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Tech-free Saturday AM

Making our family-time count...

We have a 4 and 6 year old at home...and no tv, tablet or other kiddie-friendly electronics. So, when our children were young (or even now!), we didn't have electronics as an option for when I wasn't at my best as a parent. I do remember many a sick day camped out with my little ones in front of my laptop watching something with David Attenborough (what else can you do?!), but I suspect that our lack of a tv was what drove me to begin boxing up family activity kits two years ago...

Research says that what matters most when it comes to spending time with our kids is not merely our presence, but the proportion of that time that we're mentally and physically available to them. With a few years of parenthood under my belt (but many learnings more to go), I would venture that my best conversations happen with my children when we're in the midst of doing something together. Playing with Lego, playing a game, writing a letter to gran, sweeping, dusting, cooking...all the usual tasks of family-life.

So, if you're feeling the need to reconnect with your kiddies and want to know what's going on in their lives, skip the classes and iPad this Saturday morning and grab a game and a mug of hot chocolate...you may just end up with what you're after.

Here are a few of our favourite games to get you started...

Pass the Pigs: piggy dice and a little motivation for the small ones to practice their writing and counting. What's not to love?

Pick Up Sticks: Of course you'll remember this classic game? Don't have it? Grab a handful of skewers from the cupboard, instead.

Ingenious: This game is our very favourite now that our children are 4&6. It's a strategy game...but easy enough for our 4 year old to grasp.

Uno: Another old classic. Our tattered deck has seen the beach, the train, the plane, grandparents' houses, the cafe, the school run...you name it. It's the perfect game for your 'go bag'.

Go Fish: A matching game, this classic game works with even the youngest of players.

Jenga: After playing a gigantic version on a rooftop last autumn, we will happily admit that we were on a Jenga binge for the whole of last winter...thank to all the friends and family who obliged :)

Bumble Box family activity kits make parents heroes. We catch animals' footprints in the sand, give the trees a shake to see what's living in there, host a Family Olympics, plant a fairy garden, race homemade boats in the stream...you get the drift. Together, we'll make it through your family-time bucket list while the kiddies are still small.

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