Spending quality time with others is important to build relationships and deepen friendships. It is critical for healthy families. Technology can certainly help strengthen these connections, and of course, it can also distract us from them. Finding a healthy balance and modeling this for today's youth is important. In the past I have written quite a lot about this, such as Be Where Your Feet Are: #RealTime with Those Around You, Tech Free Family Dinners Focused on Gratitude, Five Ways to Raise Digitally Balanced JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) Kids in a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) World and much more (see links below). Last spring during one of my Parent Webinars with Mathew Meyers, as we were discussing the need to do things with our children that weren't just screen based entertainment, one of the parents submitted this question: "What are some activities to do without screens?"
At first I was pretty surprised by this question, but in discussing it with Mathew afterwards I realized that for many parents, this is a challenge. Much of our lives are busy and scheduled, and by the time we have common free time together, we may be exhausted! What little time many families do have together is often spent with screens on, either collectively watching TV or a movie, gaming, or each on their own device. Sometimes it can be this way in our home, too, but my wife and I continue to make an effort to not have this be the norm. One super fun activity in our home is called "Family Fun Day."
- Minute to win it relays (Google that for hundreds of ideas)
- Cup stacking
- Playing with Play doh, Pictionary with Play doh
- Making brownies, cookies or caramel apples
- Egg drop in a shoebox from the roof
- Card games like spoons
- Board games like 5 Second Rule
- Paper airplane contests
- Four square
- Touch football
- Street hockey, ice hockey
- Bike rides
- Walk to the park
- Wii Sports or Just Dance competitions
- Mini golf (on a homemade course in the basement)
- Looking at family pictures from a past trip
- Water balloons
- Stacking pennies on tinfoil boats
- Ping pong, blow ping pong, round robin ping pong, etc...
- Five Ways to Raise Digitally Balanced JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) Kids in a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) World
- Techcognition in an Attention Economy
- Parenting in the Digital Age: Finding a Healthy Balance Part I
- Parenting in the Digital Age: Finding a Healthy Balance Part II
- If My Parents Only Knew: My NBC KARE 11 Interview About Kids, Tech & Parenting
- Parenting with Purpose in the Digital Age... It's Complicated
- Parenting in the Digital Age Part 2: How Much Should Parents Snoop?
- Parenting with Purpose in the Digital Age... Managing New Devices Received at the Holidays
- Top 10 Tips for Tech Healthy Kids: Raising Digitally Balanced Kids