From High Tech To No Tech, Seven Fun Ways You Can Bring Your Family Together

What a time to be alive. Technological advancements in the past decade are mind-boggling. From the advancement of AI, smart phones, and computers to robots that can mow our lawns and vacuum our homes, the tech landscape has changed dramatically. In some regards, technology can make our lives easier. However, it also can isolate people if they lean into it too much. Here are a few simple ideas that use everything from high tech to low tech – and even no tech – to bring the family together in ways that can improve bonds… and in some cases, even improve your health.

Are tablets, smart phones, and other tech devices isolating your family members?
Are tablets, smart phones, and other tech devices isolating your family members?


Let’s start with the simple stuff. As a child of the 80s, I am living proof you don’t need advanced technology to have hours of fun. “Nouns” is a great game that is as simple as it gets – and it’s FREE. All you need is some paper and creative juices. To play, break into teams of two people. Each player receives six small slips of paper and writes a single “noun” on each one. Two of the six should be a “thing”, two need to be a place, and the remaining two are people (someone that everyone involved would be familiar with). All the “nouns” are placed in a hat or bowl and mixed up. Teams take turns with a one-minute time limit.

In the first round, one of the team members draws a slip at random and offers words (a la “Super Password”) to help their teammate to guess what is written on the piece of paper in their hand. Correct guesses are set aside. The objective is to get as many right as possible during the allotted time. When the buzzer sounds, the remaining “nouns” are handed to the next team, the timer resets, and then they begin. When the unsolved nouns come all the way back around, the teammates change roles: the previous clue giver becomes the guesser. When all the nouns have been solved for Round 1, teams make note of how many points they earned (one for each correct answer)… and then all are returned to the pool and re-shuffled.

Round 2 is done in similar fashion with the same answers, but instead of having an unlimited amount of words at their disposal as clues for each “noun”, only a single word can be offered – so make it a good one!

In the third and final round, the fun REALLY happens as you’re limited to charades. Tally up the score from all three rounds to determine who won. That being said, “Nouns” delivers loads of laughter on the cheap, so everyone involved is a winner!


Why buy a book of brain teasers like word searches or crossword puzzles when you can customize your own? These are especially fun when built around themes like holidays, seasons… or feel-good topics. Once the first one is designed, make enough photocopies for the whole family to enjoy!


Whether it be in your neighborhood or a nearby park, go for a walk when the weather is nice… but add the fun twist of a scavenger hunt. Who knew identifying simple items could be so exciting? If you want to up the ante, offer a small prize to the person who completes the list first. Fresh air, exercise, endorphins, and some friendly competition can make for a great tech-free afternoon. If you’re going to a park, perhaps pack a picnic lunch – an oft-overlooked simple pleasure.

When the weather is just right, there are few things more rewarding than getting out into nature.
When the weather is just right, there are few things more rewarding than getting out into nature.


Whether you’re trying to pass the time between volleyball matches, waiting in a queue for the next adventure park ride opportunity, or just wanting a fun family game night, charades is a great way to be entertained. The popular – and low-cost — Heads Up! app (available for iOS devices and Android devices ) can check all of the boxes.


Meal prep doesn’t have to be a chore – and it’s most enjoyable done together. When cooking or baking as a family, kids learn important skills, grow their passion for the culinary arts, and improve their confidence.  Take turns finding a fun recipe online or through a voice-enabled smart device… and then work as a team to bring the creation to the table (or, if it’s a delectable dessert, perhaps straight to your belly). Don’t forget: the main ingredient is always love.


Some video games only allow for a single player, but there are plenty of titles that were built for a multiplayer experience – including some that support four (or more) on a single split screen. Whether you’re firing turtle shells while sliding through a turn or belting out popular rock-n’-roll hits in a duet while your siblings jam on a guitar controller, you can have a night of good, clean family fun with a somewhat modest video game setup.

From dramas and comedies to romantic movies and documentaries, there's plenty of UP Faith & Family programs you can enjoy together.
From dramas and comedies to romantic movies and documentaries, there’s plenty of UP Faith & Family programs you can enjoy together.


When I was growing up, over-the-air programming was the main source of our household’s television entertainment. There were very few shows or movies that successfully brought the whole family together with compelling content that was suitable for all ages. Since my childhood, there has been an exponential growth in programs available (whether it be via cable or satellite TV or streaming services). However, an increase in quantity didn’t equate to an increase in quality. Many just aren’t worth watching… and fewer yet are something you’d want to expose your kids to.

The UP Faith & Family on-demand streaming service makes things a lot easier for parents looking for safe entertainment. In this case, don’t equate “safe” with “boring”. Subscribers can watch quality family dramas (like “Heartland”“Hudson & Rex”, and “Ties That Bind”) that will have viewers on the edge of their seats, laughing together… and perhaps even crying happy tears. UP Faith & Family also offers a large library of soul-stirring inspirational films, clean comedies, and romantic movies that are good for adults and kids alike – assuming the younger audience doesn’t mind a well-timed kiss. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up for a free trial and browse the extensive collection for a new favorite that can be at the center of your next family night – and many to come.