Make the Most of the National Day of Unplugging With These 6 Tips

With new gadgets arriving in stores every day and apps that tell us what to do, where to go and how to get there, it’s no wonder we have a relentless attachment to our gadgets and gizmos. They have become such an integral part of our daily lives, that for many of us, it’s almost inconceivable to go 24 hours without using electronic devices.

That’s why we love the National Day of Unplugging, which takes place from sundown on March 4 to sundown on March 5. This time away from all things electronic gives you a chance to turn off, tune out and reconnect with life and nature. Need some help figuring out what to do with all of that time? Here are some of our favorite family-friendly ideas:

1. Have an unplugged scavenger hunt. Hide board games (e.g. Monopoly, Candy Land, Twister, Chutes and Ladders and Operation), art supplies or a series of books, and create clues to find them. Once you find the treasures, you’ll get to spend the next few hours playing together!

2. Cook favorite family recipes. From Grandma’s chicken noodle soup to mom’s famous peach cobbler, cook the recipes that warm your heart and soul. Or have the whole family help prep meals for the coming week! Hit up the grocery store together, then head to the kitchen to whip up some quick and easy school lunches, or make some delicious snacks such as granola bars or healthier sweets such as Chunky Monkey Cookies or On the Go Rainbows. Just be sure to print out your recipes before it’s time to unplug!

3. Start a family book club. Pick a book that appeals to everyone in your family, read it together and discuss it over a meal or snacks. You can also have your kids create art based on themes from the book.

4. Be a good neighbor. Is there someone in your neighborhood that might need a little help around the house or yard? If you have an elderly or sick neighbor (or even one with a new baby at home), see what you can do to make their day better. Whether that means shoveling a walkway, baking some unexpected meals or treats, or offering to run errands, we can’t think of a nicer way to make the most of your unplugged day.

5. Go camping (inside or out). In some parts of the country, it’s not quite outdoor campfire time yet. But we’d be hard pressed to find a more fun way to “dine in” than by staging a family campsite — right in your own living room! Spend some time building a fort together, drag in some sleeping bags and tell ghost stories. If the weather has warmed up enough for an outdoor adventure, go for a hike, walk or bike ride before setting up your tents and sleeping bags outside. TrailLink can help you find nearby paths, just be sure to print them out before sundown on March 4.

6. Put together a family fitness day or night. Without the option to watch your favorite TV shows or spend time at the computer, you’ll have plenty of time for fitness! Between outdoor fitness fun, family night at the YMCA, and challenges and competitions, we found a number of ways to get fit as a family! We particularly like the idea of a sports night to learn new skills. Have you been thinking about trying tennis? The United States Tennis Association (USTA) can help you find a facility near you!

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