(A 3 minute read)
Remember the days before smartphones and tablets? Before smart TV, and when “streaming” was something you did in a boat? Think back to when you called home to say you’d be late instead of texting.
There are so many advantages that technology provides. Every aspect of our lives—home, school, work, play—has been touched by a device, app, or new technology.
But we’ve paid the price by losing touch with the simple pleasures that used to be more than enough to entertain us on summer vacation.
Why not treat your kids to something that takes their eyes off a television, tablet, computer or smartphone screen and free them from the risk of digital addiction?
Here are 6 ways you can unplug with your kids this summer and enjoy some tech-free activities:
Fake a power outage.
Imagine you have no electricity and all of your mobile devices have run out of juice. I know. It’s the start of a horror story, right? Then, get candles and lanterns. Pull out a board game, like Monopoly, Scrabble, Parcheesi, Sorry, or some other classic. Tell stories about your best day ever, best Christmas, best birthday, or the one thing you wish you could do over.
Have s’more fun.
Fire up the grill or fire pit. Make dinner and finish it up with s’mores—the gourmet type, where you have a buffet of chocolate graham crackers, peanut butter cups, chocolate mint cookies (think “Girl Scout Thin Mints”), pretzels, chocolate hazelnut spread, sliced bananas, and anything else you can think of.
Plan and prepare a picnic together.
Ask everyone to come up with ideas for food and drinks. Get the kids involved in preparing the food and packing up the meal, the utensils the games, and bug spray. Prohibit the use of any technology device during the outing.
Make a scavenger hunt.
Kids of all ages can enjoy hunting for clues and treasures. Plan ahead and place or locate clues or items for your children to gather. Send them looking for a twig in a certain shape (maybe the initial of their first name), something that was long-lost or misplaced, five different types of leaves, a pebble in the shape of a heart, and other items they can find if they look hard enough. You can also send them on a scavenger hunt to find items they can use to tell a story. Partner younger children with older ones, and then see what they come back with!
Make a family tree.
Gather some branches that are fully dried (i.e., bug-free) and put them in a large pot, using floral foam to keep them in place. Then, ask each family member to add something that reminds them of the others—a photo, a trinket, a picture from a magazine, a hair bow, memento from a trip, anything that is small enough to hang on a branch.
Turn your yard into a water park.
Lay out some plastic tarps and hose them down to make a splash slide. Set up targets for water balloons. Fill up a kiddie pool and toss in small prizes in waterproof bags that they can fish for. Just attach a magnet to each bag and another at the end of a fishing pole.
The more tech-free activities you share with your children, the more they can learn that it doesn’t take electronics to have a good time. You can also check out some tech-free STEM toy ideas here in this infographic.
You can also find more STEM related ideas for kids on pinterest here.