We need non-digital adventure

Photo by Christine K via Flickr (Creative Commons)

A couple weekends ago I told Megan and Paul to get in the car, we were going on a secret adventure.

Anticipation in the car was high. Were we going for ice cream? Was dad taking us to a movie? Were we going to buy new video games?

All were possibilities. But none were realities.

Dad’s plan– Spend an hour at Barnes & Noble picking out books.

I thought you were taking us on an adventure, dad. This sucks.” Those were the words of my 8 year old son as we entered the store.

I explained, “You need to take your brain on a non-digital adventure. And books can take you there.” Every time they picked up a book it was tied to a video game or cartoon. “Non-digital adventure. Longer, older, think about the classics.” They complained, “I don’t want to read an old book. I want to read something new. New stuff is good, old stuff is boring.” 

In the end we made a compromise. They could each pick out whatever book they wanted. And dad picked out two books for them. (The first two books in the Narnia series.)

Megan took the compromise. Paul didn’t pick out a book and went home empty handed on principle.

I went home and planned our camping trip– A non-digital adventure of the mind, body, and soul.

Besides restricting use, what are ways you help your kids take their brain on non-digital adventures? 

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

2 comments

  1. Fair warning, I don’t have kids (so obviously I think I’m an expert on them )

    But as a comic book fan, and from some of the press I’ve heard from librarians and schools, Comic books seem to be a good gateway drug into the world of literature (and a pretty awesome medium in and of itself).

    I think Narnia is a good call though. It’s both classic and tied in with a movie. I suspect that part of the deal is that you may just have to be ok with the kids having “bad” taste in literature for a while as their tastes develop.

  2. Board games. Two quick stories.

    In Zeeland Michigan there is a store called, OUT OF THE BOX, they sell board games and puzzles – they have over 1200 board games. As a part of the store they have a room to build puzzles and play games. My 11 year old and I went up the other Friday night for a free game night – we played various board games from 6 pm till midnight. Nothing electronic or video.

    Last night, my oldest son (23) came over and the 3 of us played my newest board game, Downfall of Pompeii. A fun game that builds off the premise of the volcano (Vesuvius) erupting and destroying the city. A good non digital adventure was had by all.

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