Screen-Free Entertainment for Under Fives

Entertaining children without TVs or screens can be challenging, especially as they drop day sleeps! Do not despair; the wonderful team at MummyMeTime has shared with us their fail-safe activities which are sure to keep kids occupied for a decent stretch of time and help them to grow through play.

  1. Create a floral art book

    Collect leaves, petals and grass from your backyard, park or neighbourhood. Looking for interesting shapes, textures and natural materials is a great way to explore nature and creating art with all their ‘treasures’ may buy you a little bit of peace when you return.

  2. Have a treasure hunt

    Hide 10 items around the house and give pre-schoolers a list with photos of what they need to find. Kids can entertain themselves and go on a scavenger hunt to find all the items. It’s great for their problem-solving skills and the fun is in the finding.

  3. Water play in summer

    Children love playing in the sprinkler or on the slip and slide. A bucket of water and matchbox cars rolled in some backyard dirt make for a great DIY kid’s car wash.

  4. Playdoh treasure

    Making your own big batch of playdoh (edible for the little ones who still put things in their mouths) and hiding a packet of plastic dinosaurs or plastic play food throughout the playdoh means kids have to use their fine motor skills to dig through the playdoh and find all the treasure.

  5. Chalk drawing

    Chalk is awesome for drawing on pavement in the backyard and can be washed off easily enough with the hose. Drawing tracks in chalk and having train or car races can also be lots of fun.

  6. Colour matching sheets

    Use coloured sheets of paper and cut out lots of smaller pictures that are the same colours. Attach Velcro on the back of the pictures so kids can match all the small pictures to the correct coloured paper and stick them on.

  7. Practice fine motor skills

    Pre-schoolers can practice their fine motor skills by using scissors to cut paper snowflakes, or spiderwebs for Halloween.

  8. Sticky ball

    For infants 6-12 months you can wrap masking tape (sticky side out) over a ball and they will be entertained using their fine motor skills to try and figure out how to get the ball off their hands. For toddlers you can teach receptive body parts by asking them to stick the ball to their body parts.

  9. Sensory painting

    Fill snap lock bags with paint or shaving cream and seal the bags. The kids can use their fingers to draw letters, numbers, or pictures. It’s mess free and great for sensory exploration.

  10. Build a Cubby House

    Grab some old sheets and a torch, make sure the cubby house is safe and they’ll be happily playing before you know it. Add some picnic food and board books to keep them entertained for longer.

Most importantly, have fun together – you might be surprised at how quickly the day goes!

About the Author:

Local Mum and businesswoman Leanne Farmer started MummyMeTime to provide a wider support network for local families. Offering qualified and experienced nannies, nanny shares, occasional care and babysitting, MummyMeTime supports families from as little as two hours or as long as you need. Find out more at

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