Apr 26, 2013

Get Set for Screen-Free Week!

Monday marks the beginning of Screen-Free Week, a time to unplug, experience something new, and take time to be present with friends and family. In anticipation, we’ve put together a list of activities to do with your kids that are inspired by some of our favorite new and classic children’s books.  If you have other ideas, share them with us, and let's make sure our screen-free days are filled with fun and imagination!

 So here we go!

 Monday 4/29
Invent a Hugo Cabret Flip Book

If you haven't seen this beautiful--and quite large--book by Brian Selznick, you're really missing out. Though the size of the book makes it look daunting on the shelf, it pages are filled with mostly illustrations that are both accompaniments to the text, and in parts can stand in place of the text. The resulting hybrid is hard to categorize, and reminds us of a combination picture book, collection of film stills, and flip book. We love the creativity of the story, and so to kick off our Screen-Free Week activities, we thought it would be fun to try making a flip book. It might not be as elaborate or large as Hugo Cabret, but what a great way be crafty and give illustrating a shot.

Tuesday 4/30
Cool Cooking

We're putting out our first kid's cookbook this summer, and it happens to be full of easy, delicious recipes from around the world. You won't be able to make the recipes from the book yet (though we did post a rather yummy dessert recipe from it in a past blog post), but that doesn't mean you can't find other great recipes to experiment with during Screen-Free Week. Look for something new and exciting, go get the ingredients, and spend a day in the kitchen with your kids. At the end of the day, you can all sit down and have a meal together. Family time and delicious food, what could be better?

Wednesday 5/1
Dear Mr. Henshaw Author Letter

The art of letter writing has taken a backseat to emails and text messages, but we think it needs to be brought back. In Beverly Cleary's book, Dear Mr. Henshaw, Leigh Botts writes letters to his favorite author. Even if you don't send it, it's nice to spend some time articulating why you loved a particular book. 

Thursday 5/2
Mighty Nature Walk

Our upcoming middle-grade novel, The Mighty Quinn, by Robyn Parnell brings up a lot of important issues, but some of the most important ones happen to be environmental conservation and social service. In the story, Quinn Andrews-Lee and his class spend a day cleaning up their local park, removing trash and helping clear out some invasive plants. After first reading the books, we were inspired by their deeds and decided to create a list of activity ideas that kids could do to help their own communities. We ended up printing it in the back of the book and also made it available online for parents, children, and educators to download. Talk with your kids about some of the activities, and figure out a way to help the community while also unplugging for Screen-Free Week. (Some of the ideas include cleaning up your local park, planting a garden, upcycling old items, and volunteering.)

Friday 5/3
Imagine Your Own Teribithia

One of our favorite books when we were younger was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. In the story, friends Jesse and Leslie invent the magical land of Terabithia, of which they are the king and queen. Using their imaginations, they fill the once ordinary woods behind Jesse's house with ogres, giants, and trolls. So why not do the same? Create an imaginary world with your kids (or visit Terabithia), and let them fill it with whatever they want. Let their imaginations run wild.

Saturday 5/4
Have Your Own Day at the Game

Earlier this month, we released the adorable story book, Betsy's Day at the Game, which follows Betsy as she spends a memorable day at the ballpark with her grandfather. The story celebrates time spent with family, America's favorite pastime, the art of keeping score, and the passing down of traditions. If any story emulates what screen-free week is all about, it's this one. So why not take a page from the book--literally, there's a scorecard included in the back of the book--and head to your city or neighborhood ballpark. Spend a day with those you love and try your hand at keeping score. You might just learn to enjoy baseball in a whole new way!

Sunday 5/5
Read like Matilda

Everyone loves Matilda, who, in our opinion, is one of Roald Dahl's most memorable characters. From a young age, Matilda falls in love with books and reads everything she can find. In a week of unplugging from technology, we thought it only fitting to encourage kids--and yourselves--to be a bit more like Matilda. Read. Read anything and everything, together or alone. We can't promise you that you'll develop telekinetic powers like Matilda, but hey, you never know.

Do you have plans for Screen-Free Week?

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