Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.

Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.

One of my all-time favorite parenting (and homeschooling) blogs, Lets-Explore, recently recommended the book Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. Luckily our library had the book (it runs for $27.95 publisher’s price, so you can bet it runs a little high for our books budget!) so we checked it out, and I must say, it’s quite an impressive collection of activities and games. All of the activities in the book range from ages 12 months to 10 years, though many of them can be used for older kids, and some of the age ranges may apply to kids outside them based on individual children’s likes and needs.

The book is organized so well, with each activity including an easy-to-use header, materials list, setup instructions, and play advice. Many also include variations; for example, in the toddle play activity 122, “Water Painter,” you can vary it to make the activity “Multicolored Water Painter.” Each activity also has a brief introduction to explain what the activity is intended to accomplish. A small clock indicates the level of ease of each activity, along with an age and category recommendation. The number of children who may do the activity together is also recommended.

There are indoor games and activities, from art projects to musical adventures, as well as plenty of outdoor ones, such as blowing bubbles through hula hoops or racing games with tricycles. These activities are so creative yet easily explained that I was able to go through the book and write down all of the activities that I wanted to do with my daughter throughout our daily activity log in just a brief six to eight word description. You know when you’re able to do that the instructions have been crystal clear and easy to follow.

I also like that there is no gender specific language in the book. For example, sports games, baby care games, and pretend play are all presented as options for any child with any caregiver—not just for boys or girls. As polarizing as many activities and toys can be these days, the book is very refreshing and welcoming for all children, which I appreciate.

This book would make an excellent gift for any caregiver, whether it be a parent, teacher, day care provider, or even a camp counselor. I found many items that would be great for Scouts programs as well as 4-H clubs to do, too.