Connecting While Disconnected

With so many electronic devices these days, it can be difficult to truly connect to one another.  So many people put down their smartphones, turn off their TVs and computers, and then say, “Now what?”  Here are some fun ideas for ways to connect with your family -- children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews -- and friends.
Work on a Craft
Crafting is a great way to work collaboratively while often teaching new skills to a younger generation.  Can you sew, quilt, do needlepoint, knit or crochet?  Head to the local craft store, pick up some supplies, and work together on a project.  Another idea is to build and/or paint a birdhouse (or, for that matter, any other type of wood project).  Looking for a craft that is a little faster?  Pick up some paints and do a quick art project.  If you aren’t too artistic, don’t worry!  Try something like a paint by number kit or even just a coloring book.

Image Courtesy: Michael's 

Start a Collection
Starting and working on a collection over time offers many opportunities to share interests and memories.  Collections are fun because you can collect anything you want, like coins and stamps.  Have a large jar of change sitting around?  That’s a great way to start a collection of pennies!  Do you still have collections from when you were younger?  Share them, show them off, add to them, or pass them on!  Sports card collections are also fun.  You can go to the store to buy new cards as well as visit specialty shops to look for individual collector items.  A sports card collection is a great way to share memories of your favorite players and memorable sporting experiences.

Play a Game
Games don’t just exist on the computer or gaming systems.  Break out the board games!  Try classics like Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land for the younger crowd, and checkers, chess or charades for older children.  Share some of your favorite card games like gin, hearts and euchre, or just teach someone how to play solitaire.  Is the child too young for cards?  Build a house of cards (and knocking it down over and over again) is always a fun alternative.  Did you know that dice games like Bunco have been making a comeback recently?  And everyone loves a good game of Yahtzee!

Read a Good Book
A nice way to spend an afternoon is curled up with some good books.  Try reading some of your favorite childhood books to younger children.  For older children, you can read together, perhaps creating a “book club” of sorts where you each read the same book independently but discuss it together.

Cook Together
Making a meal together and then sitting down to enjoy it is a wonderful treat.  Share some of your favorite recipes, particularly ones that have been handed down from generation to generation in your family.  Be sure to write the recipe down so it can become a treasured keepsake.  But cooking together doesn’t have to be something elaborate.  Spend an afternoon baking a special treat, even if you’re just using cake mix out of the box or decorating some sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.

There are so many “non-tech” activities, you’ll have fun no matter what you choose!  The memories you make will be cherished.

How will you connect while disconnected with friends and family today?