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Gadgetless trip can be a family treat

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Planning a technology-free week in the woods with the whole family may sound a little daunting at first, but a vacation without e-mail by day and videos by night can be done when you let Mother Nature provide the entertainment! Your family can have hours of fun with these outdoor activities.

Easy board games

Play a game by tracing a tick-tack-toe grid in the dirt or sand with a stick. Or draw a simple checkerboard on a bandanna or backpack before you leave home. Gather acorns, pebbles and shells to use as game pieces. Larger items can serve as kings.

Flower jewelry

Sweet-smelling clover is easy to find in grassy areas and supple enough for little hands to tie. Tie and knot the base of the first clover directly beneath the bloom of the second. Continue tying until the chain is long enough to be a bracelet, necklace or crown.

Scavenger hunt

Divide your family into teams with an adult on each team. Make a list of items for the teams to collect: a specific kind or color of shell, pebble or pine cone, a piece of fallen bark from a tree, acorn, etc. Set a time limit and see how many items you can gather.

Bedtime snack

Cut off a lengthwise strip of a banana peel. Scoop out a portion of the banana and eat. Fill the empty space with marshmallows and pieces of a chocolate bar. Wrap the banana in aluminum foil. An adult should place it by the campfire coals and heat through 5 minutes, remove and unwrap. Cool until comfortable to the touch. Scoop out the tasty dessert with a spoon.