How to Host a Device-Free Gathering

Summer is here! This season feels like a natural invitation to gather, whether that be around a sprinkler in your front yard or enjoying popsicles on the back porch. In an effort to maximize memory making and minimize screentime, we are giving you a few tips on how to host a device-free gathering. These suggestions can be applied whether it’s the neighborhood kids coming over for a casual hangout, or you’re hosting a big summer birthday bash.

Make it clear.

Share your device-free message clearly and punctually. This means including your plans for tech use on the invitations so people know exactly what to expect.

Have a plan for communication.

Be sure to communicate how kids can reach their parents if they need to. For example, you could say something like this: “We’re looking forward to our get together. Just a quick note to let you know phones will be in a basket, collected at the beginning of the party. If the kids need outreach you, they can come to the station and use their phone.”

Be open to conversation.

If you haven’t hosted or attended a device-free gathering, it can be intimidating take the first step in that direction. You may get questions or push back, but chances are most parents wish there were more device-free opportunities for their kids. Be willing to address any questions and concerns with understanding, and remember the magic that happens when kids are given the chance to connect in real life without digital distraction.