If your family wants to reduce screen time, why not tune in on real-world “viewing”? It gives your eyes a much-needed change of perspective. It does as much for your brain, broadening mental horizons by shifting focus into real time and three dimensions.
Try the following activities as a family.
Most of us have played some version of the “observation scavenger hunt,” where a group walking or driving together competes to spot the first red bicycle, or the first business sign with the letter Q, or the whole alphabet in order. Why not try the same thing at your living room window (or on your porch or balcony), letting the world pass by and bring its sights to you?
Depending on location and season, your “spot it first” list might include:
If you’re short on ideas, just give everyone a pencil and paper and let them write down interesting sights they observe for half an hour. Then share your lists and see who has the most unique entries—and what ideas they give you for future “observation hunt” items.
Looking for pictures in the clouds is an old favorite. So is nighttime stargazing and moon-gazing (try making your own sky map of how things change from night to night). Other sky-watching ideas:
Most people absentmindedly walk by hundreds of interesting little things every day. Try slowing down and observing what’s in your own yard—or on your own windowsill.
Look up, down, or straight ahead. Just remember to look: you’ll all learn more than any virtual classroom can teach about the world and our place in it.