Make sure you Unplug and Play with your family this week

Try out the hop scotch mat in the foyer at Interior Savings Credit Union in Barriere in celebration of Unplug and Play week. (Angela Hazelton photo)

Unplug and Play and Family Literacy Week is well underway this week in the province. This is a fun way to end the month of January by encouraging families to participate in fun, engaging and interactive activities while avoiding sedentary screen-time.

Over the past few years, sedentary screen time has become much more prevalent, and reminding both adults and children to take time away from screens can prove to be a challenge.

“Literacy Week is a great way to encourage our area residents to take time away from those screens and spend that time with family,” said Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator Jill Hayward. “We encourage everyone to take some special time this week to spend quality time with your families that doesn’t involve screen time. Play a game around the kitchen table, create a scavenger hunt, learn some new skills, read a book aloud and let each family member participate in the reading, make crafts, colour drawings, bake cookies, or take everyone out to walk the dog. Whatever you do, make it quality time with those you love, or are close to you.”

It is a week-long event taking place from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29 and offers a variety of free family activities in Barriere.

You’ll find a number of programs to participate in at the Barriere Library including the StoryWalk® just outside their door, or stop by Yellowhead Community Services table in the hallway at the Ridge to pick up an Unplug and Play Literacy Week package full of great ideas, a new book, and crafting supplies.

The Unplug and Play Literacy Week packages will also be available at Interior Savings Credit Union, and while you are their make sure you enter their Unplug and Play draw to win baskets filled with games, word search, puzzles, play doe and more, or try your skill on the hop scotch mat in the lobby.

Make sure to also drop in at Interior Savings Insurance and enter your name for their raffle basket, and while you are there check out the ‘Favourite Recipes. display.

Interior Savings staff will be set up in Barriere’s Fadear Park from 1 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. on friday, Jan. 28, where they wil be handing out hot chocolate to students from Barriere Elementary School as they complete the StoryWalk® around the oval in the park.

Check out the action inside the Barriere Library, and make sure you take your family around the Story Walk in Fadear Park, where you read a story as you walk with your youngsters around the oval, starting just south of the library.

If you enjoy winter sports take the family up to Barriere Forks Park where you can snowshoe or cross-country ski on groomed trails. Sorry no dogs on the trails.

“There is a myriad of activities families can enjoy without a screen this week,” says Hayward, “Barriere Literacy is encouraging everyone to take a selfie or a photo of what you did with your family between Jan. 23 and 31, that didn’t involve screen time (except to take the photo) and then post it to Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Facebook Page, or email to this newspaper at: Please include the names of those in the photo and where it was taken if outdoors.”

Hayward says deadline for photograph submissions will be Feb. 4, 2022. All entries will then go into a free draw for a giant Family Literacy gift basket, plus a second and third place prize will be awarded as well. The winners will be announced in the North Thompson Star/Journal newspaper issue of Feb. 10, 2022, as well as being posted on Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Facebook page..

“As the pandemic continues, many of us are spending more time connected to screens for work, school or socialization. Now more than ever, the message of finding a healthy balance is an important one,” says Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings. “This week is an invitation to replace sedentary screen time with new activities or old favourites. Our hope is that it will provide opportunities for families to make memories and connect in meaningful ways.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, children aged two to five should be limited to less than one hour a day in front of a screen.

For more information about Unplug and Play week check out their website:


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Don't forget to enter the free draw this week at Interior Savings Credit Union in Barriere in celebration of Unplug and Play week, and also pick up a free Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach youth literacy package while you are there.  (Angela Hazelton photo)

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