Unplug and Get Out!
By: Bethany Hill
Upper Elementary Teacher
Pause, sit down, and think about your childhood. What comes to mind? Do you think about playing with your friends outside? Riding your bike or building forts for hours? Enjoying board games with your family? Now, compare those images to what life is like today. What differences do you see?
We spend so much time plugged into computers these days. They’re tiny, hand-held, and convenient little devices. While they have a lot of pros, they also have a lot of cons. The average eight-year-old spends at least two hours each day plugged into some kind of electronic device. That’s fourteen hours a week! So, think about how much time we as adults spend plugged in. It’s kind of scary.
The Upper Elementary Class recently had the opportunity to unplug and get out. We took a three day trip to Nature’s Classroom in Mentone, AL, and it was wonderful! Cell phone and internet reception were spotty at best, and there were no televisions. The children truly got back to nature, explored relationships with each other and themselves. They hiked, played games cooperatively, and worked as a team to build a geodome and a rope bridge – just to name a few things. The most technology most of them used were disposable cameras. It was joyful and peaceful!
Fall is great time to get outside – the weather is crisp and the scenery is beautiful! Here are some ideas for getting out and unplugging with your family:
- The Annual MSH Fall Festival
Come to the new Hampton Cove Campus on Friday, October 30th, 5 – 7 p.m. for games, fun, and a chili supper!
- “Down on the Farm” at Gullion Farms in Somerville, AL
The Lower Elementary Class will be taking a field trip here this month. The children will have the opportunity to fish, milk a cow, ride a pony, pick a pumpkin, and much more. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.gullionfarms.com/
- The North Alabama Railroad Museum
Located just east of Huntsville in the Chase Community, this museum offers a regular tour schedule as well as seasonal excursions and activities! You can find more information by visiting: http://www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com/findus.htm
- Alabama State Parks
There are so many wonderful state parks near and far! Whether you’re into hiking, picnicking, or looking for an overnight getaway you’re sure to find something to fit your family. Take a look at their website: http://www.alapark.com/