kids off computer games

What are some alternatives to screen time? If you need ideas to encourage your kids to get off the computer or game console and get active (indoors and out), we’ve got a great list! This is not just for the sport-inclined kids; we’ve got ideas for those kids that like strategy and problem solving games too. #KidsOffCouches


#20 Table Tennis

Forrest Gump’s favourite sport (after long distance running), table tennis is a great way to get active and play a sport without the need for lots of players, or lots of space. In fact, playing table tennis doesn’t even depend on having fine weather. As long as you have a games room or garage with space to setup the table your good to go! Table tennis is a game you can join in on immediately and spend a lifetime perfecting. Kids can even play 1-player table tennis against a folded up table if they’re serious about improving their game (or finally beating their older sibling!).


#19 Quoits (old school!)

Yard games like quoits are gaining popularity as fun activities at outdoor parties and as pastimes in their own right. How many of us remember playing quoits for hours on end when we were kids?


#18 Crazy Catch

Crazy Catch is a sprung net stretched over a frame against which a player throws a ball. The Crazy Catch net ricochets the ball back to the thrower at unpredictable angles making it great for slips practice and classic catches.


#17 Giant Chess

Just like what it sounds like. If you haven’t experienced giant chess before think chess pieces as high as your knee on a foldout chess board as big as a double garage. Players pick up pieces with both hands and carry them to their destination. You can feel like you’re really in the game.


#16 Ultimate Frisbee

A timeless classic, the Frisbee seems to never go out of fashion. Currently, participation in Frisbee sports is alive and well with ‘Ultimate’ being the mainstream Frisbee team sport. Ultimate is a mixed gender, high intensity aerobic sport that can be played with between 8 and 16 players. The limited-contact sport combines elements of netball, basketball and rugby. Points are scored by passing the Frisbee disc to a teammate in your team’s end zone.


#15 Tree House Building

Again, this idea is nothing new, but it is great fun and very creative. Building tree houses is almost a rites of passage for young kids as they explore and develop early designing and constructing skills. It’s often more about the journey rather than the destination, so don’t be worried if your kids want to move straight onto building tree house number two before tree house number one is 100% complete, that’s normal.


#14 Grip Ball

There are a few modern variations on this 80s classic. Today, Grip Ball is still a fun throwing game and can encourage the most courageous dive catches. Look for a beach ready product that can be taken anywhere.


#13 Kite Flying

Up to the highest height! Kite flying feeds into that urge to spread our own wings and lift off. It also teaches kids about physics principles of lift and drag (that is, if you can get the kite to launch!).


#12 Bocce

Another neat little kit to throw in the car before you head out to the park, Bocce is fun for all ages and skill levels.


#11 Capture the Flag

This one is a bit trickier and requires some setup. If you haven’t played capture the flag before have a read of full instructions here. Again, high intensity aerobic exercise, healthy competition, strategy and team work to be enjoyed by all who get involved.


#10 Hopscotch (old school, again)

Hopscotch probably needs no explanation but in case you want to brush up on the rules have a read here (ok, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know all the rules). This is hours of fun with only a piece of chalk, a stone on a paved area. Nice!


#9 Foosball

Foosball is a family favourite and a great investment for your games room. Foosball, or table soccer can be played as a two-player game (one person on each side of the table), or a four-person game (two people on each side). Yes It’ll get more squishy the more people you add but it will add new levels of fun too!


#8 Scooters and Skateboards

Kids can use a scooter for transport or take it to a skate park for a greater challenge. What some kids are now doing on scooters is incredible and it’s changing the competitive and professional ranks within skate culture. Of course there is also the classic Shortboard, Curiser and Longboard skateboards too. Funsports have written a helpful blog about scooters built for the rigors of skate park use, read it here.


#7 Darts

As your kids get older (an their aim a little better) you could consider getting them a dartboard for in-house family tournaments and something active they can do with their friends. Dartboards can hang on a wall in your alfresco area or in the garage, ready for use whenever your kids are up for the challenge.


#6 Pool Table

This will be a bigger outlay and investment if you do choose it, so before you buy a pool table be sure to read our blog 6 Things You Need To Know About Buying a Pool Table. The investment will be a lasting one though, your kids won’t grow out of its use, and in fact as they get older they will probably enjoy it more.


#5 Scavenger Hunt

If you’re willing to do some prep work you could encourage your kids to compete to complete a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt is a list of items or experiences a group of players has collect. Groups search for the listed items and tick them off, as they are collected. The first group to complete the list is the winner.


#4 Photo Rally

Like a scavenger hunt but with a list of unusual sights that need to be captured on camera. You could send out small groups of kids with a camera phone to photograph any number of things. Create a list that is age appropriate, keeping it simple for younger kids and getting more creative and cryptic for the older ones.


#3 3-on-3 Basket Ball

Every driveway needs a basketball ring, well, every driveway could benefit from a ring! And once you have a ring installed, or one you wheel out on a stand, you are ready to play 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or with more players as space allows. Kids can also play a shooting game like around the world and bump (with two balls).


#2 Croquet

Another oldie but a goodie. Croquet is a yard game that comes back into popularity every couple of years but is always great fun at a picnic or on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Players use wooden mallets to hit their ball through hoops in the correct order. It’s a little like mini golf but in your backyard.


#1 Trampoline

Nothing keeps kids active outdoors for hours quite like a trampoline. Trampolines come in many shapes and sizes but the best balance of quality, cost and safety has to be the 12’ circular JetJump trampoline. With high strength netting walls your kids can’t put a foot wrong. Once you have a floor and walls your kids have a structure that’s just begging to be transformed into a cubbyhouse sleep out! A trampoline is a significant investment so it’s important to find a model that will suit your growing kids.


Naturally, Funsports stocks a bunch of these ideas so if you would like to read up any of them head over the to the product pages. We’d really like to hear what activities have worked for you and your kids! What has worked to get your kids off the computer and get active?