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Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  49 reviews
From the joy of smearing glue on paper to the screaming delight of a bubble-blowing relay, kids love to play. In fact, it's every kid's built-in tool for experiencing the world at large. A parent-friendly encyclopedia, UNPLUGGED PLAY ("A wonderful guide," says Daniel Goleman) offers hundreds and hundreds of battery-free, screen-free, chirp-and-beep-free games and fun varia ...more
Paperback, 516 pages
Published July 18th 2007 by Workman Publishing Company (first published July 1st 2007)
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Unplugged Play by Bobbi ConnerUnplug and Play by Brad BergerIt's All a Game by Tristan DonovanThe Family Dinner by Laurie DavidFamily Fun Night by Cynthia L. Copeland
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Shanna Gonzalez
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
There are some parents who always have crayons, bubbles, and homemade play-doh on hand. Their children are adept at drawing, cutting, and pasting, can reliably kick a ball, and are the first to join in the games at birthday parties. To these lucky kids a homemade birthday cake in the shape of a tyrannasaurus rex is no big deal. Their parents do not need to read Unplugged Play.

For the creatively challenged among us, however, this is a great resource for making your time together count. It's fille
...more
Brenda
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ironically I picked up this book at the small, local library while on vacation where we did not have access to computers, television or even radios! This book is AWESOME! I plan to purchase a copy to have on my bookshelf permanently. What I love about it is that it gives TONS (710 to be exact) of ideas for games and activities for children ages 12 months through 10 years. I have collected several books over the years that focus on keeping babies and toddlers entertained (because there seem to be ...more
Kimberly
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents of kids up to age 10
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has solutions to a daily parenting difficulty of mine--what to do with the kids while cooking dinner or getting something else done? It also has suggestions for quality parent-child activities. I almost always just read books so it is good to have more ideas. Many of the ideas in this book are great for developing imagination, physical development and other skill building. Just this week I used two of the group activities when it was my turn to organize some activities for playgroup. I ...more
Erin
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for any parent with young children. The book is full of suggestions for games, activities, crafts and other back-to-basics projects to occupy kids during "screen free" time. I had so much fun working my way through the inexpensive ideas in this book, I renewed it from my library not once, not twice, but three times. The suggestions are great, and often require simple household items you probably have on hand. Many are appropriate for child-led play, although some do require t ...more
Erin
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I got this book from the library for some fun play ideas with my 3 year old, especially things that he can do while I'm prepping dinner or other hands-on tasks. The mommy-blogger/Pinterest world alternately intimidate and annoy me; I'm looking for something low-tech, low(read: no)-cost, and that doesn't involve a lot of backstory for my son to understand.

This book did fit the bill on all of my criteria, and was helpfully divided by age group and then further sub-divided into categories like "bus
...more
Amanda
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Most of these activities are like watching paint dry. I applaud the idea, so I feel bad about giving this such a low review. I love the pre-school websites much better. They have much more unique ideas to print. Just for fun, we have a no-TV, no-computer rule -- only at Grandma's house (because we want the children to like her and hate us). It's really tough without TV -- TV is a fantastic babysitter.

Here is an example from the book: skipping rope -- what you'll need -- a rope and a flat surfac
...more
Heather
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I REALLY like this book. Well I like the concept of everything in it. Although Kimzey and I do many of these things alrady listed. Not that I am super mom. But we do spend quite a bit of time under the coffee table pretending to be camping, or at the dentist etc. This book does help you "unplug" and get back to the basics. However we ALWAYS have music playing in the background while at home. Hey I can't totally get "unplugged". I would recommend this book to anyone with kids, any grandparent, ch ...more
Regina
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I pull out when ever my kids say they are bored or get restless, or when I am babysitting. It is full of fun activities that are so much fun, yet so simple that I want to give myself a V8 smack. Most include things you have around the house, like socks, balls, paper and laundry baskets. There are activities for different ages, group sizes and settings. The variety is amazing. There is an appendix in the back that gives great examples of toys and games to have on hand. Definitely ...more
Deanna
Nov 08, 2013 marked it as books-i-did-not-finish
It's not that this is a bad book. I only looked at the middle section (it is divided by age groups). I found it overly simple and yet overwhelming. Some activities seemed too boring for my kids, but I guess that is the point of so many ideas in one place- you find what you want to try! I'm also more of a ( can I say it here?) Pinterest person for this sort of thing. Then everything I think is cool is in one place and I don't have to sift through a whole bunch of ideas just to find one that inter ...more
Mary
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting-books
Skimmed through this for some ideas to help entertain the kids. Some ideas were extremely simple (e.g., tying knots with pieces of ribbon, throwing whiffle balls into a laundry basket) and some were a little more complicated (e.g., pretend play shoe store, making caterpillar soup). The things we did try didn't keep my kids busy for very long (maybe ten minutes at the very most), but there were so many ideas that we'll revisit this book again soon.
Shauna
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I like this book not just for the ideas, but for how you can make the ideas your own and mix and match different parts of the games. I have trouble playing with my kids because I am easily bored and my mind wanders. But some of these games are fun. And it is great to see little children learn that the world is (mostly) predictable and full of fun to explore. It is also cute that kids really like to imitate adults so that they can gain control of their circumstances, even during play.
Laramort
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book has some great ideas for activites to play with your kids. I have tried a few with my son and we had fun. Some activities I thought were just taking up space. Yes, duh, catch is a great activity to do with your kids. Do you really have to put that in there? I would rather have fewer really good ideas for activites and take out the obvious ones. It is nice she seperates the activites by age and type. That is helpful.
Definitely a book I would like to own.
Rachel
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Why did I ever waste my time on Pinterest for fun ideas for the kids when there are so many great ideas in this book? A great resource for fun games and activities with kids, I wish I would have looked at it sooner. The organization is especially useful in allowing you to look for activities for age and group size very easily.
Tara
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm sure there are other books out there like this and some of them may be better. But, I have this book and I like it. It's great for those of us who aren't naturally creative in the children's activities area. As you use it, I think that it will help you as well as your child see more opportunities for creativity and fun with simple day to day objects.
Tina
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
A fantastic resource for literally hundreds of no-tech, fun and educational games for children. Many of these games only require household items, recyclables or cheap materials to play- I love it! Fun and age-appropriate games that cost parents and educators practically nothing to make.

