unplugged week: bi plane

unplugged

TGIF! Have we ever meant that more than today? We hope that Unplugged Week has been as amazing for you as it was for us. It’s always so refreshing to reframe our environment and see our kids flourish. For the last day of Unplugged here’s one more craft that you can do together witch stuff you have lying around the house: a Bi-Plane!Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

Use our favorite paint pots, a paintbrush, a clothes-pin, two large tongue depressors and regular popsicle stick.

Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

To make this use the clothespin as the center of the plane, then glue a popsicle stick onto the back, and a tongue depressor on the top and bottom of the front. Let it dry completely and you’re ready to fly!

Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

 

Easy enough! But such a cute craft that we’re happy to keep out on the shelf. Happy happy weekend! We’ll be talking things over as a family to decide how best to incorporate the screens back into our lives, got any tips or ideas for us? Leave a comment!

unplugged week: No Kid Hungry

unpluggedThe purpose of Unplugged Week is to focus on our relationships and connection without those go-to distractions. In addition (for us) it seems that the more screen time our kids have the grumpier they are. As adults we can’t help but feel happiest when we’re helping others, and with our various projects over the years with Small Fry, the boys seem to be in the same boat. It just feels good! So, today our Unplugged Tip is to plan a project or outing that helps someone in need. For our project, we joined efforts with Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen with the No Kid Hungry Campaign, an initiative that focuses on ending childhood hunger in America. Millions of kids go to school hungry everyday and that is heartbreaking. Two brands we love and use often, Ella’s Kitchen and Earth’s Best have already donated funds to help provide up to 1.5MM meals to kids in need and together we are encouraging our readership to donate whatever you can to the cause!No Kid Hungry InitiativeFirst, we started by making a list of foods that benefit us, that are healthful and non-perishable. Earth’s Best and Ella’s Kitchen were so nice to help us fill up our baskets so we could donate such amazing snacks that we know the kids will love, find specially marked products exclusively at select Walmarts.No Kid Hungry InitiativeNext, fill up your basket or box to donate to your local Food Pantry. You can source ways to help on their initiative page here. No Kid Hungry InitiativeWe sent off our basket and won’t lie, it was an emotional project to say the least. Talking with the boys about how kids in their own classrooms don’t have enough to eat was eye opening for them. We are always grateful for opportunities to open their (and our own!) eyes and reach outside of ourselves to help.No Kid Hungry Initiative  So for today’s Unplugged activity, find a way to help someone. The time will fly and you can’t help but feel happy and grateful! Be sure to share if you make a similar basket or think of other ways to help end childhood hunger today using the #NoKidHungry and #FeedKidsinNeed hashtags and tag us on Instagram (@smallfryblog.) We’ll select a winner to donate on their behalf in addition to the donations we’ve made to No Kid Hungry with Ella’s Kitchen and Earth’s Best!

unplugged week: jenga DIY

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Tuesday’s tip: Schedule playdates for each day! Not just with friends, but acquaintances you’ve been meaning to reach out to, children your kids seem to hit it off with, but haven’t had too much time together, and old friends you haven’t seen in awhile. This Jenga DIY is a great game to play to help ease your kids into new friendships and of course get through the day unplugged.

Here’s what you’ll need: A plain wood block set like this one and oil-based paint pens to write on wood like this set from Sharpie.Getting to Know You JengaThen on each block write a getting to know you question down. Let it dry and then get ready to play!Getting to Know You JengaSet up the game as you would normally and then each kid picks a block out and gets to answer the question, or they all can too since usually kids MUST weigh in on all questions.  😉Getting to Know You Jenga

Find all our posts from Unplugged Week right here and follow along and post your own ideas on any social network via #SFunplugged.

unplugged week: to-do sticks

unpluggedWelcome to Unplugged Week! Our second annual cleanse from devices, TV and video games. It is not easy, but it is a challenge worth tackling and if you’ve been wanting to try -let’s do it together! While we will also be doing our best to limit our screen time too, we’ll be sneaking on to post to the #SFunplugged hash tag and hope you will join in, we hope it will become a support system of sorts during the next several days. We promise your kids will thrive and they will also wear you out, ha!

