Lizs Book Snuggery
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Turn off the Electronics Day

How can I write a blog that will resonate with readers, getting them ruminating on a topic, and just maybe spur them on to take action? Answer. Maybe just a simple imperative request will do.

Please, turn off your child’s electronic devices, and your own, for a small window in time. Pretty please? I just purchased a copy of “Chase’s Calendar of Events.” Trumpeted on its site, “Since 1957, the world’s date book”, I must admit that it’s a great reference point to thumb through, with its compilation of holidays and observances enough to fill, well, a book.

Issued annually, I find it sometimes a great jumping off spot for a blog theme to trigger my memory for a slew of specially themed classic picture books or even new books that fit into a current category of celebratory days.

Ahem! I’d like to hereby propose for initiation, a new entry to be observed for Chase’s 2016 edition. It would be called “Turn off the Electronics Day”. Realistically, maybe a day is all we could hope for. Maybe even half a day? How about a night?

But gradually, for a determined, designated, short space of time to be agreed upon, just maybe families could tough it out and wean themselves away from their collection of electronic devices in favor of spending more family time – together.

How about a board game night? Card games? Why not charades that focus on fairy tale characters, favorite picture book titles or even famous people? Most kids are natural mimics.

I’d even vote for, dare I say it, meals together without devices at the table, three times a week, capped off, perhaps, with a Toll House cookie baking night.

Why not start reading a great chapter book with the kids and take turns reading and performing the voices. They’ll develop great imaginations by picturing the scenes and characters you are reading. Just ask them to describe WHAT you read. It builds sustained attention span so necessary for beginning readers; and it also encourages paying attention to detail and vocabulary. Maybe have a dictionary handy for looking up unfamiliar words.

Try to end the reading segments at a especially exciting moment with a “Well, that’s all we have time for tonight” and see their reaction. You just might be tempting them into clamoring for the commencement of a new family tradition.

And my favorite might be everybody gathered together around a campfire, in the fashion of a foursome family I know, sharing stories at the end of their week – with s’mores to make it all the sweeter.

Kids love to have family traditions punctuated by the phrase, “we always.” That phrase I used so often growing up, lends a certain unique “we-ness” to family gatherings newly begun, or time honored. So, why not start the tradition now!

“Turn Off the Electronics Day” doesn’t need to appear in Chase’s book for it to gain ground. So why wait for the 2016 edition to see if it made the cut? All it needs is a commitment by someone for a family tradition to begin.

Inaugurate your own “Turn Off the Electronics Day!”

Better yet, just hide the power cords!

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