Ideas for Device Free Fun

by | Oct 25, 2018

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Ever spend the day hanging out at home and before you know it, every member of the family has retreated into their own space, face down into their device? Before you know it, several hours have passed and Saturday afternoon has turned into Saturday evening.

This is an all too common scenario these days. With our busy lives, downtime is is important, but with devices, minutes can easily turn into hours and before too long, the family connections that are so important dwindle away.

Ideas Anyone?

What doesn’t work – mom has assessed the situation and realized that the family hasn’t moved from their devices in a few hours and in a fit delivers the “Okay, I’ve had it, everybody give me your devices and let’s go outside and do something!” We hear stories of parents confiscating devices, hiding them, and then kids getting frustrated and resentful.

There is a better option – decide in advance on a device-free day or block of time. Have the whole family come up with ideas for fun activities that can be done without devices. Have the family come up with some ideas together. If you’re at a loss, we’ve got some ideas for the cooler weather now that Fall is here and it is cooler (at least in most parts of the country). Use some of these for inspiration:

Karaoke Time!

Here are a couple of fun Karaoke machines that the family can enjoy together or the kids can get up and perform among themselves. We know that the Karaoke machines these days include connections for devices while we are advocating for a device free day. Just remember that using a parental control app will give the child the opportunity to engage in this fun activity and not be tempted to text or use social media. Another option you may want to consider to help avoid temptation – we have an older iPod Touch that we use for situations like this.


KaraoKing Portable Handheld Microphone with Speaker. This is an inexpensive, portable, handheld model that connects to your device. They throw in a phone/iPod mount that allows the user to have the lyrics front and center while they sing. Our daughter and her friends used one like this at a friend’s house and they had a great time!

 

Akai KS780-BT Bluetooth Karaoke Machine. This is a fun, compact, lightweight and versitile Karaoke machine. This model connects to tablets and phones and has connections for two microphones. It will also connect to a TV and has a cradle to hold a tablet. Besides the colorful lighting feature, it also has a large display for the lyrics which allows for readability from a distance. It plays karaoke cd+g disks.

 

 


Singsation Karaoke Machine by 808. This Karaoke machine connects to your smartphone or tablet for thousands of songs and karaoke videos from YouTube and karaoke apps. There is no need to buy the CDs needed with this one. You can stream directly via Bluetooth from a smartphone or tablet connect with a cable. There are color and voice effects for added fun. This model also includes a cradle to hold your device.

These are just a couple of options. You can find lots more family-friendly karaoke machines and microphones here.

Family Games!

Here are a couple of fun games that the family can enjoy together or the kids can break out to enjoy on their own. Our suggestions run across age-ranges so there is something for most kid age ranges.


North Star Games Say Anything, Family Edition. This is a fun game that gets the conversation going. We like it because it is interactive and fun. The cards ask questions like – “Which celebrity would make the best babysitter?” One player reads a question. Everyone else writes an answer. The player who read the question chooses their favorite answer and the rest of the players guess which one was picked. The family edition is appropriate for ages 8+ and for 3-6 players. It is also a great ice-breaker for parties, get-togethers and classrooms.

Charades for Kids. Yes, it’s that classic party game, but designed for the whole family, from little kids to adults. It is designed for ages 4+ and gives younger kids the ability to play by acting out the images on the cards using the pictures. Older children can play by reading the simple words and phrases. The whole family tries to guess the charade before the time runs out.

 

Spontuneous. So this is a super fun game where a word is provided and then it is a race to blurt out a song containing the word provided. It is for 8+ and suitable for 4-10 players. Since it has a universal appeal, kids to grandparents can play and enjoy this one. And since you’ll never know what song someone will come up with, it gets a lot of laughs.

These are just a couple of options. You can find lots more family-friendly games to choose from here.

Puzzles!

When was the last time your family tackled a puzzle together? We did one recently with some friends and it was addictive. Add to that our competitive nature – at some points it was kids against parents, guys against gals. Who could complete more pieces? Dinner was ready and waiting and we had to be pulled away from the puzzle! Here are a few to check out – easy, medium and a bit harder. Use the age ranges as guidelines. We know some puzzle-loving kids that are able to solve harder puzzles while some older kids with limited fine motor skills may need easier puzzles.

Melissa & Doug African Plains Safari Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle. With 100 pieces, this is one that is suitable for younger kids. They will love the wild African animals pictured against the setting sun. They also get the wiggles out while they sprawl out onto the floor to solve this over four foot long puzzle. The recommended age is 6-10.

 

At The Dog Park by Ravensburger. Who can resist a bunch of dogs at the dog park? These cute pups are the subjects of this 500 puzzle that is on the medium difficulty scale. The manufacturer recommends ages 12-15 for this one.

 

White Mountain Puzzles Best Places in America. On the harder scale as it is 1,000 pieces. Beautiful and colorful, measuring 24 x 30 inches. This one will make you want to plan the next family road trip! It has images of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and many more. Recommended age 12+.

 

These are just a couple of options. You can find lots more family-friendly puzzles to choose from here.

Note: Our age guidelines are based on those provided by the manufacturers. Use your judgement based on the development stage of your child(ren).

We know dealing with kids and devices can sometimes feel like a full-time job. If you need personalized help with topics such as parental control app installation, device management setup, home web filtering, or anti-virus software, schedule a One to One session where we can assist you via phone or video chat. Does your school, club or organization need a talk for parents and students about dealing with devices, social media and the challenges of juggling it all? Check out in fo on our Talks Modeling, Mentoring and Managing for parents and Digital Citizenship for Kids.

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