The Unplugged Family Activity Book: 60+ Simple Crafts




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From the Publisher

The Unplugged Family Activity BookThe Unplugged Family Activity Book

The Unplugged Family Activity Book

There’s a Whole World Out There

Whether you’re discovering new recipes, turning in schoolwork, playing video games, or learning a foreign language, the digital world is a part of modern life. Our cell phones, tablets, and computers are marvels at keeping the information (and, often, fun) flowing in our lives.

At the same time, the natural world is an integral part of our everyday life. It’s just one that we, sometimes, forget to notice. Nature is there, humming along in the background as we go about our days—waiting, perhaps, for us to tune in and take note. From the busiest of cities to the tranquil, quiet countryside, nature is there. It serves as the unwavering backdrop to our daily lives.

Although we often consider nature as something existing separate from us, humans are a part of nature. Nature is where we come from, and it was our first home. By reconnecting ourselves with the Earth, sky, and seasons, we can remember our place in the natural world.

Stress Less

When we make time to connect with nature, both children and adults feel a greater sense of peace and a reduction in stress. Out in nature, we can hear our own quiet thoughts, get in touch with our creativity, and connect more deeply with family and friends. To rediscover nature, however, we need to put away other distractions and reacquaint ourselves with the physical world.

Even the simple act of expressing our creativity can be healing. Like nature, the creative process—activities like drawing, painting, or crafting—are known to reduce stress and anxiety. That’s something that can benefit us at any age.



Unplugging (putting away our digital distractions) helps us reconnect with nature and be present in our physical realm. Without the distraction of screens, we can dive deep into the joy we experience when our heads, hearts, and hands are engaged with the world around us. Spending time without technology can also help us connect with our family and friends and feed our imaginations and curiosity as we savor the simple pleasures of screen-free play.

“But wait,” you say. “Can’t we do all of these things online as well?” Of course we can! Technology is a wonderful tool for connecting with loved ones near and far and for fueling our curiosity, imagination, and knowledge. But there is a balance to be found in this modern world by inviting in a bit of the slowness that exists in life beyond the screen. Not by doing away with technology, but by cultivating balance in our day-to-day lives.

SPRING: Branches in BloomSPRING: Branches in Bloom

SPRING: Branches in Bloom

Sometimes, we’re ready for spring before winter has properly moved on. But by snipping a few branches from a dormant flowering tree or shrub, we can encourage the season’s blooms to emerge in our homes a few weeks early. Known as “forcing” blooms, this simple process allows us to welcome a bit of springtime magic into our homes even before the chilly winter world has melted away.

SUMMER: Dragonfly WingsSUMMER: Dragonfly Wings

SUMMER: Dragonfly Wings

I’ve been a bit obsessed with both damselflies and dragonflies since childhood, even raising some from nymphs in an aquarium as a teenager. They are a sure sign of summer, with their glimmering wings slowly fluttering as they perch beside rivers or wetlands. Despite their beauty, dragonflies are fierce, daring, and courageous. Celebrate summer by channeling your inner dragonfly when you tie on a pair of homemade wings.

AUTUMN: Gratitude TreeAUTUMN: Gratitude Tree

AUTUMN: Gratitude Tree

Gratitude and harvest festivals are enjoyed around the world, from Vietnam to India, Germany to Ghana. Every autumn, my own family gathers to celebrate all we are grateful for. At the center of our celebration table is a simple tree branch bearing an assortment of paper leaves, each one noting something that one of us appreciates. It has become a favorite family tradition—one that reminds us of all we have to be grateful for.

WINTER: Folded Window StarsWINTER: Folded Window Stars

WINTER: Folded Window Stars

Winter often means more time spent indoors. And, in many regions, it can mean a dreary view out the front window. Lacking the vibrant greens of summer, gray winter can get us down. So, why not brighten up that winter view with colorful, folded window stars? When made of translucent paper, they all but glow in the afternoon light. It’s my favorite way to bring a little cheer to any gray view. Window stars are traditionally made with a translucent paper sold as “kite paper” (see the Resources section, page 137, for where to buy). They’re also lovely when folded with any other thin, colorful paper you have on hand. Even recycled office paper will work!

SPRING: Branches in BloomSPRING: Branches in Bloom

SUMMER: Dragonfly WingsSUMMER: Dragonfly Wings

AUTUMN: Gratitude TreeAUTUMN: Gratitude Tree

WINTER: Folded Window StarsWINTER: Folded Window Stars

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Fair Winds Press; Illustrated edition (June 23, 2020)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 144 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1592339433
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1592339433
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 – 12 years
Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 – 7
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.6 x 0.5 x 11 inches