When my son was young, many moons ago, I raised both him and his sister in very much the same way that my grandma raised me, #unplugged.
When I was bored, or would say I was bored, she would place empty cereal boxes, tape, markers and scissors on the table in front of me and say ‘there you go, find something to do with it.’
I’d stare at the boxes, doodle a little and because i was fascinated with robots, most of the time, that’s what i made out of those cereal boxes. It was easy to keep myself entertained for hours. This was an everyday thing at my grandma’s house.
When I was not making robots out of cardboard,
i would walk the neighborhood with one of my best friends, whose grandmother also lived in the same area, she also staying most of the summer there as well. We would go up and down the alley ways, look in deserted or abandoned wooden garages and make up stories as to what happened to the old cars with broken windows that lived inside.
I spent most of my summers with my grandma and grandpa in Eureka, California. They had the best house, right there on C street.
These days, fast forward to 2017, that it is. Most kids have their own iPad, iPhone, Android or other tablet type cell device. some as young as 3. What happened to giving a child empty cereal boxes, string, markers, tape and scissors?
Have we as a society forgotten how important it is for kids to be #unplugged? how important it is for them to explore their surroundings without being micro-managed or actually forgotten?
My kids who are now 28, and 18, have told me on more than one occasion, how thankful they are that I taught them how to entertain themselves, without TV, Cell phones, and other computer devices. Yay, but really they should be thanking my grandma, their great-grandma, my other mama.
dear reader, if you are so inclined, and have kids of your own, try it, the next time they say, I’m bored, or ‘i want my iPad,’ hand them a few empty cereal boxes, tape, markers, and string and see what happens…
If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a note or two, and if you tried my #unplugged experiment, let me know — I would love to hear about it.