Tech, family, March Break: GO!

If you’re only 40, but your kids roll their eyes and say “OK, Boomer” every time you suggest a fun family activity, it might be time to mix things up (and perhaps limit their access to Internet). Given the various closures and event cancellations this year due to COVID-19, it may be even harder to keep kids entertained using traditional go-to activities like reading a book or playing board games. There are future-forward and digital-centric ways to enjoy technology and the magic of energy that are family-friendly and removes the solitary screen time kids spend on smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.

Here’s a short list of tech-related activities to do during March Break that will keep kids (mostly) off their devices and connected to you instead. These activities will also make you feel like the cool Gen X parent that you are – so throw on those boot-cut jeans and that grunge plaid shirt, and go make some memories.

Ask Google: Isn’t it time you used your smart speaker for more than controlling your lights? From mind-bending riddles and wacky memory games, your smart speaker has a wide selection of home games to keep every generation entertained. Get up and move (or freeze) with freeze dance, or play music trivia where you guess the artist or song title based on a portion of the song. You’ll laugh, dance and learn. We especially like this selection of the best home games from Digital Trends. 

Party Video Games: If you can’t pry those devices away from your kids’ hands, consider online Jackbox Party games. Your television is your playing board and each person uses their personal smartphone or tablet as a controller to play cheeky party games like Quiplash, Fibbage and Drawful. They’re as fun as they sound and available on a variety of platforms.

Movie night: Going to the movies has never been easier thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime to name just a few. So string some fairy lights, make your own movie tickets, build that fort in the living room and prepare some themed snacks for a magical night at the movies.

Storytime: A modern twist on storytime! Using your smart speaker, play audiobooks or podcasts for to help unwind and calm the kids before bedtime. Blankets and snuggling up with the kids encouraged. 

Get social on social: Many communities have a dedicated Facebook group, or page, residents can join to stay connected all year round. These pages are often used to swap goods or services, ask for advice, or help find lost pets. But recently, they’ve emerged as another way to stay connected while social distancing. Many groups have organized positive chalk messages written on sidewalks, or set up “hunt and find” walks in their neighbourhood. The idea is that residents hang an object or artwork (like rainbows, Easter eggs or teddy bears) in their windows, and then families walk around hunting for these items. Get even more digital with it by having the kids take photos of what they find, and posting them back to the Facebook pages or creating a digital scrapbook to share with their friends when they reunite.

Spending quality time together doesn’t mean that tech and family have to be mutually exclusive and, thankfully, technology opens up plenty of fun options to keep your family entertained in the midst of public closures due to growing health concerns.