Perfect for librarians, educators or parents looking for boredom busters or party games.
Elizabeth
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Families who don't want to be couch potatoes!
BUY THIS BOOK! Keep it on the shelf and pull it out on a rainy day or when your kids say "mooooommy, I don't know what to do!" This book does mention some very basic games and activities that a lot of people have already heard of, but there are some very unique games and activites as well! It's great to have a book that is packed with lots of ideas for family fun!
Lindsay Lock
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
A must for every parent and/or teacher. Lots of activities to help teach kids or simply get them not playing video games/ watching TV. Great suggestions for themed birthday parties too. Fun book- well worth the investment!
Lois
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I always flip through this book each week to find projects and fun activities I can do with my 3 year old. Often times in the morning he will wake me up by plopping this book next to my pillow and saying with a sleepy voice "Let's play mommy." He knows we do fun things with this book.
Stephanie
Jan 15, 2009 added it
Shelves: parenting
lots of good ideas with found objects around the house. I especially liked the list of items at the end of the chapters and book, to have on hand to recreate the games/toys mentioned. It makes a good shopping list to keep in your purse to refer to from time to time as you build your stash.
Tiffany
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out from the library and went through it looking for things to do with my kids. I had so many pages marked (over 40) to copy that I just decided I would go out and buy it! LOL So, I did! This book has soooo many great ideas in it! I love it!
Kristen
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
great book for parents and teachers! I got this at the library but, it is more of a book you should have in the home to reference from time to time not read all at once. Lots of activities, play behavior tips and party ideas for kids ages 0-10. I great addition to any family library.
Kathy
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Lots of ideas in this book. Tons of games and things for kids to do. A lot of them take preparation or supplies I don't have handy. Great for a preschool or parent who needs ideas to entertain children.
Margaret
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-buy
Great ideas that I would love to use for my boys, and most of them are quite easy to do. The birthday parties looked a little overwhelming, but probably more because I can't really imagine that many kids at a party yet. I want to own this book.
Ashley
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has a lot of things in it that you've heard of or could easily think up yourself if you actually sat down to do it. I'm trying to get some easy summer ideas ready, and it was good to flip through and jot down.
Darby
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is an awesome book for anyone with kids! I consider myself a fairly creative person and there were games and activities in this book I would never have come up with. I just keep going back to it for new ideas.
Jennifer
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Skimmed this one. Pretty obvious stuff for toddlers but might want to go back later on.
Sava Hecht
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Great for kids and the adults who love them.
Pghgranola
Dec 19, 2008 rated it liked it
the toddler activities are very repetitive. a better read would be any activity book by mister rogers.
Mckaye
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Excellent book if you have kids! I love all of the great game ideas that kids can be taught to play instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Emily Mellow
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A worthy read for any parent. Full of many fun and educational game ideas, and well organized by age, solo or group games, outdoor or indoor, etc. I took lots of notes!
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Bobbi Conner is the creator and host of the award-winning syndicated radio program, The Parent's Journal, broadcast for an hour each week, nationwide since 1986, on public radio stations. Conner is known for her in-depth interviews about child-development and parenting topics. Her program, books, and articles have been featured in Newsweek, Parade, USA Today, The Washington Post, Redbook, Parents, ...more