We realize we are way too dependent on our computers and cell phones for our employment, entertainment and engagement. But, do we ever really give ourselves the excuse to just walk away from the screens? From sundown March 9, until sundown March 10, is National Day of Unplugging. During these 24 hours give yourself a chance to disengage from technology and re-engage with those around you. Talk more, laugh more, do more with each other. Rediscover the art of face-to-face communication and create memories with NO screen time. Here are 8 great ways to get unplugged from technology:
1. Play board games
The games you play depend on the age of everyone in your family. Grandpas can have lots of fun playing Pretty Pretty Princess. Clue, Jenga, Apples to Apples, even checkers can get your brain engaged and your family talking and laughing together.
2. Cook together
Make gnocchi. Mix a little mashed potatoes with an egg and some flour and knead together. It’s just like working with play dough. Roll it into a long snake and cut little pillows the size of dice with a pizza cutter. It’s a great way to involve the younger family members and have fun while preparing dinner.
3. Read a book
Read a real book, with paper pages and a dust cover. Mysteries and biographies are waiting to be read. Learn about the solar system or the nervous system. Explore different cultures and countries in just a few hours. Imaginations ignite and adventures unfold as you turn each page.
4. Go for a walk/take a hike
Bunnies, birds, and squirrels are all walking in the park. Why not you too? Try to identify the animal footprints in the snow, or on the trail. Some parks even have deer. If you walk quietly you may be lucky enough to see some of the wildlife.
5. Become a Michelangelo or a Rembrandt
Sculpt a play dough masterpiece with some mini Michelangelo's. If sculpting isn’t your thing pull out a sketch pad and doodle or paint. It’s not about perfection, it’s about creation. And, another bonus? Using the creative part of your brain helps improve memory.
I admit I cannot always just create a painting on my own, so I have attended some classes at Picasso Vino. A little instruction + paint and canvas = a ton of fun and a completed piece of art you created.
6. Cats in the cradle
62 inches of string is all it takes. If you don’t know how to play, or have forgotten some of the moves, ask Grandma. She’ll remember and show you how. It’s not so much the moves as it is the conversation that happens.
7. Have a ball
Shoot, dribble, toss, throw, or kick a ball. You don’t have to be good at it. Just go have fun.
8. Name that tune.
Sing just one line of a song and see if other family members can name that tune. Go with categories like songs from the 60’s or TV theme songs.
These are just 8 great ways to get unplugged from technology. There are so many other things to do instead of so much screen time. Enjoy time with your family and friends, and actually BE in the moment.