First things first, let’s get a system in place to help keep the day filled! It’s usually when kids are tired and or bored that they’re wanting to veg out in front of a screen, so having lots of ideas on hand will keep you from that knee-jerk reaction to switch on a show. So first idea of the week: To Do Sticks!Small Fry Unplugged Week: To Do Sticks As always this is a great craft to do as a family, so you can spend time being creative making it and then use the ideas you come up with together all week long. Here’s how you’ll do it…

Grab craft paint, markers and large craft sticks:Small Fry Unplugged Week: To Do Sticks Cover the top third with the paint color of your choice and let it dry completely:Small Fry Unplugged Week: To Do SticksNow pick the categories that appeal most to your family. We did Outside, Inside, Service, Food and Learning. Keep a key handy so that when you’re picking you can sort of guide them. (Need them to get out of your hair? Pick a yellow stick, kids!)todosticks4Here are some of the ideas we came up with. Some ideas on a regular week might seem like a hassle, but Unplugged Week is such great opportunity to slow down and find excitement and fun in the processes of each activity.Small Fry Unplugged Week: To Do Sticks Fill up a jar in your kitchen or play room and grab a stick whenever you need it! We are loving ours and will be pulling them back out when school lets out for sure.Small Fry Unplugged Week: To Do Sticks

 

Day one, done! We’re excited to see how you’re all faring so be sure and tag the good, the bad and the ugly #SFunplugged so we can see.

Open Gym Adventure

Tomorrow, March 7th, is National Unplugged Day! Do you all remember when we did an entire WEEK unplugged as a Small Fry team? We have a whole week’s worth of ideas here, but we wanted to share our newest and best idea for making the most of your Unplugged Day: open gym!

Open Gym Adventure

Going unplugged was hard, but so rewarding. Many of you joined us and we have to admit, a whole week was tough! So we’re happy to join the Nation in this one day challenge, one day is totally doable. Easy breezy, no problem.

Open Gym Adventure

When we read on Gym Gab that most all gymnastic facilities provide an open gym day, or set of hours to non-members we were all ears! We have yet to commit the boys to classes, but what kid wouldn’t go ballistic for a foam pit, giant trampolines, balance beams, and springy floors? Find an open gym schedule by zip code right here!

Open Gym AdventureOpen Gym Adventure

To test out our theory we went to All American Gym (Lindon, Utah) and sure enough the boys had the time of their lives.

Open Gym Adventure

If daytime gym sessions aren’t possible for your family, many gyms host “Parent Night Out’s” once a month and around holidays where parents drop there kids off for several hours on a Friday or Saturday night. These events can include pizza or snacks and organized games as well as open gym time. If you live in the Seattle, WA area, The Gymnastics Connection hosts some of the most popular themed Parent Night Out’s (make sure you sign-up in advance as they fill up quick!) more info here.

Open Gym Adventuregym5

If you’re looking for a more formal gymnastics experience, and want to know how to get started, check out the Gym Gab blog! Written by gymnastics coach Makenna, she shares her tips and tricks as well as education and inspiration for parents of gymnasts. Don’t miss this“How to Do a Cartwheel Step by Step” post, it is crazy cute.

Open Gym Adventure

So, who’s going to join us for National Unplugged Day tomorrow? Find all our Unplugged ideas right here.

WHERE TO SHOP:

Camo leggings from Agnes and Dora

Hello Sweatshirt from Hello Apparel

unplugged: coloring pages

We are big fans of Melina Smyres, designer, farmer, and full-time Unplugger! We’ve loved seeing what everyone is up to on Instagram while they’re unplugged, and art seems to be the activity of choice, so we’re glad to share Melina’s site Color With Mimi with you! Melina designed these printable coloring pages for us just in time for Spring, and what better to represent Spring then chicks! She has a whole site full of cool printables to color and frame. Yep, they’re that cool!

mimi

Melina has a special place in her heart for chicks, when they first brought them into the farm she told her kids that the chicks were their reality TV. Don’t you love that?

Thanks, Melina!

small fry favorites: wiggle jams

Is #unplugged week getting easier for you all? It’s so funny, we’ve found that we are the ones who rely on the devices more so than our kids!

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When we need a break, when we need to take an important call, a shower, make a meal, it’s so convenient to turn on a show or hand over the iPad. It’s been a good exercise for us in realizing they really don’t need those things, at all! Since we are a “moderation in all things” type of bunch it will be interesting to see how we rearrange our lives once we’re plugged back in!

If you see yourself losing steam today, the quickest way to reengergize ourselves is a little music. Here’s some sweet little tunes we love to twirl in the kitchen with our boys to.

sfwigglejams


Songs for Wiggle Worms

Francis England // You & Me

Johnny Bregar // If You’re Happy & You Know It

We Kids Rock // I’m a Nut

Monkey See Monkey Do // Eentsy Weentsy Spider

Laurie Berkner Band // Five Days Old

Michael Franti // Say Hey!

