Do you know this family? Everyone seated at the dinner table, food served, yet all are so absorbed in whatever is happening on a palm-sized electronic screen, they have not spoken to each other for 15 minutes. If this sounds all too familiar, consider these suggestions for rediscovering face-to-face communication.
WORK IT OUT
Lock yourself in a room with people upon whom you now have to rely on to "escape." What better way to have to communicate? So there's a little yelling involved, but also a lot of laughs (we hope). Choose from one of three themes, like the dreaded Detention Room. $15/person • Key Quest Escape Room • 202 W. Second
ADOPT A RESCUE ANIMAL
Every family member will have to work together to care for Fido or Fifi or Spam the hamster, and working on a responsible pet care plan requires everyone's input and commitment. Bonus points for older pets, like 8-and-a-half-year-old Tessa, that are typically more settled (and cheaper) to adopt. $0-$175 • Spokane Humane Society • 6607 N. Havana
The family that plays together, stays together, right? Plan your outing: bowling, climbing, golf, bumper cars and more at Triple Play, not including the adjacent waterpark, Raptor Reef. You'll probably want your phones back, but just to snap some pix of all the fun you're having... together. Passes starting at $36/person, less for individual attractions • Triple Play • 175 W. Orchard, Hayden
The problem isn't new technology; it's how we interact with it. And if living in FOMO (aka, fear of missing out) can be learned, it can be unlearned. Make being fully present with each other — take a walk, play cards, make art together, visit other families — a priority, using a 12-month desk calendar (not new, but tried-and-true technology) to help you share information. $11 • Vanderford's Book & Office Products • 201 Cedar, Sandpoint ♦