Monday, April 18, 2011

A few suggestions for a Screen-Free week & more!

Remember what life was like before cell phones, Wi-fi, the Internet, video games, and television? Okay, even I'm too young to remember life before television...but if you've ever camped, etc. there have been instances where you've been without it. What did you do? A little thought about what we did before for fun, information, etc. will provide plenty of suggestions for the next week. But there is a bigger picture here. For example, if you value books (the physical kind), you have to buy or check them out for them to continue in existence. If you want your own children to look at you while you talk, put your iPhone down when they want to talk to you or pause the television (we are fortunate to have that luxury, use it!).

1. Turn your cell phone's volume on and put it where your landline is or was & treat it like a landline phone.

2. Write a letter to an elderly relative who would be thrilled to receive something since they may be the only ones not online! Or write to a friend who you know also writes, or would. At least send a card or two-maybe to a niece or nephew-they love to get them! Be sure to include some stickers!

3. Need information? Go to the library. Granted the catalogs are online, but checking out a physical book is still a great way to find information. Or entertainment! Hey, you can drink and eat in most libraries now, how about bringing your coffee and the kids' juice and hang out and read for awhile?! The Carlsbad libraries have an excellent selection of newspapers and magazines as well.

4. Take a stroll through your neighborhood, park, the lagoons, or the beach. It doesn't have to be a power walk. Enjoy nature, breathe deep, and relax. Bring your camera. Bring a bucket or two-one for neat rocks and one for trash (mini beach clean-up day!). Go for a bike ride or have a catch with your kids...that time is flying, take advantage of it now!

5. An obvious one: break out the board games or cards. I know many who play solitaire, Scrabble, etc. online-bring it to the table instead and involve your kids! How about some chess or checkers? Even more fun, have your kids create their own board game and play it!

6. Get out the craft or art supplies. Have your kids create a family newspaper. Or a family portrait.

7. How about a little spring cleaning? I know I'm not the only one who has some task that's been waiting!

8. We are so fortunate to have so many great things to do here in So Cal-I see more than I can possibly get to on Twitter...hit up some of the museums, nature centers, historical points of interest you've been meaning to get to....(see my other post on great history sites, etc. in North County).

9. Get out in your yard! Take a glass of iced tea and a magazine and just enjoy a bit of sun...well, not today, but in general. Or pull a few weeds. Even if you have a gardener, pull some weeds, pick up a new plant and plant it yourself, or dead-head the rose bush...there is nothing quite so satisfying, plus you get some vitamin D!

10. Write a poem for someone you love. For your significant other, your child, a favorite bird or flower. Who cares if it's "bad", the point is to write some poetry for inspiration.

11. Hand wash dishes with your family. Remember doing this when you were a kid? Whoever isn't actually doing dishes can read aloud from a book- how about The Wizard of Oz? Or an Agatha Christie for older ones or families without kids.

12. Choose a play, even an EZ reader book to turn into a play...practice for a week with a performance at the end, with props, make-up, costumes, etc.

13. Do science experiments with your kids-(not on your kids-hehe!). There are so many easy ones to do and tons of books at the library with ones to do at home. Even if you don't have kids, there are some really fun ones to remind you how much fun science lab was...

14. Read a love story with your love. By candlelight. It doesn't have to be "Earth Hour" to turn out the lights...:)

15. Buy a journal and start recording your profound thoughts in it...don't lose them all on FB, Twitter or a blog...leave a tangible record of your life (and handwriting) for your children, grandchildren, etc. While you're at it, write down some stories from your childhood for posterity. A better use of time than watching some program you don't really care about...