Unplug Your Fun With Me

Hello? Is this thing on?

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Family Hiking

It’s been awhile! Nearly two years to be exact. While I may not be writing about our adventures on here anymore, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been having lots of fun. As my kids grow older (14 and 9 now!), the lure of the screen gets stronger. Instead of giving up and just submitting to constant distraction as a way of life, I’m more determined than ever to find ways to engage my kids in a world outside of Xbox and Snapchat.

Boy at Skatepark

That’s why I’m really excited about a new venture I’m taking on that I think you’ll really like. I’ve joined the team at Unplug Your Fun, a family-owned business whose mission aligns perfectly with The Risky Kid Mission: worry less, play more, and bring back screen-free family fun. Unplug Your Fun sells games, toys and puzzles that go hand-in-hand with screen-free play and family game time. In addition to the online store, Unplug Your Fun’s blog aims to be a resource for families that want to find ways to connect by disconnecting from our devices. We’re just starting out together, but I hope you’ll join us on the journey and become a part of the Unplug Your Fun community.

Bring Back Family Fun With Unplug Your Fun!

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A Summer Bus Route Just For Kids

kids using public transportation

If only she had access to public transportation she could use on her own in our hometown.

Just on the heels of my post about unaccompanied minors, and how we might make the towns and cities we live here in the US more accessible for kids to get around without always relying on adults, I came across this:

Nashua Announces Summer Recreation Bus Route

The city of Nashua, New Hampshire is operating a pilot transportation program this summer aimed at providing free public transportation to various recreational spots around the city. Kids ages 6-18 whose parents register them for a free bus pass can ride the bus to places like the park, ball fields, the pool, the library, and the Boys and Girls Club. They can go to the skate park, meet friends at the pool, visit the library to play Dungeons and Dragons or take a soldering class. Dang, I want to be a kid in Nashua, NH!

While it specifies that children under 10 can’t ride the bus alone, they are allowed to ride with someone over 10. I’m so envious! If we had a service like this in my town, I could send Elena and Eli to the library on their own. It’s these kinds of interactions – learning how to use public transportation, learning bus/train etiquette and manners, going on errands solo and interacting with librarians, shop owners, and other adults – that build a solid foundation for knowing how to be an independent, fully-functional adult. How forward thinking of Nashua to realize that by providing a service like the recreational bus route, they are giving kids a safe, age-appropriate stepping stone to be able to handle adult responsibilities later in life. It solves a myriad of problems, such as boredom, and dependence on cars and adults to go where they want, while also empowering kids and boosting their confidence.

Nashua’s town slogan just happens to be “Dare to Begin.” How appropriate, as providing this bus service aimed at youth they seem to be saying, “Let’s dare to begin treating our kids as capable individuals, instead of keeping them in a bubble and fearing the worst.”

Would you welcome a service like this in your hometown?

(A link to the Nashua Summer Recreation Bus Route first appeared on the Free Range Kids blog. You can read Lenore’s take on the service here.)

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