We got a new game the other day. It's called Kan Jam Game Set. The game is played in teams of two. One person throws the Frisbee and that person's teammate tries to bat the Frisbee into a large can. It sounds simple, but it's a lot harder than it looks. Here's a picture to give you a visual:
We played a couple of rounds and had a great time. After we were done, I realized it's been a while since I simply played with my girls. It's been a while since we had days where we could take a few minutes just to play together.
My girls are past the age where they want me to have tea parties or play with toys with them. Most of their "playing" now comes in the form of the electronic devices that seem to be extension of their hands. As much as I try to keep up with the latest apps and the importance of selfies in the pre-teen and teen world, there's little interaction to be had in those games.
That's why when my daughter's soccer team gave me a gift card to a sporting goods store I knew I wanted to find a fun outdoor game we could play together this summer. I was looking for something to connect my family. I was looking for a way to cross the age gap between my girls and to give us an opportunity to have fun together as a family. I was also looking for something that would get the kids and their friends out of the house and into the yard.
As electronics seem to take over our world, it's important that we intentionally find ways to force our kids to connect with us and with their friends outside of the small screen on their phones. Whether it's walks after dinner with the family, a family board game night or a new yard game, we have to make the effort to pull our families away from the screens and into interactive activities. Because as much as technology connects us, it also can ruin personal relationships. We can rely so much on the technology that we lose the art of communicating in person.
With all the technology available to us today, it's easy for our kids to never learn the skills they need to communicate in person. It's easy for our kids to never understand how to communicate with God. You see, God doesn't text. He doesn't even have a phone line. He talks to us through the Bible (which we have to read). He listens to us when we talk to Him. By teaching our kids to create in-person human relationships, we're teaching them how to have a relationship with God as well.
As fabulous as all our technology gadgets are, we have to be intentional about not letting those gadgets steal the ability to create meaningful in-person relationships. We need to invest the time and the energy into modeling those relationships for our kids by making time to simply "play" with our kids.