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International Mud Day

What better excuse to get down and dirty than International Mud Day?! Lucky for me, this year our annual Cousins Camp coincided with this fabulous international holiday. Conceived and promoted by the World Forum Foundation, and celebrated this year on June 29th, International Mud Day is the quintessential unplugged experience.

Seriously, when was the [...]

Climb any mountain!

This is a guest post by Geralyn’s husband, editor, and aspiring adventurer,  Mike McLaughlin.

During Screen-Free Week, our two boys and I went to Beacon, NY for   a pleasant and sometimes strenuous hike up Mount Beacon.  I offer this account today as a great example of what you can do without electronic entertainment, and [...]

Screen-Free Week…how did it go?!

Screen-Free Week 2012 ended yesterday, and as always I am sad to see it go. For me, the best part about Screen-Free Week is that I have the best excuse for turning off Twitter and Facebook. Although both Twitter and Facebook help Empowered by Play reach a broader audience, and help me share information as [...]

Plan ahead and keep Screen-Free Week a scream-free week :-)

What would you do with an extra 32 hours in your week? Plant a garden? Visit a friend? Take a walk? Read a book? Make play dough? You could do all of those things and still have time to ride a bike and help your mom with a chore.  The average preschool child spends [...]

Growing With Nature – a treasured resource from Nature Explore

“Look what I found! Come see, come see!” a four-year-old exclaimed to me recently. We were outside, and she and her classmates were having a grand time exploring the playground. Of course, I immediately went to see what she was so excited about. “I found snow!” she explained, as she pointed to the dusting of [...]

Real versus virtual…kayaks, cows and worms

The other day my family and I were lucky enough to spend time swimming in a lovely pond. Our friends have a small kayak that was the perfect size for my seven year old sons to try out. It was magnificent – watching as they each took a turn paddling about the pond. After just [...]

Playing without plastic

I am always a fan of “unplugged” play, so on Sunday when I saw that a local historical site was offering a free event for children – featuring games and toys from the Revolutionary War era, I packed up my boys and a couple of their cousins to check it out. It was a [...]

Play Memories

The other night I was with a great group of teachers for our local “National Writing Project” Early Literacy Study Group. Each month we start our meeting with a writing prompt. This one was so much fun, I thought I’d share it:

“Draw a map of a childhood place where you liked to play. Label [...]

Finding Balance in the Age of Hyper-Media

Here’s hoping your weekend holiday was wonderful – and filled with many chances to play “unplugged”. Yesterday, my family and I spent a few hours taking a walk on trails around a nearby lake. As we walked, the boys, of course, invented a few games to play along the way. Tossing acorns into the lake [...]

Playing with the Wind

Yesterday I was lucky enough to come home early from work. “Put your sneakers on,” my sons pleaded. “We can play kickball.” I changed into my play clothes and got outside as fast as I could. We played a few innings of our version of kickball (boys against mom, one-out innings) and had fun. As [...]