A sleeping bag for a phone? It might sound silly, but this idea is making the rounds as a fun solution to a common family problem: Family time is being squeezed out for screen time. And, while kids are spending an astonishing 9 hours a day on electronic media, parents often need reminders as well to put the shiny devices down and engage with our families and surroundings.
National Day of Unplugging, March 3 — 4 (sundown to sundown), is an idea whose time has come. Participants are encouraged to take the pledge to unplug and then continue some of their good habits of mindfulness and connectedness throughout the year. And to help you, cell phone sleeping bags are available in all Parents Place offices, while supplies last.
Here are 18 other fun ways to unplug:
While the cell phones are resting, have a living-room camp out in your own sleeping bags
Interview family members about their favorite colors, animals, seasons, sports, and the like
Have a flashlight shadow-puppet show
Start a jigsaw puzzle
Play card or board games from your childhood
Read out loud
Visit a farmers market
Make a meal together
Add your favorite idea here! What have you been wanting to try?
Happy National Day of Unplugging!
Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which contains 300+ activities for family fun and grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online. Slow Parenting and the book were named a 2012 Top 10 Parenting Trend by TIME Magazine. Suz has written for the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog, and many others. She is the Social Media Director for JFCS and Parents Place.