Family

How to get family off their phones over the holidays

Five ways to be together technology-free over Christmas.

Make this family break great by by trading screen time for quality time.

Instead of spending the holidays 'alone together' get the family to unglue from tech – for a while – and enjoy some digital-free downtime.

Lay down the law
Set limits for screen use. No phones or devices during meals is a simple boundary that shouldn't be too hard to enforce. It will be easier to get the family on board with a small change and won’t be too shocking in terms of untethering. Try collecting phones and putting them in a small basket – this will remove the temptation – temporarily at least.

Good old fashioned fun
Before smart everything, people got smart, or at least had fun, playing games. Post-dinner doesn’t have to be spent playing charades, although celebrity charades ups the fun factor, there’s myriad choices especially if you’ve got some old box games handy.

Get up off the couch
With extra time on your hands not spent scrolling, you might feel motivated to get moving. Take the young ones with you and make exercise less a chore, and more a fun activity. Go to the park and kick a ball around, ramble through the neighbourhood or dust off the bikes for a family ride.

The family that cooks together makes the best food!
If there’s a big meal coming up delegate side dishes to family. Don’t push the non-cooks too hard though as there are always other ways everyone can get involved. Make it a bit competitive to spur some light-hearted family rivalry: award-winners get a pass on doing the dishes or tea and cake served to them in the manner of royalty.

Fawn over family photos
If you’ve got boxes of old family photos you haven’t gotten around to digitising yet, pull them out for a fun-filled trip down memory lane. If you’ve got photos of family from a few generations back play spot the similarity, or get some help to get the album in order.