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5 ways technology can help your family unplug this summer


(BPT) - Looking for ways to help your family unplug this summer? With smartphones and tablets and social media in the palms of everyone's hands, it can seem like a nearly impossible task. But there's an ally that can help your family get away from their devices and into summer fun. Technology itself! It seems counterintuitive, right? But technology can actually be your best friend in the quest to unplug.

The first step is choosing the right tools. Namely, a computer and a printer. But not just any will do. The HP All-In Plan combines a choice of a new printer, automatic ink delivery, continuous printer coverage with a dedicated 24/7 live support team, next-business-day replacement in the event of printer issues, and the option to upgrade your printer after two years. The best part — there’s no up-front cost and plans start as low as $6.99 per month.

Pair that with the powerful HP OMEN Transcend 14 laptop, which features the Intel Core Ultra processor with native AI processing, an ultra-portable and lightweight design, sleek exterior styling, an OLED screen, and enough performance to handle what you need for your family fun this summer, and into the school year, too.

Now that you've got the right technology, here are some fun ways to use it.

Get crafty with HP Print Pals, a new line of printable puppets from HP, designed with summer fun in mind. Print out these adorable puppets, have the kids decorate and trick them out, and then put on a puppet show. With this fun, screen-free activity, engage their inner creativity and have them express themselves by merging the magic of printing with the vibrant world of art. Download and print HP Print Pals for free at HP.com/PrintPals. And speaking of getting crafty... whether it's building a butterfly house, creating an octopus out of sticks, a sunflower out of handprints or a snail out of a paper plate, you can find DIY directions online. Either print out the directions or set up your computer to play a DIY video. You could even print a schedule to make Mondays a Craft Day with a different project each week.

Read the book, watch the movie. Choose from any number of children's books that have been turned into movies. "Little Women," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and so many more, whatever your child might like. Have them settle into a hammock in your backyard or their favorite nook in the house and read the story (or you read to them!). Then, hang a screen or even just a white sheet or curtain, in the backyard, download the movie on your laptop and connect it with a USB port to a projector. Arrange cushions, have everyone change into their jammies, grab the mosquito repellant, pop some popcorn, and settle in to watch the movie outside.

Print photos of summer adventures. When you're out there having fun in the sun with your family, selfies are mandatory! Go old school and print those fun photos on your HP Envy Inspire printer to enjoy family keepsakes. Have the kids arrange and label them in a photo album — yes, they still exist! — or read on for another fun idea.

Set up a summer fun photo hunt in the backyard. You could spin this several ways. Simply printing out your photos and hiding them in the backyard for your kids to find — whoever finds the most photos gets to choose dessert that night — is one way to go. Or, you could be a little more elaborate and create a "reveal." Use your computer to search for photos or other images that pertain to something special, like a family trip you have planned for later in the summer. Print those out and spin the activity into a "treasure hunt" for your kids, ending with, for example, a photo of the theme park or beach vacation you'll be taking them on.

Print out your kids' activity schedule. One child has softball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, another has swimming five days a week, they both attend a day camp on Saturdays. How do you keep it all straight? Create a spreadsheet of activities for the week or month and print it out to stick on your fridge. Then everyone knows who is doing what, when.

The HP All-In Plan can let you focus on your family and not worry your printer won't have what it needs, when you need it. Now, get out there and enjoy summer!