As readers of my blog will know, reducing screen time in our family is something that's very important to me. Every week, we enjoy our no-gadget Sunday mornings (read more here) and I try to get the kids outdoors as much as I can. That's why I was so excited to read about National Unplugging Day, taking place on Sunday 25th June 2017.
Don't get me wrong...I love my smartphone and I can't wait for my next upgrade.... I also love that my son can learn maths online and that my daughter can chill out with a favourite movie on her iPad or FaceTime her friends if she feels like a chat.
What I'm looking for is balance ... if the kids want to chill out with movies on a Sunday afternoon then I try to make sure that during the week they've caught up with friends (face-to- face), done some sport, walked in the lakes, done some forest bathing....you get the idea. So I was delighted when I saw an online link to National Uplugging Day....and another occasion to plan a whole day gadget free!
So what exactly is National Unplugging Day?
It's happening on Sunday 25th June 2017 and parents all around the country are being asked to spend the day "from sun-up to sun-down" without any technology, screens or gadgets of any sort. It sounds like so much fun and reminds me of a conversation that I had with my daughter recently. I was telling her, how, when we were kids, we'd leave the house in the morning and go and explore the countryside. We'd build dams in the river, explore the fields, play kirby or hide and seek. "But how did your mum know where you were?," she asked, stunned.
Nowadays, she'd be lost if she didn't have her phone at school and she's been known to text home in her lunch breaks and play times. Whilst I love the fact that we're a close family, I also want her to experience the freedom of gadget-free days....to let her imagination run wild and free. To not worry about whether she's missing anything or what her friends are doing ... or wanting to isolate herself in her room by playing music on her headphones (she's a teen - can you tell?)
So...we have a week to plan and we're starting to get ideas already. And the best thing? There's no complaints...they're completely into the idea. We've talked about picnics by the lake or the seaside... visiting family or planning a full day out to somewhere that we've not been to in a while (Belsay Hall, anyone? I so love English Heritage properties). No doubt, the phone will be in the glove box, turned off, in case of emergency.....but I don't think we'll need it.
I'd love to hear if you're going to take part in National Unplugging Day? Don't forget it's on 25th June 2017. Share your plans below or connect with me on Instagram or Twitter. The hashtag for the day is #GoGadgetFree ... I'll be sharing my favourite photos after sundown and I hope to see some of yours, too, if you can 🙂