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Whether it’s a mobile phone, iPad, television or a laptop—these days everyone seems glued to a screen. While not all screen time is bad, research shows that unplugging from technology can help with mindfulness, improve sleep, boost productivity, and also enable you to build deeper connections.

So this month, why not challenge our families to go tech-free with some of these family bonding activities?

 

1. Go stargazing on a clear night

 

With the amount of light pollution caused by all the skyscrapers… you might think the chance of seeing stars is pretty low. But there are plenty of stargazing spots across the island, from Yishun in the north to Changi in the east, and Fort Canning or the Botanical Gardens if you’re looking for a more central spot.

So check out hobbyist group Stargazing Singapore for some ideas of what your can look out for each week, grab some snacks and get ready for a tech-free picnic under the stars. Who knows, you might even spark a new hobby for the kids!

 

2. Do a “try-athalon”

 

No running, swimming or cycling needed—unless you want to, of course. Rather, think of this as putting the old saying “you don’t try, you don’t know” into practice and each month, get the family together to try three new things!

This could be as small as learning a new recipe or tasting a different dish, to something more long-term, like picking up skate scooting… anything goes as long as it’s new and you can do it tech-free, of course!

 

3. Have a staring contest

 

Only have a short pocket of time to spare? Don’t waste it on Facebook or Instagram. Get your kids together for a “stare down”. Each pair literally stares into the other person’s eyes for as long as possible. The one who blinks, giggles and looks away loses! It may sound silly, but that’s the point—no better way to destress and for the family to bond than over a few laughs, right?

 

4. Make a “time capsule”

 

Encourage family bonding through a time capsule project. This will give each member a chance to reflect and share their best memories, hopes and dreams for the future. You can do this over a month or two, with a different question for the family to think about each week, before finally wrapping up the project with everyone writing notes to their future selves.

It’s a great way to end off the year, and as a plus, opening the time capsule at any of the family’s milestone moments—whether it’s someone’s sweet 16 or big sixty—can make the occasion just that little bit sweeter.

 

5. Weekly board games night

 

Trade your mobile phones in for some family bonding over traditional board games like Monopoly, Cluedo, Snakes and Ladders and Scrabble—all available on Lazada or Shopee, if you don’t already have a copy.

Even better if you make board games night a weekly affair. Working from home makes it harder to draw the line between professional and personal time and can take a toll on your mental health, so putting this on the schedule is a great way for you to stay disciplined about turning off your computers and tuning in to the family. For tips on managing work-life harmony, check out our other articles here.