Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Paper Free Week - Step away from the book!

So I keep seeing this pop up on Pinterest. Screen Free Week. Apparently that's computers, laptops, smartphones, televisions, tablets. Digital cameras too, I'd assume. They're all screens, you see. No matter what activity is being undertaken on them, watching films, composing music, dancing, watching documentaries or cartoons, playing games, doing puzzles, creating art, programming, listening to music, talking to family and friends, writing stories... Nope, they all have screens and are therefore defined by that fact. 

Obviously, in the interests of logic and fairness, I have no doubt that these campaigners will treat paper the same way, and introduce a Paper Free Week. To paraphrase them, "Just as a healthy diet can certainly include cake, so a balanced childhood can include paper time. Reading books, making paper aeroplanes with Grandma and writing stories are all great fun. It’s just there are so many other fun things to do if you step away from paper."  And quite understandably - can't have all these bookworms, budding authors and origami enthusiasts frittering their childhoods away like the scientists, researchers and other curious children who use their gadgets with screens. In fact, I'm going to kickstart Paper Free Week for them with 75 activities that involve some sort of screen, that can all, with some care, be undertaken on Paper Free Week. I was going to do 100, but Squidge wants the laptop now to print off another optical illusion. Ooh, dangerous one that, I'll have to wait until it's neither Screen Free Week nor Paper Free Week to allow him to do that!
  1. Draw a stick man (Also available on an app)
  2. Do some fun stuff with photos
  3. Play with a hi-tech kaleidoscope - mesmerising!
  4. Let your mind boggle at some amazing sea creatures
  5. Get in the driving seat with a Choose Your Own Adventure ebook
  6. Connect up a MaKey MaKey and use bananas as a keyboard or playdough as a mouse!
  7. Make a digital flickbook animation
  8. Connect up a Hue animation studio and make the next Wallace and Gromit
  9. Learn some origami. (But don't actually make it until after Paper Free Week, or the whole arbitrary media-type based ban would be down the drain!)
  10. Browse a load of ideas of really cool things to make.
  11. Build anything you can imagine *and* fight dragons on Minecraft
  12. Find the Secret Dancer (and then stick around and make some street art)
  13. Build a Cracking Contraption
  14. Devolve yourself (Also available on an app)
  15. Evolve an organism
  16. Visit Seussville
  17. Construct buildings for Google Earth
  18. Prepare for an earthquake
  19. Work out puzzle solutions to get water to the crocodile
  20. Play visually beautiful music
  21. Meander round Pinterest for some really fun and constantly changing ideas
  22. Morph yourself into an alien
  23. Make some snack necklaces and sit down to as many of these Top 100 kids' films as you can
  24. Get Google Earth to give you directions that include jetskiing across oceans or swimming the Atlantic
  25. Go retro and play Pacman online
  26. Catch up on Doctor Who, both new and original
  27. Learn to draw Manga (Step away from the paper! Plug in one of these instead)
  28. Design a Lego set (You can even order it boxed!)
  29. Dance!
  30. Watch a whole box set - our favourites are Back to the Future and Men in Black
  31. Listen when the kids see an advert and say "I want that!", and add it to an online wishlist with them.
  32. Experience the Apollo 11 moon landing
  33. Find all the best online stuff from UK museums and art galleries
  34. Put together real people Mr Potato Heads
  35. See how high you can get the doodle to jump
  36. Blow your mind at the sheer scale of the universe. And more here!
  37. Create bizarre animals
  38. Solve the mystery of the poison dart frog
  39. Play with tininess in the Molecularium
  40. Take part in a real project by spotting or classifying new galaxies at the Galaxy Zoo
  41. Tunnel to the other side of the earth
  42. Learn to code
  43. Download Tuxpaint for some cool stamps and fun drawing effects
  44. See how fast you can type the alphabet
  45. Watch the Slo Mo guys
  46. Make pretty patterns with falling sand
  47. Learn how to make paper aeroplanes (But careful! Don't forget the arbitrary paper ban!)
  48. Stop the little dude stealing your cursor
  49. Start a blog about the fun things you do, or about one of the kids' passions or collections
  50. Make an Eadweard Muybridge-style motion capture work of art
  51. Put together a human jigsaw
  52. Defend yourself and Crazy Dave from zombie attack
  53. Be a gong farmer
  54. Track your, erm, flush
  55. Be artistic
  56. Create and publish their own book
  57. Watch some old cartoons
  58. Make potions with the Wonkalator (Click on 'Treats' to get there)
  59. Find out how to make dry ice, how to pierce a balloon without popping it, and any number of equally cool things
  60. Find a gorgeous printable paper toy (But don't make it until your Paper Free Week is over!)
  61. Design a toy with Mr Magorium. Then watch the film. Then spend the rest of the day singing Don't Be Shy.
  62. Put on MTV, YouTube, Spotify or similar, and sing or dance along as loudly and crazily as you like
  63. Find a geocache or letterbox to go and hunt for
  64. Find some cool Bento lunch ideas
  65. Play Whizzball (so much fun!)
  66. Choose from lots and lots of Lego games
  67. Find more books you might like to read, based on the ones you already like. (Careful though, don't actually read them - reading books is Paper Time.)
  68. Look at amazing videos and pictures of whatever animals you choose.
  69. Take part in a dung beetle derby
  70. Play Fireboy and Watergirl. Or Sushicat. Or Woobies. Or Cover Orange. Or all of them!
  71. Watch some Mythbusters. Just cos they're awesome.
  72. Play Angry Birds. Then order one of the real life ones and set up some amazing stacks!
  73. Try your hand at a retro Simon memory game
  74. Compose some music
  75. Take a 3D tour of a museum

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