Melissa & Doug Fun Play Ideas National Day of Unplugging

Screen-Free Fun

Unplug with Melissa & Doug: Fun Play Ideas for Global Day of Unplugging

February 29, 2024

If you’re trying to curb your child’s screen time on digital devices and engage them in screen-free fun, you’ll want to mark your calendars for March 1, a Global Day of Unplugging.

10 Screen-Free Play Ideas for Global Day of Unplugging

According to the initiative's website, “Global Day of Unplugging is an awareness campaign than promotes a 24-hour respite from technology,” and the campaigners urge participants to take at least an hour or, better yet, a full day away from using technology, from sundown on March 1 until sundown on March 2.

The campaign offers a host of organized activities for you and your family to participate in if you’re so interested; you can register or learn more by visiting Global Day of Unplugging.

Here are some simple, fun, and easy-to-do activities and screen-free play suggestions to help you and your kids breeze through a day of unplugging with open-ended, imaginative play!

Creative Play Ideas

Enjoy a colorful Sticker WOW! session

Melissa & Doug 10 Screen-Free Play Ideas for Global Day of Unplugging blog post

Sticker WOW! from Melissa & Doug is a whole new way to play with stickers. Each of these collectible, character-based sticker stampers comes with a whopping 300 stickers, plus a 24-page activity pad. That’s hours and hours of engaging, mess-free, creative fun for kids who love playing with stickers. Also, Sticker WOW! stampers can be reloaded with our Refill packs (sold separately), so the sticker fun never has to run out.

Melissa & Doug designed its Sticker WOW! stampers to be playable characters, too, which gives parents and caregivers additional value for their purchase–it’s like getting two toys in one! Kids have four Sticker WOW! stamper characters to choose from:

Melissa & Doug 10 Screen-Free Play Ideas for Global Day of Unplugging blog post

Show Off Your Colorful Side

Whether drawing freestyle or enjoying favorite themes and characters in coloring books, it’s easy to unplug when kids tap into their creative sides—go on an art binge with your kids and create masterpieces for every room in your home!

Melissa & Doug Fun Play Ideas for Global Day of Unplugging Deluxe Double-Sided Tabletop Easel

Get Crafty

If you’ve been putting off a big crafting project with the kids, the Day of Unplugging is your chance to kick it off and focus your collective energy. Or maybe you’ve got a bunch of craft kits you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Today’s the day to get crafting!

Make a Book Nook

Create a comfortable, cozy, well-lit place for you and your family members to enjoy extended story time—you can enjoy reading on your own, or take turns from the same book. Don’t forget the hot cocoa and snacks!

Put on a Show

Even when you’re unplugged, the show must go on. So do it live in your living room! Stage a talent show, put on a play, make a set and produce a puppet theater with your family as the cast and crew—the entertainment options are endless.

Pretend Play Ideas

Find Fun on the Menu

If you’ve got a play kitchen, coffee counterrestaurantgrocery store, or other play centerpiece at home, create some pretend play prompts to kick off your kid’s creative imagination. Tell them to expect a customer at the restaurant, then order wacky things that aren’t on the menu to see how they respond! Or give them a shopping list for the grocery store, and time them as they complete a market run! Other great toys to mix in for the pretend play fun: Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart, the Fill & Roll Grocery Basket Play Set, and Cutting Food!

Melissa & Doug Fun Play Ideas for National Day of Unplugging Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Think Outside the Blocks

Looking for a new building activity that will help kids develop key skills such as fine motor and problem-solving abilities? Challenge your child to construct a maze using the Melissa & Doug 100-Piece Wood Blocks Set, then have them use a play figure, plush toy, or vehicle to navigate the maze and solve it! 

Host an Indoor Campout

Clear some space in the living or family room, break out the bundles of blankets, and set up the coziest indoor campout ever! Sing songs, enjoy stories, feast on s’mores—no tent required.

Active Play Ideas

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Try to up your game during Global Day of Unplugging, and go with the weirdest, wackiest, wildest scavenger hunt list you’ve ever created—you can even play indoors or out depending on your local weather! A plush giraffe wearing a firefighter’s uniform eating pretend pancakes at a diner in outer space?! We’ve got that around here somewhere…

Indoor Obstacle Course

Test your kids’ mettle against the most fun obstacle course you can make at home! Grab some play mats, tunnels, the dining room chairs, an ottoman, various hula hoops, some balls, a jump rope or three, a bunch of colorful cones, and whatever else you’ve got around the house to play homemade obstacle course.

Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Tunnel

Support a Cause & Spread Kindness

There’s no rule you have to stay home on Global Day of Unplugging—if there’s a cause that’s near and dear to you or someone in your family’s heart, use this opportunity to support that cause. Raise money for cancer treatments, create awareness for literacy programs, volunteer at a food bank, support local pet adoptions, or just perform random acts of kindness in your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised how much good you can do with one day unplugged.

Click through the links below for more toy content from Melissa & Doug:

Introducing Sticker WOW!

Melissa & Doug Gift Finder by Age

Shop Melissa & Doug eGift Cards

Join Melissa & Doug Play Perks Rewards Program

Made to Re-Love: Give the Gift of Timeless Toys

Toys that Grow with Your Child

5 Fundamental Skills You Can Teach Kids Through Play

Throw a Melissa & Doug Pizza and Ice Cream Party at Home!

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