We see it every time we leave the house…
You are eating at your favorite restaurant and glance at the table next to you. A family sits there, no one is talking, heads are down, and phones are out. A time that should be spent together in discussion and conversation, has once again been ruined by these devices that create such distraction.
As a young family, my husband and I have discussed several ways to avoid the above scenario where technology takes over. I want to share with you some things you can do as a family to start that dialogue with one another and get those faces looking up out of the tablet or phone.
Here are 7 Ways to Create Technology Free Family Time
- Family game night. Everyone remembers playing board games when they were younger. Pull out your old favorites and introduce them to your kids. Chutes and Ladders. Monopoly. A family favorite at our house is Yahtzee. Our two-year-old already knows how to roll the dice. This doesn’t have to be something you plan every week, but something to do after dinner one night.
- Go camping in your living room/backyard. Make a whole night where you prepare as if you are going to go on a camping trip. Roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Put up the tent. Even if you can’t get away, this is a great way to bond with your young ones and have fun conversation as you set it all up.
- Make dinner together or bake cookies. I can remember making brownies with my dad in the kitchen late night after we had dinner. Plan a fun meal, go shopping for all the ingredients, and make the meal as a family. Give everyone a task. Afterwards, be sure to eat that meal as a family at the dinner table.
- Go for a bike ride/take a hike. When the weather is nice, get outside. This is something that my husband and I do often. Put the younger kids in the stroller and head out. This always creates great discussion as we walk and talk. After a bike ride, it is fun to discuss the different things you may have seen.
- Go through photo albums or watch old family videos. My family loves to take pictures. We always had photo albums lying around. Go through those photo albums with your kids. Let them ask questions about all the people and places you have been. Maybe ask grandma if she has any photo albums lying around that she could let you borrow.
- Art night. Paint a picture. Or color a picture. Or have a Pinterest DIY night. Have an art night where everyone creates something artistic and maybe vote on your favorite after everyone has finished.
- Water gun/water balloon/snowball/nerf war. Enjoy the summertime together as a family throwing water balloons or aiming the water guns at one another. In colder months, you could have a snowball fight or an indoor nerf war.
If your kids are old enough, you can ask them for ideas or to plan a night of fun! Nothing has to be expensive or complicated as they can be decided at a moments notice. Take time and be intentional about spending quality time with your family each night.
Don’t forget to set aside time to read from the Bible or have a small devotion as a family and make sure to have a rule about no phones/devices at the dinner table. Now go and enjoy finding ways to have fun and grow closer together as a family without technology getting in the way!
Bethany Kuhlmann – Director of Christian Education
Lutheran Family Service Congregational Services