Unplugged Play

Unplugged Play

I follow several amazing parenting and craft blogs, and one of my favorites is called Let’s Explore. It’s a blog kept by a homeschooling mom (she also keeps a great homeschooling blog) of two, and she always comes up with the most creative projects and fun things to do. Recently she recommended a book called Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. I was so excited to learn that my library carried a copy and checked it out immediately.

Holy cow, is this book full of even more fun projects, experiments, games, and other activities to do! It’s based, obviously, on the premise that our kids spend way too much time plugged in to various toys and gadgets, and that we need to help them reconnect with their own imaginations through open-ended play and nature activities. You’ll find both of these opportunities in the book, from outdoor scavenger hunts to carnival-type games you can do in your own bathtub, experiments on beach balls and pencils, hopping games, and more!

The book boasts over 700 games and activities to do for kids ages one to ten years, and though they are organized by age group, many overlap. For example, I found several great ideas in the section for younger children that my six-year-old loves, such as homemade bowling pins and golf out of household objects, such as plastic bottles and flyswatters. There are more ideas than I’ll have time to do in the time it takes to check out the book, so I’m jotting all of the ones I like down in our lesson plan book during my daughter’s taekwondo lessons—a time in which I normally read or do puzzles anyway. No time lost, and plenty of activities gained!

Each activity is very simply explained and easy to follow. There is a brief introduction, along with a breakdown of how the game or activity can be used, how many children can do it together, and what ages it’s best used with. Then there is a list of materials, followed by usually brief instructions. It’s so simple that as I’ve added the activities to our lesson book, I’ve been able to reduce them to a few words to use later without needing much of the explanations themselves.

There aren’t many illustrations, but they really aren’t needed. Most of the activities are simple enough to understand without them. If you feel like your child is spending way too much time in front of the tube or attached to the controller, this book could definitely help you out.