Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama. Update: I didn’t quite get the original 31 days series written back in October, but this is a work-in-progress and I’ll keep adding Unplugged Play ideas as we go.
Today’s the day! We’re beginning our much anticipated series on Unplugged play: no batteries required.
It seems, at times, like play and childhood are becoming obsolete. We live in such a hurry-up world that it can be easy to forget that life doesn’t have to be that fast-paced and play doesn’t require batteries or the endorsement of a television character. I invite you and your kids to slow down and reconnect with simple play. It is time to get back to basics and have a little fun doing so!
Each idea will feature a short post with a simple idea or two for “unplugged” play – no batteries or power cords required. Whether or not you choose to unplug from all other electronics (video games, television, computer, other screen time, etc) is up to you.
Overly simple? Maybe. But when was the last time you played with your kids outside? I have a feeling some of you are overdue for some backyard frolicking and I bet your kids would be thrilled if you joined them for some sandbox digging, a game of tag, or a walk around the yard. Get out there!
Need a little more direction? Kids looking at you wide-eyed with no idea where to get started? Have children who don’t really want to play tag or dig in the dirt?
- Hand them a camera or sketch pad and tell them to take picture/draw what they see.
- Go on a nature walk, around the yard or neighborhood. Don’t forget to look up and look down.
- A pile of picture books and a blanket = a reading picnic. Enjoy the October sunshine while we have it, friends.
However, I would also stress that you shouldn’t be afraid to give your kids what Kim John Payne calls “the gift of boredom.” Don’t feel like you have to direct their every move outdoors. Give them some space to get a little bit bored and eventually they will find something to do, even if it is just to sit and cloud watch or daydream (good for grown-ups, too).
Unplugged Activity #2 - two words: blanket fort. I’ll leave how simple or elaborate it becomes up to you and your kids.
More Unplugged Plays Days:
Activity #3 – Stuffed Animal Zoo
Activity #4 – Story Themed Playscape
Activity #5 – May I take your order?
Activity #6 – Take dolly for a walk
Activity #7 -Apple painting
Activity #8 – Cardboard Castle
Activity #9 - Games for Paper and Pencil
Activity #10 – Stick Puppets
Activity #11 – Garden Playscape
Activity #12 – Calm Down Jar (glitter bears)
Activity #13 – Play a game together
Activity #14 – Play Dough
Activity #15 - Post Office Pretend Play
Activity #16 – Apple Orchard Playscape
Activity #17 – Junk Mail Art Projects
Activity #18 – Stacking and Building
Activity #19 – Bathing baby dolls
Activity #20 – Knock! Knock! Jokes
Activity #21 – Newspaper Hats
Activity #22 - Sidewalk Chalk
Activity #23 – Kiddie Pool Bubbles (think GIANT bubble bath)
Activity #24 – Solar Oven S’mores
More ideas coming soon!
Are you ready for some simple, unplugged playtime fun?