If you caught last week’s blog post, you read all about the importance of balancing work and family time, along with some fun ways to bring your family together this holiday season. However, this got us thinking: what exactly defined “family time” in 2016?
Many of us remember spending time with extended family as kids. The time spent was mostly uninterrupted, apart from the occasional movie or television special enjoyed together.
Now, though, families have less time to spend together due to work, school and other daily tasks. Of that little time they do have, though, many families are spending more and more time together in front of a screen. A recent survey conducted by a UK-based research team found that more than 60% of families spend the majority of their time together in front of the TV or playing mobile, web or tablet-based games.
In 2016, technology was certainly used as a means of bringing families together. While tech can be enjoyed by a child on his or her own, it can also serve as a method for families to interact with one another and bring new traditions to the table through learning and creating together.
Families can and do spend important quality time together enjoying technology as a group. However, we don’t think family time should end there.
Part of the true magic comes into play when family members can walk away with unique, lasting memories from the moments they experienced together. Distinct memories, such as building gingerbread houses or sending out Christmas cards as a family, can create lasting memories in the minds of parents, grandparents and children alike. Doug Andersen, family specialist, says activities such as those “create memories that become a part of a shared perception of the family.”
If grandma remembers the hands-on activity of building gingerbread houses then she certainly remembers the sticky, sugary mess left behind by crumbly gingerbread and icing. Good thing in 2016 we have a whole new way of building family gingerbread houses that take away the mess without the fun customization!
The experience of actively doing something together is a timeless value that has spanned generations and will continue to hold importance, regardless of the year. This is why so many of the ways we offered to balance family and work time in last week’s post boiled down to getting back to the basics and enjoying life’s small moments as a family.
In fact, this is why PopUp Play so strongly supports the unique combination of digital and physical play. Digital play serves as a method for kids to easily relate to and communicate with their modern world. Couple that with physical play, though, and they have the opportunity to create unique memories formed through kinetic activity that will last for years to come.
While 2016 has certainly seen an influx in incorporating screen time and technology into time spent together, we at PopUp Play believe that the value of actively doing, creating or playing together has spanned across generations and is still an important defining factor in how we spend time together as a family.
Every family has its own unique way of enjoying one another’s company. How does your family spend time together? We’re always interested to know how fellow families spend their time together. Let us know in the comments!