Man caves and she sheds have been hot trends for years, but one of the best things to do with an extra room is to create a special place the whole family can enjoy. This is especially true as kids spend more and more time on their phones, and let’s face it, kids aren’t the only ones who are addicted to their screens.
Creating a gadget- and TV-free room results in a space where family members talk and interact together. Here are some tips to create this special room:
Decorate with comfort: This isn’t a fancy room, so pick furniture that’s comfortable and fun. A nice couch and bean bag chairs are a good start. Make sure the room is well lit and has lots of shelves. Hang up fun posters and family photos.
Add reading material: A spare room is a great place to encourage reading. Get a bookshelf and start with picture books and chapter books for the youngest members of your family. Set aside a time where you read to your kids and make it special by including cookies or a healthy snack. Also add graphic novels and young adult books for older kids.
Set the scene with music: The idea is to keep gadgets out of this room, so that includes music streaming, too. You probably have a box of CDs somewhere, so put them to use by buying a CD player. And vinyl records are growing in popularity, even with young people. Buying a turntable isn’t just hip, it creates opportunities for the family to buy records together, either online or at a record shop, if there’s one near you.
Games and puzzles: If your family doesn’t play board games, you might be surprised at how much fun they are. Set up a table for games, and find options for people of all ages — Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders for little kids, Monopoly, Clue, Life, and Sorry! for the whole family. Aside from those classics, there are all sorts of fun games to try like Ticket to Ride, where players establish railroad lines across the board, Wingspan, a hot new game that’s easy to learn, and Sherriff of Nottingham, a fun social game with lots of bluffing. Puzzles are another great option for fun family time, especially since you can find puzzles for people of all ages in all sorts of themes.
Bottom line, the family that plays together, stays together.