book review, Something To Do

Something for the Parents just in time for Screen Free Week (4/30-5/6, 2018)

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Screen-Free Week is coming up April 30th – May 6th, 2018 and I’ve discovered a book that will help families discover something fun to do together.

But first, let’s discuss the whole idea of “screen free” families.  Over the past few years, I’ve watched the screen debate evolve as families choose between having a “screen-free” or a “screen-filled” home. When our three kids were younger and still under our roof, we carefully chose what was watched on TV and what Internet sites could be accessed. Of course, every online safety precaution was taken back then as well.

All of this is fine and good until schools and society started encroaching on my little domestic bubble. Back then (and even now) schools have chosen to embrace technology in a variety of ways from turning in term papers, taking tests, research, and in-school discussions forums. It quickly dawned on me that the conversation that was not being voiced was the one about balance.

That’s why I am always thrilled to review books that embrace going “screen free” for a week to remind us all what is important and help families find that balance. Simon and Schuster kindly sent over a little book of fun to make sure our Screen-Free Week is going to be celebrated in style.

Shannon Philpott-Sanders has created and written a wonderful book called Screen-Free FUN that is filled with over 400 activities and this activity guide is a guarantee for a fun-filled week of No Screens.

About Screen-Free FUN

screen free


Written from her own childhood memories of screen-free days, Shannon Philpott-Sanders believes that the benefit of expressing your creativity, staying active outdoors, and giving back to your community are important values to impart to today’s children. Shannon and I are kindred spirits in one regard and that’s about doing activities with our families and friends which create lasting childhood memories.
Screen-Free Fun is well-organized into 4 sections: Embrace Your Creativity, Enjoy The Great Outdoors, Support Your Community, and Put A Fun Twist On Local Travel. The last section is filled with fun activities to do while out and about. Oh how I remember some of these like: Don’t step on the Crack, Road Trip ABC Game, Road Trip Bingo was a family favorite.
Screen Free FUN
Other fun things to do are crafting veggie dolls, having a water balloon toss, Race paper airplanes, Go on a sound walk, craft soap sculptures, Have dessert in the bathtub, and so many more.
It doesn’t have to be Screen-Free Week to use this incredible activity guide. It’s small and easy to carry along all year round.

This delightful book offers over 400 ideas to help parent encourage a “disconnect” from tech devices and a “reconnect” with their families in a healthier way. Parents and kids can pick from DIY activities to games to weekend outings. Since many of the activities work well for kids at various ages, families will be able to grow along with the different projects and make plans for both younger and older siblings alike.

Outdoor-sy folks; you can try indoor projects like homemade slime, outdoor activities like building a fort, or learn more about your favorite destinations with activities like a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or an i-spy game at the zoo. There is also space for your family to add your own favorite activities so you never forget a great idea or memory! From summer vacation to holiday breaks and every rainy day in between, with this book you and your family will always have something fun to do together—without ever having to resort to a tablet, phone, or computer.

Shannon Philpott-Sanders (Collinsville, IL) has written extensively about the joys of parenting for local and national newspapers and magazines throughout her fifteen-year career as a freelance journalist. A mother of two, she has dedicated herself to becoming a lifelong learner when it comes to parenting her son and daughter who are now in their late teens.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Philpott-Sanders holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English. When she is not writing and offering tips for fun-filled experiences with children, she serves as an associate professor of English at St. Louis Community College – Meramec and advises the student-run newspaper.

More Screen-Free FUN Ideas

Go on a field trip! 25 Mini Adventures in the Library from Mama Scout is really fun and your kids will learn a lot about where things are in your local library.

Are your kids not a big fan of reading? You are not alone. Reluctant Readers may take a little extra finessing, but it is possible to get them to embrace books! The best way to motivate your reader is to know what inspires them! Making reading an adventure and not a “task, chore, requirement” during the summer months is a great way to help the desire to read and getting them loving the written word.

Reluctant Reader Tips

Early and emerging readers are discovering their world in a whole new way. They are learning how to communicate and absorb information via their language skills. By the time a child is 8 years old, they have evolved for the most part into independent learners. Each one of my children went through phases of passion between the ages of 5 and 8. Bringing them books about their interests sparked long moments of delving into books to capture the desired information they were looking for.

Books About: Dinosaurs, horses, American Girl books, memoirs such as the Little House on the Prairie series, magic, nature, gardening, space, how things work etc. ranked high on their “discovery lists”.

By bringing books about topics they love shifted the focus from “you have to read” to “let’s discover”.

Planned Activity: Sit down with your children, both readers and non-readers, and ask them what their favorite topics are. Things they would like to really know about. Have them make a well-decorated list with all of their favorites on it and then head to the library. My children always displayed their topic lists on the fridge, that’s why they made them beautiful in the first place.

Recently Updated

Not only that but this year Children’s Book Week and Screen-Free Week are at the same time. Oh, my glorious goodness that means you can read, play, and jump into your favorite books to celebrate both occasions! I don’t know if I can handle all of this greatness. Here’s a party guide to host both events together:

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