Jewel // Grew Grass Grew

Elizabeth Mitchell // Keep on the Sunny Side

unplugged: library book hunt

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One awesome resource we definitely don’t take well enough advantage of is the local public library! With music and reading classes for kids and parents, or reading lists of all their books on princesses, trains, dinosaurs, and ballerinas for those especially passionate kids. Special book spine stickers that mark award-winning reads make it easy to find the best of the best, and of course we walk away with a stack of brand-new-to-us books to pour over for the next few weeks.

So for our third day #unplugged, head to the library and snag some new reads! To make our latest library trip extra special, we turned it into a book hunt. We made up clues on the spot and then when they found each one, we cuddled up to read them one by one.

adventure, reading, books kids, scavenger hunt

At this point of our Unplugged Week, it’s all about easy activities that we can reinvent to make new and fresh for these boys and the book hunt was a smashing success!

 

adventure, reading, books kids, scavenger hunt

 

Three days down, two more to go! We can do it!

unplugged: shadow puppets

How is your Unplugged weeks going so far? We’re loving following along on the #unplugged feed, so many wonderful ideas to get us through the day! Here’s our next activity that turns your doorway into the best theater in town.

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If you’ve ever put on a shadow puppet play at bedtime, you already know it’s a huge hit. Our kids love to see our butterflies, bull dogs, and foxes dancing on the wall. So we decided to create our very own Shadow Puppet theater! We’re sharing the step-by-step instructions and free printable today on Spoonful. Check out the full post here.

shadow, shadow puppets, projects, kids, woodland

Our boys got a huge kick out of creating a play with their woodland creatures. Who knew there was a heap of bad guys, rocket ships, and karate chop sounds to be had in the forest? Download the Woodland Creatures and Scenery printable here.

shadow, shadow puppets, projects, kids, woodland

Also this week on Spoonful: A brunch-style Easter Egg Hunt party we threw that was a huge hit for all ages. We’re certain we’re making crepes for every party from here on out, everyone gets their favorite fillings and toppings, and there’s minimal prep work, what’s not to like?  Also check out 10 super easy ideas for your Easter-themed wreath. Which one is your favorite? We’re leaning toward the one made out of almonds!

 

unplugged week: baby herb garden

Welcome to Unplugged Week! We are taking on the challenge of turning off the TV and video games for one week, and we are so excited so many of you are joining us! There are also many of you who have done this full-time for months and even years and we applaud you. This week we’ll be sharing our plans for getting through it when going outside isn’t an option (believe us, we’ll be outside as much as possible!) with our hair and sanity in tact. We can’t wait to hear what you’re doing while you’re Unplugged, too! If you’re playing along use the #unplugged tag.

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Since planting and gardening season isn’t usually until May, we wanted to find a way to bring the outdoors in for those days when the weather isn’t accommodating for outside play. Luckily, an indoor herb garden can be planted year round! A tiny herb garden is such a fun activity that offers so many opportunities to teach about nature, responsibility in taking care of these plants, and cooking with herbs, too! We also let our boys paint their very own herb pots using our customary geometric taping technique.

herbs, kids, projects, garden, diyBefore planting, we suited the boys up in these awesome personalized art smocks by Stuck on You! (They’re giving five $30 credits away head here to enter!) These were perfect for playing in the dirt and painting their pots! We used inexpensive pots from Ikea, taped of with painter’s tape and let them pick which colors they wanted for each section.herbs, kids, projects, garden, diy

Once the pots were dry, we removed the paint and got to planting!

herbs, kids, projects, garden, diy

Using potting soil to fill the pots, we had the boys carefully place the roots into the pot. We found these rooted herbs at our local grocery store, but we’ve been told by nurseries that they’ll be caring rooted herbs and Spring-time plants any day now!

herbs, kids, projects, garden, diy

They were so cute and focused for this whole project, and each morning they ask if it’s time to water the herbs.

stuck on you

A huge thank you to Stuck on You for helping us make this project happen. They are the kings of personalized gear for kids and we’re loving their lunchboxespersonalized wooden name puzzles, darling striped beach towelswater bottles and genius child info slap bracelets (perfect for field trips, or trips to the zoo!)  You can also follow Stuck on You on Facebook and Twitter for extra deals and news!