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Monday, November 22, 2010

Unplug Your Kids

There is no better time than the holiday to go unplugged.  In my search for unplugged activities, I came across some interesting sites, activities ideas, books and more. 

Take a look at what I found.

Websites...

Hooked on Nature
Unplug Your Kids

Books...
365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities: A Year's Worth Of Ideas For Tv-Free, Video-Free, And Computer Game-Free Entertainment
365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities

Unplug Your Kids: A Parent's Guide to Raising Happy, Active and Well-Adjusted Children in the Digital Age
Unplug Your Kids

Other Ideas...
 
The Unplug' in  Game
"Unplug’in is a board game that builds children’s performance skills necessary for unplugging from TV and video games. Players answer questions from the four dimensions of Me. We, Earth and Spirit gaining points, confidence and skills to ‘unplug’ or reduce technology use."

Make Natural Play-Dough (ages 2 and up)
copied directly from the linked site
Combine the following ingredients in a pot:
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 5 drops of vegetable dye such as beet or cherry juice
Cook ingredients together over low heat until you can form a ball with the mixture. Allow to cool. Store in a sealable plastic bag or container.

Make Recycled Paper (ages 7 and up)
  1. Tear up two and a half pages of old newspaper into tiny strips.
  2. Place the strips in a blender with 5 cups of water.
  3. Pour about 1 inch of water into a 3-inch deep pan.
  4. Measure 1 cup of the blended paper pulp and pour over a framed screen inside the pan with water (screen should fit in the pan).
  5. Spread the pulp evenly over the screen with your fingers.
  6. Lift the screen and let the water drip off.
  7. Open a newspaper section and place on a waterproof surface. Place wax paper in the middle of the newspaper. Place the screen with the pulp on the waxed paper and close the newspaper.
  8. Carefully flip over the newspaper section so the screen is on top of the pulp. Place a board on top of the newspaper and press out the extra water.
  9. Open the newspaper and remove the screen. Leave the newspaper open and let the pulp dry for at least one full day. When your paper is dry, peel it off the waxed paper. Write or paint on it, make a card, or cut it into fun shapes!
15 Free Ways to Go Unplugged...
  1. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.  Give your kids a list of items to find.  Little ones can be given pictures of the items.  Have the kids cross of each item as it is spotted.
  2. Sidewalk murals are always fun.  Take out the sidewalk chalk and let the kids have at it.  If you are a homeschooling mama, challenge the kids to draw something related to the curriculum and then write about it.
  3. Cooking together is great for kids of all ages.  Try cooking or making something simple like homemade pizza, popsicles, or cookies.
  4. Visit the library.  Getting a new book (or better yet BOOKS) is at least 2 hours of guaranteed no tv time... driving there, selecting the books, and then reading the books at home.  Yippee!!
  5. On a windy day, take the time to make homemade kites.  Flying kites is always fun, but making your own creation and seeing it soar above your head is almost too much for words.
  6. Make a fairy house.  Fairies have enchanted little ones for eons.  Bring this magic to life by creating a home for the fairies in your own yard.  Place your fairy house in a location that is perfect for "secret' viewing.  Sit outside in the sun and try to catch a glimpse of these wee, magical wonders.
  7. Take your puppy on a romp around the neighborhood.  Puppies and children alike need to get exercise to stay healthy.  The added bonus of this activity is the possibility of a "family" nap time that afternoon.
  8. Fort making is a staple in our house.  My boys are always wanting to collect all the blankets and stools to create their own little world in which to play.  Play silks work wonderful for this as well.
  9. Grow a themed garden in your backyard.  Consider a garden to make pizza/ spaghetti, herbs for cooking in the kitchen, herbs for healing, a salad garden, fruit garden, or flowers to adorn your kitchen table.  Keep a journal and track the growth and progress of your garden.  Write about your findings.  Photograph the garden along the way.
  10. Make a homemade bubble wands and bubbles.  Have a bubble blowing contest to see who can blow the largest/smallest/etc bubble.
  11. Visit a natural water source.  I can remember skipping stones into the creek behind our house as a kid.  I could spend hours in the quiet, tranquility of the water and nature sounds.
  12. Have a backyard camp out.  Opting for a tent or not is up to your family.  it's a little escape with the luxuries of home (bathroom) not too far away.
  13. Go on a family bike ride.  Taking the entire family on a little pedalled excursion is sure to be a blast.  Just remember the stamina of the littlest members or your fun could suddenly head downhill quickly.
  14. Get in the crafty spirit.  Take out tons of recyclable materials and art supplies.  Let your kids have free reign and create til their hearts content.
  15. Make simple homemade toys, games, and dolls...
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to unplug your family for awhile.  I found several ideas that appeal to me, but I will need to get a consensus from the family as well.

I think I will start with an unplugged Thanksgiving.  From there, I will try to reduce the amount of plugged in time over our winter break.  Two weeks without being plugged in seems to be a bit of a challenge, but who knows.

I'll let you know how my "reduce the use" winter holiday goes.

Good luck powering down to power up both physically and mentally.

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Thank you for visiting Natural Simplicity. I hope I have helped you on your journey to getting back to the basics.
One Pink Fish

DISCLAIMER...

*All remedies mentioned on Natural Simplicity have been found on the web or in books as I learn to heal my family in a more natural manner.

* Always remember to consult a health care professional before trying any form of alternative medicine.