Monday 1 February 2016

How to Unplug your Child

Like many parents, I am concerned about the amount of screen time to which children are exposed.

Yes, there are plenty of learning opportunities involving screens and we do use screens for history (Veritas self paced), for occasional YouTube science videos and for reading (Kindle Fire for immersion reading and Kindle/laptop for ebooks). Still, computers tend to encroach on leisure time. I would be the first to admit that I haven't been the best at controlling this. Younger children in a family also tend to benefit from older siblings' skills at doing up old computers/putting on the lastest software and the general accessibility of screens. In view of all this, I was delighted when I saw How to Unplug your Child: 101 Ways to help your kids turn off their gadgets and enjoy real life by Liat Hughes Joshi on sale with the BookPeople.

When the book arrived, my child who is least interested in screens, took the book off to read and soon returned with a wish list, including a games night, a spa day, borrowing a dog, making sushi and charades.

Cardboard stair sliding has proved immensely popular including with the child who most likes screens.

The ideas vary from incredibly easy, for example, bath time at the wrong time to challenging, start their own business.

My only concern is that I would have loved some more ideas for the children to do on their own. There were some, for example, the cardboard sliding and making a mini-parachute that the children can do alone but probably, most of the ideas do require parental help e.g. stories around a camp fire and geocaching. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to abdicate parenting but there are times when, like other parents, there are phone calls to be made or the freezer needs defrosting and then it would be helpful to have a section that children from about five can manage on their own. 

Overall, this is a helpful book and should provide plenty of ideas for activities. I plan to try to work through many of the ideas. 

  Disclaimer: I purchased this book for the use of my family. The opinions are those of myself and my children.

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  1. Unplugging can be so important. And so hard! For adults as well as kids.

  2. This sounds like a helpful book, Sarah. I think my son would enjoy it in particular. I like the cardboard stair sliding idea, but sadly we have no stairs!