Do you feel intimidated using technology with your kids? You are not alone. Many parents do, but one of the best things families can do is engage with technology and explore the use of screens together. This helps strengthen your relationship and also gives you a glimpse of what is so attractive to them when using technology. Participating in fun activities with technology shows your kids all the positives that tech can bring to our lives.
Start out by talking about it as a family. Talk about why you want to have fun activities with technology. Get input from family members as to how they think it would work best. Like, is there a certain day of the week that works better and a specific time of day. Then, brainstorm some ways you can learn from each other and have fun. Your kids will probably have more ideas of what you could do than you will. Take it in and enjoy the time with them.
There are many activities you can do as a family using technology. It might involve academic or educational resources, social and many creative activities. Technology isn’t something that needs to be feared by parents: it’s a great tool to connect with your family and to strengthen your relationship with your kids.
- Connect by exploring some of the apps they already play. Have them show you what and how to play so you understand what excites them about it. Then try playing it with them. This will give your child the chance to teach you something.
- Another idea is to go on a treasure hunt. This could be inside or outside. Come up with a list of different objects that you would find inside the house and then outside. Each member of the family could come up with a few. Write them down and then go on your hunt. Take photos of each of the items found and share them. You might need to put a time limit on it. Just make sure everyone knows the expectations. Having a prize for the winner is always a good idea.
- There are many games you could play together as a family. You could play one game a week or whatever works for your family. Maybe mom and dad pick a game one week and the kids pick another one the next week. Make it fun. Some families keep a running scoreboard to keep track of parents versus kids points. If you’re interested in learning more go to www.Familygamingdatabase.com for ideas.
- Cooking together is fun. Try finding some recipes on the internet that you could make as a family. Have your kids look at some of the ones they think would be good for dinner, dessert or even for snack. Go shopping together for the items and cook together. If it’s a snack they could even bring it to school with them. How awesome would that be! Fun for them at snack time.
- Making a weekly ritual to send a note to a special person, like a grandparent. It might be something in a text message or creating a family blog. This is a great way to communicate using the devices so many of our kids are familiar with verses using an actual journal.
- Creating a mix of songs as a family that could be listened to when driving in the car or making dinner together. You can make one for the family and then each person could make their own. Take turns listening to each one. How fun would it be to listen to it on an extended drive to grandma’s house or the cabin!
- You could even use maps. Have everyone choose a place they would like to go and guess how long it would take to get there. Maybe plan your next vacation together using maps. Determine what your stops would be and how long it would take to get there.
- Take photos outside of different leaves, plants, trees or birds. Then together try to figure out what each one is. Talk about what they have in common.
Still unsure? There are many resources to help you out. Here are a few:
Technology is here to stay so let’s make it fun for everyone. By creating fun activities with technology you make it part of the family routine and you help everyone become more comfortable with devices. It also builds a sense of trust with your kids so, when they have questions about tech, they will feel comfortable talking to you. Try it!