Kids are so bright and surprising.
Our niece and nephew ( & their parents of course ) are staying with us for a few days. They are 8 and 12 years old and naturally they come equipped with various electronic hand held devices. Bob and I had been planing for weeks on how to make their stay with us fun and memoriable without too many internet linked games.
We had a lazy Sunday yesterday and when Sam ( 8 ) woke up and came through the lounge, I said to him:
" Sam, after breakfast we will all play a game and you can choose which one. But, the door to the lounge is a magic one. No phones are allowed through it while we are playing! "to which he replied:
" Aunt Birgit, but the door must also keep out iPhones, iPads and tablets! "Touche indeed! Anyway, he was excited and the thought of not having any gaming device didn't bother him in the least. When his older sister Josie woke up, I explained the same thing to her but ( luckily ) forestalled her and mentioned that she could choose the type of game the next day!
After breakfast I gave Sam my cell phone with a ten minute alarm set on it and told him that when it rang, everyone must be at the table to play Monopoly. Josie was watching a movie on her tablet and secretly I was a bit worried that she might not want to play with us.
The alarm rang, and Sam marshaled all of us to the table. To tell you the truth, I couldn't wait to play because it evoked memories of playing Monopoly when I was young. Josie dropped her tablet in a flash, almost ran through to kitchen table and was ready to throw the dice. Sam, when I reminded him about the magic portal rule, did a quick check on everyone at the table and banished an errant Smartphone to another room.
Monopoly takes time to get really exciting and we had a few ' this is so boring ' wobbles, but everyone ( parents too ) persevered and we played for about 4 hours.
- 4 hours of no Internet.
- 4 hours of great family fun.
- 4 hours of kids being excited when someone landed on their street.
- 4 hours of seeing various bits of lovely character traits peep through, traits that normally are cloaked by the lonely Internet time.
We had a break for lunch in between and when I went to call Josie from her room, I hadn't finished my sentence before she had already dropped her tablet and was excited to carry on playing Monopoly.
As tempting as the Internet is for the youngens, they still prefer playing old fashioned games as a family. Quality family time.
Oh, and by the way, Josie won and won big. The Real Estate Magnate in our family it seems...