Published on January 31st, 2024 | by Charlie Fletcher0
Tech-Free Family Fun: Rediscovering Screen-Free Entertainment with French Games
After a day of work and school, it’s good to get away from TV, tablets, and cell phones and spend quality time together. Screens have their purpose and can provide entertainment occasionally, but the only way to truly bond as a family and create lasting memories is to turn off the television and find other ways to have fun. Fans of French culture know that many entertaining games can exercise the mind and body, and they’re a blast to play.
Technology has evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, and now, people of all ages can spend hours watching movies, scrolling through social media, and playing video games. However, you mustn’t get carried away.
It’s far too easy to lose the connection with family when you’re all sitting around the television, not saying much to each other. Before you know it, time flies by, and those bonding opportunities could be gone. No doubt you care a great deal about spending time with your kids away from the mindlessness of screens. You have to find strategies to make time for your passions — such as scheduling blocks of screen-free time with your family each day.
It’s wise to get away from screens because, although they can be stimulating to an extent, sitting and staring at a TV or phone can get boring and pose risks to your family’s health. From a mental standpoint, boredom has been linked to depression, which can often be due to the lack of interaction. Boredom can also lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices and behaviors. Playing a video game for hours may seem fun, but over time, many people may add addictive or harmful substances to the mix because they need more stimulation.
That’s why parents need to show their kids that there’s fun to be had away from the screen, and if you want to get as far away as possible, go primitive camping. That’s when you take the kids to an isolated area away from the city and enjoy time together. There are plenty of wide-open spaces where the kids can run, breathe clean air, learn about new animal and plant species, and more.
Plus, you can teach your kids essential skills, like building a campfire or practicing first aid. It’s a good idea to bring at least one phone in the case of an emergency, but leave it in the car and instead spend time bonding with your family. Don’t forget to take a camping table to hold food and as a space to play French card games.
There are many fun, interactive, and tech-free French games that your family can enjoy while you’re out camping or in the backyard. The games here are entertaining, and they encourage movement.
One of the go-to games is petanque, which is similar to the game of bocce. The aim of the game is to be the first player to get to 13 points, which you do by throwing one of your balls closest to the target. You don’t want to throw the ball as hard as you can. Strategy is required, and you need to throw it just right. You can also throw your ball to hit an opponent’s ball out of the way.
Another fun game that will keep you moving is escargot, which is “snail” in French. It’s like hopscotch, but it’s a picture of a snail painted on the ground that’s divided into 15-20 squares. Then, players take turns hopping on the spaces on one foot until they reach the center. Once there, they can claim a square. Once a square is claimed, the other players must hop without touching it, or they lose a turn. This is a great game for kids and adults alike, and it will really get the blood pumping.
Remember that you don’t necessarily need to play a game to bond with the family. Instead, a nice walk through the forest or along the beach will keep everyone in shape while giving you all a chance to talk and connect.
Play Cards And Games
While getting out in nature and breathing fresh air is always a good idea, you don’t necessarily need to go on a grand adventure to enjoy screen-free French entertainment.
There are many fun games that you can play almost anywhere, including bilboquet, which is essentially the French version of cup and ball. You can buy an official bilboquet toy or simply attach a cup to the end of a stick and a ball to the end of a string. Then, you try to maneuver the stick and cup to catch the ball. While the game can be played solo, you can also turn it into a competition to see who catches the ball most often within a time limit.
A fun French card game to try is Mille Bornes, which means “a thousand milestones.” To play, you use a special deck of cards that fall under the following categories: remedies, hazards, safeties, and distance. The goal is to “drive” a certain distance via the cards as you try to avoid obstacles. The winner is the first to reach the number of miles you set at the start of the game.
There are also many other French card games to consider, including Jungle Speed, Kem’s, and Trictrac, which is a dice game similar to Backgammon. The games are a ton of fun, and you can play for hours.
There are many awesome games that will lure your family away from their screens while teaching everyone a bit about French culture. Whenever social or digital media seems to be taking over, turn off the television and unwind with these tech-free escapes.
Header Photo Credit: Tatiana Syrikova https://www.pexels.com/photo/cute-toddler-girl-playing-with-wooden-blocks-on-bed-while-mother-using-laptop-nearby-3975597/