Turn Off Tune Out & Explore

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle

Turn Off  Tune Out & Explore

A family trip to Shenandoah Caverns brings out the thrill of exploring new ideas and places as an alternative to the screen that we are all so glued to.


David Proctor



Urban Farmer

Urban Farmer

                                                                                                                                 From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

Turn Off, Tune Out, & Explore

    by Carolyn Proctor

February 04, 2016

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

Carolyn & Dad

                                                                           Carolyn & Dad
Nowadays, kids love all types of screens, especially movie screens. It’s definitely an easy way to kill a few hours on a rainy day, but there are so many reasons to opt for doing something more with your child.

Here in Virginia, we’re lucky enough to have one of the most geographically versatile states featuring just about everything from mountains to beaches.

This variety allows for a much larger range of family friendly activities that can benefit you and your child much more than going to the theater.

Doing more than a movie can also benefit their health and development. Here are four activities that may make you rethink the movies.

  1. Outdoor activities are some of the best options. You can do anything from hike, canoe, fish, or even just walk. Being outside is a foundation to good health. Your body gets Vitamin D and being outdoors has been found to improve vision (retrieved from a study by Optometry and Vision Science). Allowing your child to be sedentary for hours while inhaling popcorn, gulping soda, and staring at a screen has very few health benefits.
 Bacon Formation
Stalactite, in background the formation looks like Bacon
  1. Letting your child try a new sport is great for developmental skills, both social and physical. This can be as simple as getting your child a new type of ball and taking them to where s/he has enough room to practice. Sports are a great form of exercise, which can contribute to better sleep and a healthier weight for your child.
 Capital Dome Formation
Capital Dome Formation
  1. Although the movies are excellent for when the weather is bad, so are museums. This is a great way to broaden your children’s knowledge on any subject. There are kid-friendly museums in a spectrum of subjects ranging from art, history, science, animals, etc. Disney and Pixar may be getting more creative with their movie plots, but your children will learn much more from spending a few hours wandering a museum than watching a movie.
Fault Line
Fault Line
  1. Visiting national landmarks can be an incredible learning experience. This can vary from visiting caverns to historical buildings. It expands your child’s knowledge of a new subject, which can help build a larger vocabulary or an interest in a new subject.
 Forming Pillar
Forming Pillar or Column
Pillar or Column
 Pillar or Column, behind is  Bacon Formation


Wing Formation

Wing Formation
The best thing about all of these alternative activities is that they cost a third or less to do than to see a movie. Tickets and snacks add up quickly at the theater, but many of these endeavors are free. Included in the article are a few pictures from our family’s trip to Shenandoah Caverns (and the coupon we used!). Not only is this both a beautiful and natural landmark, but it was originally discovered by two young children!

Check It Out!


Quick Tip

1) Turn the TV off.
2) Pick a destination.
3) Tune out the distractions.


McBrien, Neville A., Ian G. Morgan, and Donald O. Mutti. “What’s Hot in Myopia
Research-The 12th International Myopia… : Optometry & Vision Science.”
LWW. Optometry and Vision Science, July 2008. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.

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