We all could use a little time away from technology.
Between work, the commute to work, and relaxing at home at the end of the day, Americans spend a staggering 11 hours per day with electronic media, according to a cross-platform study by Nielsen. Do those numbers surprise you?
If anything, they should serve as a good reminder to take a step away from all things electronic and focus on the world around you.
With the remaining weeks of summer, consider taking our challenge to replace one technology-reliant activity with one that relies on nothing but your imagination and a desire to get outside!
Here are our 20 ideas to keep you entertained, enjoy life around you, and reconnect with what really matters.
- Write a handwritten note and send it the old fashioned way—in the mail. It could be a thank you note, a love note or just a funny card saying hi to an old friend. Spend a few minutes down the card aisle and you’ll probably find the perfect card for any note.
- Put away the iPad and cook a favorite meal from a passed-down family recipe. Or go to your local bookstore and pick up one of the many great cookbooks lying around. Got a favorite celebrity? They probably have a cookbook waiting for you.
- Take it old-school. Remember when changing your appearance was because of dress up and not Snapchat filters? Pick up some props from your local thrift store and have a day of dress up with the kids.
- Plan a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for the kids to find on your next walk around the block or to the park. Think landmarks and items that may change: butterfly, dog, blue car, willow tree, red rose, swing set, mailbox, the number 5, etc.
- Take a nap and don’t set an alarm. There isn’t anything quite as nice as a nap with no required wake-up time. Want to double down on greatness? Put up a hammock in a nice spot in your backyard and take a rest in the great outdoors.
- Build a birdhouse. Have the kids join in the building activity. After it’s up, enjoy watching your new neighbors throughout the year!
- Pick up the paper and check out the calendar. Want to find out what festivities are happening in your neighborhood? Your newspaper will have the details on new local gems as well as activities happening near you.
- Read a book. Not an e-book. One with actual paper.
- Visit your library. In addition to getting those nice books with actual paper, the library has other fun attractions. Check to see if they have a seed library to share some new plants for the garden or other activities to get the kids involved.
- Organize your closet. Facebook can wait. Have clothes you haven’t worn in a while (and probably won’t)? Take a drive to your nearest shelter to donate. Bonus points if you use a paper map to get there!
- Put up and use a clothesline. Sure it might take a little extra effort, but hanging your clean clothes outside will cut down on electricity use and give you more time with the fresh air.
- Reconnect with the cloud(s). No, not that cloud. Grab a big sheet and relax as you spot different shapes in the sky.
- Host a “No Electronics Party.” Plan a night of fun with board or backyard games. Check out this infographic for tips on how to gamify your yard. Wondering how you’ll enforce the no electronics part? Have your guests check their phones at the door.
- Have a cooking competition in your own kitchen. Take inspiration from your favorite cooking shows and have friends and family compete to create the best meal. When the cooking is complete, take the master dishes out to the backyard and have a picnic!
- Abandon your iScrapbook for the night. Indulge in some trips down memory lane with your old school family photo binders. And while you’re at it, print off your recent photos and start a new album.
- Two words: baked pastries. Cheer up a friend or neighbor with some baked love. No .com necessary.
- Capture the moment...with your talent. Grab a sketchbook and some drawing utensils, head outside, and capture the sunset. Phone cameras never seem to do the colors of a sunset justice anyway.
- Put on a neighborhood talent show. Invite everyone who has a unique gift or passion, and give them the uninterrupted stage for the night.
- Go for a long swim. Having a hard time letting go of your devices? We suggest adding water to the mix. You can’t take your phone in the pool!
- Head to your lawn oasis. Play hide and seek with the kids. Set up an obstacle course. Get your bocce ball on. No matter what activity you choose, just enjoy your great backyard!
Easy enough, right?
Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas to unplug, unwind and #LiveLifeOutside this summer!