Busy Mom Tips/ Printables/ Routines for Children

Printable Kids “Can’t Play” Signs

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Somedays the doorbell won’t stop ringing, your little kids are napping or they just don’t want to play outside. Whatever the reason a “Sorry we can’t play” sign is a great way to let the kid’s friends know that they can not come out to play right now. This printable sign comes in several options. You can print a sign that says “we can’t play” or “I can’t play”. We have found this to be a great help, especially in the summertime.

While it is so nice to have lots of families in our neighborhood, sometimes we need uninterrupted time in our home. The doorbell rings throughout the day, especially in the summer. I always feel bad answering the door and telling the happy children waiting on the other side that my kids can’t come out to play right now. 

Then we got a dog.

The need for less doorbells ringing grew. Our puppy would bark like crazy anytime someone was at the door. It caused me anxiety trying to calm the excited puppy while answering the door at the same time. I needed to come up with a kind but clear way to communicate to the neighborhood kids when our kids were not able to play. 

The solution was really simple, put a sign on the door.

So I created a little sign with a stop sign on one side that said, “Sorry, we can’t play right now.”(there is also an option for “I can’t play right now”) . This was a great way to avoid multiple doorbell rings or knocking on the door when I needed the kids to focus on housework or if we needed some quiet time.

I’ve heard from many homeschool parents that having a sign like this is super helpful when they were at home teaching too.

You can download and print your own signs. I created a few different styles for you to choose from. You may want a super simple stop-and-go type sign if you have younger kids in the neighborhood who can’t read well yet. They will see the red STOP sign and know what that means. However, you may want to take the time to explain to the kids in the neighborhood what the signs mean. 

Or, you may want another style sign, so I created some to choose from. When you download the free printable you will receive all of the options in one file. 

How to make your “kid’s can’t play” sign

What you’ll need:

  • Printer – I just bought this HP printer and it is amazing for printing color. You can get one FREE month of HP Instant Ink (so much cheaper than buying cartridges!) If you click my affiliate link here.
  • Cardstock or plain paper.
  • Laminator or even clear packing tape
  • Small magnets or a string to hang it from. 
  1. First, print out the sign that you like best. 
  2. Cut out the sign 
  3. Laminate if needed. You can also use clear packing tape to cover the sign so it won’t get ruined if it gets wet and it just holds up better to little hands flipping it over all the time.
  4. Punch a hole in the top of the sign and use a string to hang it on your door or door handle. You can also use a small magnet or tape if needed. 

As summer gets closer I know it’s time to put the sign on the door again. It has helped us to have quieter afternoons when needed and has even helped to avoid some awkward times when the kids don’t want to play outside or if they have a friend over. 

Download your Kids “Can’t Play” Signs:

You should receive your file(s) link via e-mail within the hour. Be sure you check your SPAM or Promotions folder if you’re not finding the e-mail. If, after an hour, you have not received your link, please contact me and I’ll help you figure out what happened.

The fine print:
For personal use only. Please do not reproduce or redistribute without written permission. Classroom use is permitted.

I hope you find this helpful! 

Sorry we can't play sign for front door

1 Comment

  • Reply
    April 22, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I definitely need this printable in my life. I love that our neighbor kids are our kid’s friends but sometimes it’s just stressful to have the doorbell ring non-stop…especially when it’s not a good time for our kids to go out and play. This is such a brilliant and easy solution. Thanks for offering it!

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    Hey Donna