, why not give screen time a break, and print them out and go the old fashioned route? This way you'll have something tangible to hold in your hand while you view and honor your memories outside the Internet noise.
You can also buy an instant camera. You can go to your local crafts shop, and buy:
You can book an afternoon to lay everything out on your living room floor, and create a memory scrapbook you'll treasure for many years.
Gardening can be therapeutic and fulfilling. It can also entertain you. Purchase several seed packets, and start planting and growing different types of flowers, herbs, or even vegetables. If the weather is inclement where you live, start with an indoor garden, and move to the outdoors once the weather is nice.
Knitting can be fun. It's a handy, low-cost hobby that will help you pass time that you'd otherwise spend online. You can knit sweaters, slippers, blankets, and even birthday presents.
Turn your love of cooking into a hobby. Cooking as a hobby can go even further than simply creating your favorite dishes, or coming up with new ones. Perhaps you can start collecting unusual cooking gadgets, or different vintage dishes.
You might consider taking up some cooking classes. If you love to bake, you may wish to start up a cake-decorating course. Get creative with your children's school lunches.
You might be able to invest some of your time into volunteer work. Maybe you could volunteer your cooking talent to an organization that feeds those in need, like a soup kitchen or Lasagna Love, a national grassroots endeavor to connect neighbors with homemade meals.
Reading is an ideal way of exercising your mind. You can:
You might want to think about obtaining a library card from your neighborhood library. Libraries have big selections of books, and the best part is you don't have to spend any money - they're free. Or, if you haven’t yet tried a book on tape, now would be a great time to get started.
Meditation also exercises the mind, and it can be a fulfilling and relaxing hobby. You can sign up for meditation classes online or read meditation guides. There are meditation retreats and groups, too, you may be interested in participating in once the pandemic is over. You'll find a whole world of meditation experts, books, and mediation experiences available to you.
A healthy and ideal way to start a hobby is by focusing on exercising. But, with gyms closed, you’ll need to find other ways to get your activity in. To turn exercising into a hobby, you can actively set goals. Things you can do to exercise during quarantine include:
If you have some free time, one particular hobby that's beneficial for not just you, but other people, is volunteering. You can take up fighting for the environment, helping people in need, or taking care of homeless animals.
Choose a night to sit down and create a budget. This is an ideal hobby to save you money, and get your finances in order. It can also help you make room for a more expensive hobby later on in life.
Some perfect screen-free hobby ideas for teens are:
Your teen can tie-dye different things like shorts or t-shirts. They can create artwork out of a simple piece of clothing. They can tie-dye:
They can use fabrics like silk, linen, and cotton, and DIY natural dyes to create different wardrobes.
Provide your teenager with some supervision and guidance, and let them choose some colors of paint where they can start showing their creativity. They can paint the walls of bedrooms or furniture.
Encourage your teen to go outdoors, and toss around a ball. You can get them some sports equipment they can play along with. Get outdoors yourself, and join them for the fun and exercise.
Choose one night of the week to sit down as a family with your teen, and spend some time playing board games. It's a great way to spend time that's low cost or free if you already have board games lying around that have been collecting dust.
Some cool screen-free ideas for kids are:
You can fill up paper lunch bags with:
Provide paint, pens, and glue, and let your children turn them into art grab bags.
There are a variety of jewelry making ideas to pick from today. You'll find various jewelry making kits at Walmart or hobby stores. Your children can create bracelets, necklaces, rings or hand-stamped leather items.
Let your children decorate cupcakes or a cake. You can buy a simple cake decorating kit for them, and while they're decorating delicious cakes and cupcakes, they're also learning great life skills.
You'll find tons of clay supplies at hobby stores. Some you'll find are good for molding and allowing to dry, and others are created to be kiln fired or oven baked, which, obviously, you'll need to help your children with that part.
Origami is the art of folding paper. You'll just need instructions and paper for this. You might have to go online for a minute to get the instructions, but it's a fun project your kids can partake in while learning new skills.
Remember, a hobby is something you, your teen, or your children are interested in. It's something you undertake for relaxation or pleasure. You do it in your leisure time - not professionally where you're paid, and not out of obligation like housework.
Hobbies include gathering up themed objects and items, playing sports, engaging in artistic and creative pursuits, or pursuing other amusing things. You don't want it to feel like a chore. Most importantly, it should be something that's fun enough to take your mind off of the screen.