We are living in a digital world. People are working from home, attending virtual school and connecting with friends and family through video chats. Free time is often spent playing video games, watching movies or scrolling through social media. With this increased time in front of a screen, many people are experiencing digital fatigue and looking for things to do away from their devices. May 3 to 9 is Screen-Free Week and while we may not be able to completely shut off the screens, we can increase our time away from them.
The landscape in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area is beautiful. Why not explore the city by using the multi-use trails or doing self-guided historical walking tours? Maps are available on the city’s website. If you prefer hiking or rock climbing, check out Library books such as Trail Guide by Thunder Bay Hiking Association and Thunder Bay Climbing: A Guide to Northwestern Ontario’s Best Kept Secret by Aric Fishman.
There are numerous books that are filled with ideas for activities to disconnect from technology while staying at home. Astronomy, card games, gardening, rock painting and science experiments are just some topics to explore. Visit the Library catalogue to search for and place holds on materials for curb side pick-up. A keyword search of screen free or unplug will result in some of these books and more: 101 Things for Kids to do Screen-Free by Dawn Isaac, The Canadian Kids’ Guide to Outdoor Fun by Helaine Becker, The Unplugged Family Activity Book by Rachel Jepson Wolf and Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun by Bobbi Conner. Many are geared to families with children but can be enjoyed by all of those who are young at heart.
On cloudLibrary borrow an eBook such as Unplugged Play: Grade School by Bobbi Conner or The Ultimate Book of Scavenger Hunts by Stacy Tornio. Along with the scavenger hunt book, I’m currently reading the book Unplug: 365 Fun, Family-Friendly Activities for Kids to get ideas of things to do with my own family and maybe even to incorporate at work for future programs or crafts.
Reading in general is a much loved screen free activity but if you are unsure of what to read next subscribe to a book bag or request a book bundle and library staff will pick out books especially for you. There are more than books at the Library to encourage time away from devices. Check out walking poles, a pedometer or pick up a children’s Take & Make craft. A new item available for loan this year is the Ontario Parks Pass. This pass is available to borrow for one week and is a vehicle permit for day use at Ontario provincial parks during 2021. Whichever screen free activities you embark on, remember there are precautions in place during this pandemic. Stay safe and find the balance to enjoy time on and offline.
For more information on Screen-Free Week, visit www.screenfree.org. For online access to the City of Thunder Bay maps, visit www.thunderbay.ca. Stay up-to-date on Library programs, events, services and collections for all ages by reading the Connect newsletter.
If you’re interested in getting a new library card, or renewing your current card, give us a call at 345-8275 (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm) or email us at email@example.com and we’ll set you up! Thunder Bay Public Library – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.