Project Envolve™ is a program sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities with the mission of helping us all save more and use less electricity. I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have been provided with complimentary products and/or payment in exchange for sharing these ideas and my own use of them with you. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
What It Means to Unplug
As a mom of 2 young kids that like to play on their iPods, beat their video games, and watch their favorite shows, the battle of the screen is always in my face. We set time limits like most families but pretty soon, “There’s nothing to do” is echoing through the house. Unplugging for me means putting allll the devices away (mine included – I have my phone and laptop close at hand more than I should).
It also means being mindful of what other energy you’re sucking down. As a Project Envolve ambassador over the last couple of years, I’ve really become more aware of all the ways we use energy when we could be saving it. There are so many practical ways to decrease our energy usage: Turn the lights off when you leave the room. Unplug appliances you’re not using (yes, even when they’re off). Go outside more. Cook on the grill instead of on the stove.
Why You Should Unplug
There are a couple of obvious reasons: Using less electricity is good for the environment, and it’s good for your wallet. As I’ve implemented some of the energy efficiency tips I’ve learned our family has saved a bunch on energy bills. And really it just becomes second nature after a little while, but the savings truly do add up. I notice it especially in the extreme weather months when we’re cranking either the heat or the air to stay comfortable. When we focus on what we can do to be more energy efficient, the utility bills stay in check. And who doesn’t want that?
But another important reason to unplug is to connect with your family. I’ll speak for myself and probably many of my fellow moms when I say that the cellphones, tablets, laptops, and iPods are just too big a part of our lives. This is why I love to travel with the kids so much. We get away from that environment and experience something new without the electronics. We have some rules, like no devices at dinner, but many times they creep in on us (and sometimes I’m the guilty party!).
Being deliberate about unplugging is the best way to start some of these new energy efficient, and family bonding habits. I’ve gathered up 50 ways to unplug with your kids, and I mean UNPLUG, unplug. Not just the screens, but no electricity at all.
The PPL Power Hour
You ready? Let’s unplug together! I challenge YOU to pick an hour that works for your family and call it your Power Hour. No electricity. See what you can come up with! I did this with my kids last week and thankfully it was warm out so we could go outside. I find getting out of the house decreases any temptation I have to peek at my email, so there’s a little tip for you. See tons of other brilliant and creative ideas below, and if you have one to share leave me a comment on the post!
50 Ways to Unplug With Your Kids
3. Make these easy sponge balls and then…play ball!
4. Build a fort with blankets. This never gets old (especially when mom and dad are helping)!
5. Family game night is a favorite for us. Here are some great options!
6. Play hide and go seek. Hope the dog doesn’t give away your hiding spot. 😉
10. How fun is this Kool-Aid dyed yarn, turned into a planter? Love it!
11. What would your kids make with these DIY craft sticks?
12. These cereal box princess crowns are a fun way to upcycle something you probably already have on hand.
13. Grow your own lollipop garden.
14. This Duct Tape wallet is pretty straightforward and functional, too!
15. Have a ton of cardboard at home? We do from all those Amazon deliveries. Put it to good use!
16. Try these fun coffee filter butterfly crafts.
17. Or turn those coffee filters into turtles!
18. These garden stones are adorable and your kids can get creative designing their own.
19. Most of us have old magazines lying around. Here’s how to easily make flowers out of them!
20. Who knew these DIY Shrinky Dinks were so easy to make?!
21. You probably have everything you need for this easy homemade finger paint.
22. Grab some white t-shirts and jazz them up with tie-dye!
23. Are your kids into slime? You can find a whole bunch of fun recipes for the gooey stuff here.
24. I adore this no-sew reading tent for kids. What a way to motivate them to pick up a book!
25. Everyone loves s’mores on the firepit.
26. Don’t have a firepit? Make your own solar oven and cook those s’mores just the same!
27.Throw an electricity-free outdoor party!
28. Have a backyard picnic. Or walk to a park and take a few snacks with you.
29. Have a glow bowling tournament.
30. Play ball! Or try one of these other outdoor toys and activities.
31. Heck, throw an entire glow party!
32. Go for a bike ride.
33. Play a game of flashlight tag.
34. Introduce your kids to the joy of gardening.
35. Catch fireflies (and then let them go).
36. Make your own sidewalk chalk (and then go to town with your little artists!).
37. Go on a nature walk scavenger hunt.
38. Take a hike and explore a new place near your home.
39. Find a lake and feed the ducks.
40. Have a sandbox? Turn it into a treasure hunt!
41. Camp out. And if your kids aren’t quite ready for that, fake it!
42. Set up a DIY kids’ car wash. (And see if they’ll wash your car while they’re at it!)
43. Do you have a sand table? Here are some more creative ways to play with it – no sand required!
44. Visit a farmer’s market and let the kids pick out the week’s produce.
45. Stargaze and try to identify constellations.
48. Make trail mix, which is a useful snack when you need to use up those last little bits of some snacks.
49 These yummy granola bites are no-bake and a perfect snack!
50. And if you need a sweeter bite, these chocolate almond crunch bites are WOW!
Get More Energy Efficient Ideas
Visit the Project Envolve website for a lot more smart and practical energy efficient ideas you can start implementing now with your family to save on your energy bills!
When will you be unplugging for your PPL Power Hour?