Unplugged Play


Unplugged Play. No Batteries, No Plugs, Pure Fun. By Bobbi Conner. $16, Amazon.ca.

When I came across Unplugged Play, the title made me smile. I remember the days when computers and Nintendos and other tech gadgets didn’t exist, or at least weren’t top of mind and at arm’s reach.

Don’t get me wrong, my brother and I watched a lot of television growing up. And I know from personal experience that my children, who no longer nap, need that spacey time in front of the boob tube just to force them to relax and regroup. And when that time is done, they’re ready to play again. But at what?

Unplugged Play is like that enviable camp counsellor who has games and crafts and a whole world of wonderful ideas in his or her back pocket. The cover boasts 710 games and activities for ages 12 months to 10 years. While some of the suggestions are most certainly put into play already (blocks, ring around the rosy), others definitely made my eyes light up and caused me to pause with an “Ooh, that sounds good.”

Of the 156 ideas in the toddler section, some of my favorites include:

Muffin sorter (sorting random items into muffin tins)

Edible finger paint (yum)

Mailbox (creating a personal box out of a shoe box)

Grocery store (shopping in the cupboard for dinner ingredients)

Puppet on a stick (crafting with scraps)

Toddler basketball (holding a laundry basket)

I can go on about all the creative activities – which by the way are divided by solo play, parent and child, playing with others and birthday party play – but the bottom line is this: if you want your kids to play more games that don’t require wires, pick up Unplugged Play and keep it where you can reach it at all times. Unplugged Play is an encyclopedia of fun.


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