We have compiled a short list of some of the most recent tech-free activities we have done with our girls. If any of these stand out to you as an option for your family, perfect; if you have any other great projects to add, let us know in the comments!
5 Unplugged Activities To Do With Kids
1) The Pet Rock 2.0
While at a new campground in Arizona, the girls collected a bucket full of rocks they wanted to “sell” to neighboring campers. We quickly put the brakes on their entrepreneurial idea because it didn’t seem to have a great moral agenda. Instead, we suggested turning their favorite rocks into modern versions of pet rocks (circa Gary Dahl 1975). Armed with a few colors of paint I purchased at the local hardware store we set out to make some pets.
For brushes, the girls gathered pencil-sized sticks from around the campground. With knives, we whittled the ends to a modest point and made our own quills. Each rock had its own personality and the girls did an incredible job working on the faces to match. When all was said and done they painted about 25-30 hilarious rocks.
(Funny side note: They set up a roadside stand next to our camper for an hour and sold no rocks. We headed out for a hike and came back to find a used Styrofoam cup placed in one of the girl’s chairs and most of the rocks were missing. At first glance, we were devastated that someone ransacked their “shop” and left trash in its place. Upon closer inspection we saw the cup was filled with dollars and some people took it upon themselves to buy all the rocks and leave almost $20 in the cup.)
2) Paper Airplane Competitions
There is never a shortage of paper in our RV. Making something great out of paper always ends up being a default project.
When we were in Cape Cod this summer, the girls and their friends had the most amazing day playing with vintage balsa wood gliders.
They had competitions to see who could fly theirs the furthest, do the coolest tricks and keep from crashing. Today we make our own gliders, jets and trick flyers out of paper and try to do the same thing.
Finding unique airplanes to make/fold might require you to use the internet to come up with the concept first, then you can unplug and enjoy the process.
See which style plane flies the longest, does the best tricks and more!
3) Scavenger Hunt
Create a campground scavenger hunt for you to do with your kids. You can download our easy template here.
Since we are photographers, and our girls have their own cameras, we do visual/photo scavenger hunts. I know this is using some “technology,” but it fits our way of thinking creatively, so we roll with it.
The ideal scenario to keep it unplugged is to just bag up the items and bring them back to camp.
Of course, you could come up with any type of search you want beyond campgrounds or just look at Pinterest for ideas.
4) Bird Feeder
During our time spent in Florida, we had an abundance of oranges in the RV at one point. Not wanting to waste them, we thought back to once seeing something about turning them into bird feeders. Of course, you have to head to the store for some bird feed and maybe a dowel or stick, but the effort yields nice smelling surprises for your mornings in the RV.
The first step is to cut the orange in half and eat the insides!
Then measure the sticks and cut them so that they hang outside the oranges enough for birds to perch onto.
Cut them into two equal pieces and pierce them crossed through the orange.
Then tie strings to the dowels at the closest point to the orange.
Fill with seeds and hang!
5) Squirt Gun Carnival
This one isn’t a whole carnival, rather a camping version of the old standby, squirt-gun-into-the-clowns-mouth carnival game. (Come on, you know that is a favorite) With a little string, a squirt gun, and a couple of plastic cups, you can make your own target race.
Poke one hole in the bottom of the cup at the edge.
Feed the string through the hole and tie on a tree or something substantial.
Squirt water into the cup to make it move.
For a variation with some more cups, you could always create a squirt gun target pyramid!
6) Bonus Activity…… Hike!
Cliché? No way. Hiking is such a fantastic experience with your kids. Let them climb, explore, and learn.
Teaching them about different plants, animals, and land formations helps them stay engaged in the hike and tricks them into walking further than you think they might be capable of. We were amazed at our trip to Big Bend National Park when the girls eagerly hiked a 10.5 mile round trip path up Emory Peak (Elevation 7832ft). Never in a million years would we have thought that our little princesses would be interested, but with some previous experience, they knew it would be cool. Perhaps the potential for black bear sightings and mountain lions helped a little as well. You can read about that hike on our blog at http://our1chance.com/course-girls-can-hike-10-5-miles-7832-ft-emory-peak-big-bend-national-park/