Have your kids spent their days during quarantine glued to the TV or tablet? Have you “finished Netflix?” If so, it might be time to unplug and turn to paper-based solutions for enhanced productivity and entertainment.
While the global COVID-19 pandemic has most of us at home, self-isolating with our families while juggling work, distance learning and family entertainment, it might be easy to use screen time to help fill the void left by canceled plans.
Of course, screens are necessary while working and learning from home, but paper-based solutions offer a timeless approach to education, entertainment and productivity and a welcome change of pace, especially when your family needs a digital detox.
In fact, they can even be good for your health. Using paper to work and learn offers many cognitive benefits, such as increased language skills, enhanced mental development and improved memory. And when the work is done, paper-based solutions can help you be more present with your partner and family, and more mindful of your own well-being.
“There is a growing body of research that shows students understand and retain concepts better when they read about them on paper. Right now, especially, it’s important for kids and parents to remember to incorporate paper as an important tool in daily activities and learning,” says Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board.
With that said, we invite you to turn off your TV, close your laptop, put down your phone and try using paper to give yourself a much-needed break from technology.
Consider these paper-based solutions for:
- Read a book together — According to Reading Rockets, “children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.”
- Keep a family diary —This historic time provides an opportunity to record the changes in your family’s life, such as new things you’re doing as a family or your feelings about the world around you. A family diary can create a special memory of an unusual time for the next generation to read.
- Write letters to family members — Have you been physically distancing from loved ones? Have your children practice their handwriting by writing a special letter to someone they love; they could also paint or draw a special picture to enclose with the letter.
- #drawdrawdraw with Nissan — Nissan launched its #drawdrawdraw campaign during the pandemic to offer a creative outlet to people bored at home. Learn about the campaign, and find printable sketches that you and your kids can color.
- Color, draw and play on paper — Enjoy these printable activity pages from the Paper and Packaging Board, and find more ideas for how to entertain your family during self-isolation.
- Pick up a book — Take a break from digital entertainment by reaching for a book instead of the remote control. Take the pledge to read 15 Pages a day, and track your progress toward creating a new reading habit.
- Be creative with adult coloring books — Need a creative outlet or a more enjoyable way to relieve stress? Try adult coloring books. Research shows that coloring reduces stress by activating both the left (analytical) and the right (creative) sides of the brain.
- Start a journal — Writing with pen and paper is good for your brain and your soul. Studies show that people who keep a journal experience mental and emotional benefits.
- Practice mindfulness — Use paper to be more mindful using these techniques.
When the world returns to a new normal and you find yourself back in the office and balancing work, family, school schedules, sports and other activities, keep a few of these paper-based solutions in your life for enhanced productivity, learning and entertainment.