Devices, devices everywhere...
Every single place you look.
In the hands of all the children,
Instead of puzzles, blocks and books.
Whatever happened to the days,
when children went outdoors and played?
Whatever happened to the times,
when they were hypnotized by rhymes?
What happened to carefree days of play,
running, skipping, jumping?
Now the children stay indoors,
clicking, tapping, swiping.
They sit and stare at flashing screens,
for hours without end.
No movement, no discovery,
no time spent playing with friends.
Let's all get back to basics,
back to childhoods of old.
Let's disconnect our kids,
and show them wonders to behold.
Summer's here so let's get those kids unplugged! Get them out in nature to explore, imagine, and create. Take them out on expeditions; to parks, beaches, zoos, botanical gardens, fairs, festivals, farmer's market, etc. Doesn't have to be far from home nor expensive. These outings and excursions will help build background knowledge as well as memories that will carry into adulthood.
If your kids aren't receptive to the idea of unplugging, consider some of the following titles that are a fun read and highlight the positives of disconnecting and reconnecting with childhood the way it used to be. Back to basics! Also, take a look at our previous blogs, such as Connecting With Nature and The Power of a Garden, for unplugged summer fun ideas!
Unplugged by Steve Antony
Blip loves being plugged into her computer. She can do all kinds of things, but then one day she gets disconnected and discovers a whole world outside of her computer that is filled with sunshine, plants and new friends!
When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins
Charlie McButton has likes and like-nots. His likes involve all things electronic, namely battling bad creatures on his computer. When a storm blows through and knocks out power, Charlie’s technological world comes tumbling down. What is he to do until the power is restored? This book is a very fun reminder that there is plenty of fun to be had offline.
hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell
Lydia’s family is totally engrossed in their gadgets. Feeling restless and bored after her attempts to engage her family members in conversation fails, Lydia ventures outside and finds all kinds of things to say hello to: rocks, leaves, flowers, and more! But the best part of this new world? Sharing its wonders with the people she loves most. #DisconnectToConnect
Run Wild by David Covell
A boy sits inside on his device. A girl runs by his window and shouts, “Hey, You! Sky’s blue!” Intrigued, the boy heads outside, leaving his shoes and phone behind and enters a world of natural wonders and endless delights. This book perfectly captures the joy of connecting with the world outside your front door.
Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation by Ann Droyd
"In the bright buzzing room, there was an iPad, and a kid playing Doom..."
It is time for all of the devices and gadgets to power down and recharge before another day. Older children and adults will especially appreciate this new take on a classic bedtime story.
If You Give a Mouse an iPhone: A Cautionary Tale by Ann Droyd
As with Goodnight iPad, this re-imagining of a beloved story is set in our modern, ever-connected world. What happens when Mouse is given an iPhone to keep him busy? Well, he misses out on all of the fun going on around him because he is staring at the screen! The lesson to learn from this story? There is so much to see and experience offline!
Tek: The Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell
What happens to a little boy who spends all day, every day inside on his phone, tablet, television and video games? He loses touch with all of his friends and family, the great outdoors and even his language abilities! Another cautionary tale, shaped like a tablet itself, that reminds us of the importance to put down our devices and reconnect with the ones we love and the world around us.
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco
Everyone in Triple Creek loves their televisions. They watch them while they are eating, playing, working, sleeping and even in school! But Eli's Aunt Chip is different. She doesn't own a television and never has. When Aunt Chip learns that the townspeople cannot read and only use books for furniture and to repair broken roofs, she jumps out of bed to make some changes. This is another delightful story about the need to limit screen time and the importance of books in our lives.
Blackout by John Rocco
It's a hot summer night in the city. A boy is watching television, his sister is on the phone, his mother is working on her computer and his father is making dinner. Then the power goes out, plunging them into darkness and cutting them off from their various devices. They go up to the roof in order to escape the heat and discover the beauty of the stars and see all of their neighbors out and enjoying each other's company. This story shows the fun that can be had when we disconnect from our electronics and reconnect with each other.
Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot. Every morning his parents plug him in for his information download before their leave for work. One day, after learning all about the city, Doug unplugs and goes on an adventure to the city to see what else there is to learn. By doing, touching, seeing, listening and interacting with a new friend, Doug learns far more than he ever did by just plugging in, showing that unplugging is sometimes the best thing to do.
Unplug this summer, reconnect with nature and each other and have unforgettable fun!
Happy reading and adventuring!
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.