This year, we have been online more than ever. Or so it seems. Maybe it’s because of online learning, or working from home, or just because we need to let our kids play a few extra video games during this stressful time. Whatever the reason, we understand (and have no judgement if screen time has gone up in your home too!)
We also know that getting offline as a family can be a fun way to spend time together, get a much needed screen break, and relieve some stress that parents and kids are all feeling. I know I am looking for new ways to step away from the computer and get the kids to do the same, especially with the nicer weather here.
It can sometimes feel like a battle to convince the kids to put down their favourite game, but what if we incorporate elements of those games into activities we can do that are also creative and get us moving?
Here are some ideas on how to play video game-inspired activities offline.
For fans of Among Us
When I first played Among Us with my family, I fell in love with it. It was simple, ridiculous, strategic and calculating all at once. But it was hard not to draw the parallels with a game we played in school many (many) years ago. Take Among Us offline with this deceptive in-person game (note: it works best with many players!)
Here’s how to play:
One person is the ‘it’ person who you select anonymously (by drawing names for example). Then, the players walk around shaking hands with others. The ‘it’ person discreetely uses two fingers in their handshake pressed against a wrist to indicate that they have ‘gotten’ the other person. They’ll want to hide this and be selective when they use it because once they get someone, that person is out and drops to the ground. If others can guess who is it, the game is over.
For fans of Minecraft
While the Creepers might be harder to duplicate, one of the highlights of a game like Minecraft is the building element. Gathering supplies, and creating structures, are really part of the Minecraft appeal. Invite kids offline using LEGO, Duplo, or even outdoor materials like rocks and pieces of wood to build and create.
Turn the building into a competition to see who can build the tallest tower out of their materials, or the most stable bridge! Get creative with what can be used to build, or send everyone on a scavenger hunt to gather their supplies – just like in Minecraft!
For fans of Mario Kart
This will forever be my favourite game, and I love that so many kids get to continue racing their cars all over Mario Kart tracks while avoiding getting a shell thrown at them with every new version Nintendo launches. Offline, there are many ways to incorporate that same Kart feeling and intensity that we love. For example, you can set up a track using remote control cars and include some obstacles along the way to challenge the racers.
Or, ditch technology altogether and pull out the cardboard boxes to create your own personal Karts. Decorate them and then set up an obstacle course to run around and try to get to the finish line. If you want to dodge shells like the real game, incorporate some dodgeball elements at the same time!
Create Your Own
Ask the kids what their favourite game is and work together to develop your family’s own offline version of it. They will love getting involved, and everyone is bound to have some ideas on what their favourite elements of their game are that can be duplicated in some way off screen.
With a little creativity, your family can step away from the screens, even if briefly, to come together for some offline game-inspired fun.
Rebecca Stanisic is a freelance writer and digital content creator. She’s been blogging on her website, A Little Bit of Momsense, since 2009 and for almost as many years has helped fellow bloggers and small business owners create and curate relevant digital content for their own businesses. She’s the proud mom of two and is fuelled by fiction and coffee.