What was your Christmas like as a child? I’m willing to bet that you didn’t spend the whole festive period online (the internet, what’s that?!) and didn’t head out to do some sales shopping the minute Christmas day was over.
In my era, it was more likely that you’d be staying at home for the full two weeks of the Christmas holidays with your family. You’d have enough food in the house to hibernate for the entire period and would hang out with your family playing games or watching classic films.
So, how can you recreate that cosy family atmosphere in the era of smartphones, tablets, streaming services and apps? Here are a few ideas:
Turn off the TV
Ahh, it sounds so simple but, whenever we’ve got a bit of spare time, many of us naturally flick the TV on and just sit down to watch whatever’s available. Or we’ve got a box-set that’s our go-to whenever we want to be entertained. But that certainly doesn’t result in a cosy Christmas spending time with the family, so it’s probably time to turn off the TV.
You can even hide the remote control if needed – I’d love to see your teens try to turn on the TV without one and I don’t know if modern televisions even have an on switch?! Instead, play some festive music and get out the games to entertain the family. I’ve shared plenty of ideas for screen-free games and activities in my recent gift guide for teens.
Get out the games
There are some games that have stood the test of time, like Monopoly or Scrabble, that can be played for hours, which is great if you’ve got a spare afternoon (and evening!) But I prefer quicker games that grab attention and draw you into them quickly. I recommend getting out a pack of cards, as there’s sure to be a suitable card game for every age group, from snap to canasta.
If you want to attract the kids’ attention choose a game with their favourite characters, such as a Pokémon card game or something that the teens have watched on TV, such as the Taskmaster board game. Once you’ve found a family favourite that’s suitable for all abilities, it can become your festive go-to – and you’ll maybe even start a new tradition of having a ‘games night’ during the Christmas holidays each year.
Use their devices
If you really can’t get your family to part with their devices, you’re going to have to trick them into giving them up. How? Well, there are some game apps that require the phone to be used as part of the game.
For example, playing pictionary on a tablet means it’s used as the drawing surface, so no one can be scrolling on the device while you’re playing the game. Or have you seen Heads Up? It’s an app where the smartphone is used to display clues for the players, so there’s no change of messages being sent while you’re playing that game!
What do you think of these three ideas for getting your family together to play some games over Christmas? Hav you got any suggestions of how to tempt teens and kids away from their devices to join in the family fun? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear your ideas. 🙂
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