We're such a wired society these days that it's hard to go anywhere without seeing someone chatting on the phone, texting, or now with an iPad looking up stuff. It's great that we can know and connect with anything and anyone instantly. Talking to my penpal in Australia is so fun on IM when I used to wait weeks for a letter.
But what is the cost to the people who are actually around us. Have you ever spent a day (or even a couple hours) with no gadgets on, just being with people? When we go camping or driving out of cell coverage it's almost refreshing to know that you just can't do anything about it. (alternately, this is one of the reasons I didn't have a cell phone for a long time)
The only problem with this is that we're so used to being entertained that sometimes we don't know how to entertain ourselves. I know I'm not very creative when it comes to hanging out with my kids, pre-schoolers are not my forte! So I'm quite happy to have a new trick up my sleeve...
101 Offline Activities You Can Do With Your Child is a new spin on the Bennett's other book (365 TV-Free Activities). It's full of simple interactive games you can do with your kids, and at least half of them don't require much more than your imagination and perhaps a couch pillow or two.
Some of the activities in this book remind me of junior high ice breaker games, but they work just as well with the younger set. Anyone remember "lava" where you have to get across the room (or the playground) with only stepping on a few pieces of paper?
The book has one activity per page and as you flip through there are symbols in the lower corners that say whether this is an "at home" game, an "on the road" game, or an "anywhere" game, among other categories. This is the easiest way to find ideas.
If you are out of ideas when it comes to playing with your kids or you just don't want to play "cars" again, give this book a try. And perhaps it will help you get creative on your own!
I was provided a review copy of this book for the Family Review Network, but the opinions expressed are my own.