Home Together: How Smartphones Can Help Families Spend More Time With Each Other

While the holiday season certainly gives us more time to connect with the ones we love, once the shopping, giving and eating rush subsides, it can be easy to let the time we spend with family dwindle. While technology may not immediately spring to mind when you think of ways to spend quality time, it can actually improve family interactions. Most of us are already in a habit of checking our smartphones and tablets frequently, so why not use our devices to help us truly stay connected with the ones we love? Here are some ideas for combining our favorite things – loved ones and tech – to enjoy family fun during holiday lulls.

Put a Vintage Spin on Gaming

If you have kids, connect with them through the classic games of your own childhood, in app form. From Life, to Monopoly, to Scrabble, and even Where’s Waldo?, surprise your kids with your gaming skills and teach them some new ones of their own. They’ll be shocked to learn that in the good old days, you actually moved pieces without any swiping.

Put a Face to the Voice

Many families have members who have to be far away during the holidays. One way to make great use of your family time at home is to choose a relative (or three) together and schedule a Google Hangout, a Skype call, or FaceTime chat to see your loved one’s face and get those overdue quality talks in. This is especially exciting for those with kids away at college or family members in the military, and a catch-up call is a wonderful alternative to, say, an episode of TV.

Cozy Up With a Good E-Book

Teach your smallest children about the beauty of reading with your favorite smartphone or tablet. Whether you choose an interactive version that continuously keeps your child on his or her toes, or a digital e-book that puts your high school drama days to the test, you’ll have the pleasure of watching your child develop a lifelong love for reading.

Wear your Schedule on your Sleeve

Ready to put down the devices and enjoy family time of the old-fashioned analog variety? With one of the many new smart watches and other wearables now on the market, you can get alerts straight to your wrist in addition to your phones, so you’ll feel connected even while hiking, biking or throwing around a Frisbee. You can basically do everything you might do with your smartphone, but with the added benefit of a stylish wristband and a faster response time – and that means quality time with family that doesn’t involve staring at your phone.