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.
Take some time to unplug and practice habits like mindfulness and connectedness. While your phones are resting, here are eight fun ways to unplug as a family:
Have a living room campout with sleeping bags, ghost stories, and oven s’mores.
Interview family members about their favorite colors, animals, seasons, sports, and use what you learn in a fun report
Start a jigsaw puzzle! If you pick a difficult one with many pieces, you can work on it each time you need a technology break.
Play outside! Walk or bike to a park for a game of tag or use chalk to draw a hopscotch board.
Read a book as a family, “popcorn” style. One reader starts by reading a few pages out loud, then picks another family to pick up where they leave off.
Visit a farmers market. Give each family member a small budget to pick out items of their choosing, then put them all together in a meal back at home.
Start a garden and track its progress in the weeks ahead.
Make your own bubble solution and blow bubbles. Start a friendly family competition to see who can make the biggest one!
What other ideas can your family come up with?
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.