All too often, we see the same sight of a family sitting together and each member is using their phones for different purposes. While we’re all digitally connected, we’re sometimes the most disconnected from the ones closest to us. Here are some family-friendly activities you can do to connect with your family.
Happy Asian family using tablet, laptop, phone for playing game watching movies, relaxing at home for technology lifestyle concept.
Now, there’s no way we can totally get rid of the screens in this day and age. As much as those devices take up a good majority of our time, they’re also essential to our daily 21st-Century lives. We use them for communication, information and entertainment. Especially since work-from-home, the whole family’s been on the screen. Both parents are probably working behind the screen and our children are likely having online classes.
However, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad, which is why it’s time we try going screen-lite. We all need a couple of daily doses of screen time to keep in contact and up-to-date with our work. When all are finished, it’s good to take some time away from the screen and catch up with our loved ones.
Establish some ground rules surrounding screen time as a family – perhaps no screen time after 7pm, or no phones at the dinner table. Once there’s a standard screen rule that all family members can agree upon, you can use those no-screen time zones to have some fun together away from the screens.
Finding fun outside the screens
Here are 3 activities you can do to connect with your family to enjoy altogether away from the screens:
1. Cook together
Food always brings people together and there’s no better way to bond than over a hearty meal. What’s more fun is when you make the food on your own. Plan for a day when the whole family can come together to whip up a meal. You could give the kids specified stations such as tossing the marinade for the meats together or teaching them how to chop a few onions or tomatoes.
Of course, for safety reasons, adults should be the head chef in charge of the hob and the oven. However, it’ll serve as a good way to introduce your little ones to some culinary skills and teach them a thing or two about frying or baking. The food is guaranteed to taste 10 times more delicious when the whole fam bam gets together and creates a meal for themselves, by themselves.
2. Get competitive
How about a board game night? There are tons of family-friendly board games out there on the market. ‘The Game of Life’ is a classic family game that also teaches kids about, well, life! There are also more strategic games such as ‘The Settlers of Catan’ which can teach kids about logical thinking. It’s a great way to impart new lessons to your children and have fun at the same time. You could even switch it up by suggesting a forfeit for the loser – cleaning up the dishes after that wonderful home-cooked meal sounds good.
3. Move together
There’s nothing better than the great outdoors. A great way to spend time together as a family is to plan for a day out at your local park! You could cycle together or go for a hike at a nearby hill. It’ll be a great way to leave your phones aside and just enjoy the wind in your hair.
Re-focus our attention on our loved ones
Screens sometimes get in the way of connecting with the ones we’re right in front of, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to. To reiterate, it’s important to establish rules about screen time in the house to balance our device and non-device time. When it comes to our children however, that can admittedly be an uphill battle. Parental control apps can help you manage your child’s screen time and inadvertently encourage family time as well!
planoApp is one such app that can help you achieve this. plano helps to monitor your child’s device use and reminds your child to take regular breaks from the screens every 30 minutes. As a parent, you can also use the plano app to schedule no-device times. For instance, if your child is not allowed to use his/her phone during dinner time, you can use the plano app to lock his/her device during those hours.
If your child follows these prompts and reminders in the planoApp, he/she can earn points! These points can then be used in the planoShop* to request device-free, and outdoor activities. Parents can even join in the fun for some of these activities such as a ziplining adventure at Singapore’s Mega Adventure.
Our loved ones are all near and dear to us, so let’s make sure we use our time with them wisely. Let’s intentionally set aside those screens and focus our attention on them by doing some of these activities to connect as a family.