5 ways to shake up screen time to make it family time

Can’t tear your family away from their gadgets? You know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them…

The family that plays together stays together. But in the digital age, it can be hard to carve out time to connect as a family.

Computer screens and TVs flicker in every room. Tablets and phones glow in every hand. Screens can draw us apart… Or you can take control with the following ideas, which use technology to help sharing, learning and connecting.

1. Listen to an audiobook together

TV isn’t the only thing your family can gather around – try listening to an audiobook together. Why not give the old classics a new twist by playing them through a speaker? It’s a great way to introduce kids to books above their reading level, plus it teaches valuable listening skills.

2. Make an online playlist and have a dance party

Push that coffee table aside because it’s time to cut some rug! Put together an online playlist of all of your family’s favourite music and enjoy a good old boogie, complete with embarrassing “dad moves”. Bonus: it’s great exercise too.

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3. Learn a language together

“Konnichiwa!”, “Guten tag!”, “Hola!”. Kids that learn languages early show better learning and creativity later on, according to research. So download one of the many language-learning apps available and learn lots of helpful phrases together, perhaps before going on a family holiday. You’d be surprised what just 30 minutes a day can do.

4. Host your own karaoke night

Find your favourite sing-along songs online and select the video complete with lyrics. Grab a few microphones (hairbrushes, wooden spoons etc) and get ready to warble. Although maybe you should make sure the neighbours are out first...

5. Make your own movie

Shake up family movie night by making one of your own! Work as a family to create your own home movie – from writing a script and filming on a smartphone to editing the final film together. There are lots of easy-to-use apps that will help you bring your family’s imagination to life.

These ideas have been brought to you by Fairy, which cuts through grease and stuck-on food first time, leaving you with more time to spend with your family.

How do you use technology to bond with your kids? Let us know your ideas in the comments section below.