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Perhaps it is a rainy or snowy day and you are stuck inside the house…
Or a storm has you reaching for your candles and flashlights…
Or you are sick of electronic devices and reliance on technology.
In any of these scenarios you may find yourself unplugged.
Sometimes with the many sensory distractions of technology, we forget that there are various “organic” ways to have fun. Often this back-to-basic play is even more rewarding for our children as all participants are mentally present and communicating more effectively with one another.
Let’s look at five options for unplugged family fun:
1) Pictionary– No matter what age, children can enjoy this activity. From 2 year olds guessing what parents are drawing to 15 year olds competitively trying to beat the hourglass. You don’t need the actual boardgame to play; instead just use your imagination, pencil and paper.
2) Puzzles– Again, no matter what age, puzzles are a sure bet. This activity also strengthens problem-solving skills and teamwork.3) Play Tent – Grab a few chairs, blankets, pillows and some flashlights. Throw the blankets over the chair tops and put a blanket with some pillows underneath the tent. Get creative and find ways to make your structure unique. Search the house for interesting building materials and decorations. Once the finishing touches have been applied you can begin your camp out. While you are lounging in your new fort, it may be a good time to try out activity #4
4) Hand Shadow Puppet Theater – Find a blank wall and try your hand at a few animals. Narrate the story and let the creativity take over. I for one have only really mastered the butterfly, but if you want to try and kick it up a notch, here are some ideas:
5) Flashlight Scavenger Hunt – Make a list of things found around your house. Give each child a flashlight, have them begin the hunt and check off items as they are found. The age of the child will depend on how obscure you will want the object to be. For example, your toddler can hunt for a red crayon, whereas your teenager can go search through a stack of coins for a wheat penny.
HIP TIP: Have a crank flashlight available in your house (like the one seen here from L.L.Bean). It can be recharged through a manual crank so you have more hours of play without going through packages of batteries.
Enjoy exploring these activities with your children and report back. In fact, send us a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) of your best play fort and we’ll share them on our Facebook page.
Stay safe, have fun and get unplugged!
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