Unplug with START

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If you’ve been thinking lately that it might be time for a digital detox for your family, this weekend is your chance. The National Day of Unplugging—24 hours where you set your devices aside to reconnect with the world around you—goes from sundown to sundown on March 1-2nd. Of course, we know it might not be practical for every family to make it 24 hours offline—so even if you can only find 30 minutes to unplug, we say it counts! If you want a fun way to let people know you are unplugging, grab an “I unplug” poster here and post it on social media as an “out of office” type message.

If you are able to unplug for the full time—check out these ways to go big and make it a special day of memory making and connection for your family! Take this opportunity to have some fun with your kids—exploring, creating, talking, and making the most of the hours you have offline. If you need some inspiration, we loved these ideas from the National Day of Unplugging (more ideas on their website):

1. AVOID TECHNOLOGY

  • Eat dinner without disruption.

  • Create Cell Phone Sleeping Bag inspired covers for the technology in your house, playroom or classroom. Get creative. Use old socks and glue on fabric or felt pieces and decorate them. Tuck away video game controllers or iPods. Teach your kids to hand sew and stitch together scrap pieces of fabric or old T-shirts to make bags for your devices.

  • Have an unplugged scavenger hunt. Hide alternative activities, such as board games, materials for a science project or a series of books and create clues to and the alternative activities. Spend the afternoon playing together.

2. CONNECT WITH LOVED ONES

  • Create a family tree. Take time with your family to discuss your childhood, family history, stories and memories.

  • Have a Family Book Club. Pick a book that appeals to everyone in your family.

3. NURTURE YOUR HEALTH

  • Get out Granny’s Tea Set and have a Tea Party. Take a deep breath and enjoy.

  • Om. Have a family yoga party in the morning. Move the furniture and stretch out the yoga mats.

  • Get the beat grooving and have a dance party on Friday night. Invite the neighbors and other families. Whip out your favorite records, cassette tapes or a-tracks and go back to a time before the iPod.

  • Create a healthy snack pack. Replace all those unhealthy treats for home made granola bars, trail mix and nutrient rich superfoods. Get your kids involved in the cooking.

4. GETTING OUTSIDE

  • Go for a long walk in a park near your house or even a national forest. Lead a nature scavenger hunt. Print out a map before hand or bring an old-fashioned guide book. Print out pictures of items for the kids to find.

  • Do yard work. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers. Get rid of weeds. Start the vegetable garden you’ve had on your “to do” list forever. Get dirty.

  • Set up a family obstacle course in your yard. Compete against yourself to improve on your individual times.

  • The next time it rains, put on your boots and rain gear and splash around in the puddles. You’ll be surprised how much fun it is to do something you are always telling your kids to avoid! You’ll have lots of laughs.

  • Have a favorite tree in your yard? Turn it into a wish tree for the day and have each family member write or draw their wishes for the next year.

5. GIVE BACK

  • Talk to your kids about charity. Decide as a family what issues in the world matter most to you. Decide a charity of your choosing before sundown. And give together as the sun sets.

  • Organize a community drive. Ask people to donate clothing, school supplies or food to those in need.

  • Write letters to soldiers and create a care package. There are many organizations online that can help you coordinate this effort.

  • Bake cookies and deliver them to your local police or fire department as a thank you.

Krista Boan