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Friday, October 2, 2009


By Guest Blogger Jennifer Guidry

Remember the days when the Slinky was the coolest thing you owned? Whatever happened to that $4 coil of wire that we spent hours playing with? (Five minutes throwing down the stairs and 55 minutes trying to untwist it and squeeze it back into its original shape.) These days everything is battery powered, backlit, pocket-sized, and no longer requires actual sentences to work – LOL!

Can you remember when you couldn’t call your spouse on his way home from work because cell phones where the size of carry-on luggage and cost most than Yugo?

I just don’t know how we ever managed before we were plugged-in, online and Wi-Fied. OMG!! We had to write with a pen and paper, mail a letter using a stamp and wait two weeks before our pen pal wrote back. Today, in the age of instant gratification, it is important to slow down and smell the roses – literally.

Take a weekend with the kids and “unplug.” Turn off the cell phones, dust off the board games and sit down with your kids for two days of techno-free fun. Here are a few ideas to slow down life and build a few memories that don’t require 6 MB of RAM:

1. Have them write their grandparents a letter. Use full sentences, old-fashioned grammar and a lot of love. Make them use a dictionary to “Spell-check.”
2. Play Scrabble, Monopoly, Scattergories, Charades or cards. Teach them old fashioned 5 card poker and Michigan Rummy.
3. Go for a walk, take the dog, and get the blood flowing. Smell some roses.
4. Pick up leaves and shave crayons. Then iron them in between two sheets of wax paper. Use them for sun catchers in the window.
5. Take Subway to the any one of the overlook stops on the way to Pilot Mountain and have a mini picnic. Pop-a-Squat and people watch. Count the blue cars coming from the north verses the red from the south.
6. See if the local retirement home would like a hosted game of Bingo. Ask if they have the balls in a cage you crank until the number rolls out. Use pennies instead of daubers. Give hugs and kisses as prizes.
7. Read a classic to the family instead of watching American Idol. Try Dickens and wait a day between chapters. It was originally a series anyway.
8. Press flowers.
9. Speak only pig latin.
10. Bring a homemade dinner to the fire station. See if they’ll let you sit in the fire truck. Blow the horn while you’re there.

These are just a few ideas. If you don’t know some of the things I referenced above, no worries. You can Google them. :-)

Jennifer, thank so much for this post! Your last sentence cracked me up. Pictured above are Jennifer's children enjoying an unplugged moment. TSP readers, share with us your favorite ways to "unplug."

Don't forget to register for our October Giveaway - a $250 package from Zoe Zen Photography. Click here to learn more about Zoe Zen and register.


Melanie said...

Forgot all about Pig Latin! We need to do that.

Anonymous said...

Cute ideas, Jennifer! I need to print these out and keep them on my fridge so that I actually remember to do them!

Kelly G. said...

It always amazes me that, even though my son will cry a river if I declare a "no TV" date, he loves whatever we do while the TV is off.

My favorite unplugged thing to do is act out a story as we read it. Tonight, we read Caps for Sale and I got my kids (and my husband, who is always a good sport) to do all of the motions of the peddler and the monkeys. OF course, it got them all wound up right before bed, but the stomping and throwing were really fun,

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