Holiday

Technology can enhance family holiday traditions

Posted December 5, 2015

Computer drawing and assembly programs allow even the young to get creative with holiday decorations.

The winter months come with many gifts to wrap and unwrap, parties to plan, family-style meals to whip up -- the list goes on. Now more than ever, technology can help us get creative with how to make time with family more meaningful, and then help us capture all the fun so the memories last far longer than just a moment.

Here’s how to get started.

Make Things to Share

Interactive computers such as Sprout by HP are recreating what it means to make things by merging the physical and digital worlds. Sprout is what HP calls an Immersive Computer; it comes with a touch screen, touch mat, overhead projector, HD camera and 3D scanner.

With Sprout, you can grab holiday-inspired items -- like holiday wreaths or jingle bells -- and easily scan them into the device. There are several different free apps available that can help you create, learn, interact and share.

Do-It-Yourself Decorating

If you’re in the mood to get crafty with the family, you can make non-traditional items such as garlands out of leftover sprinkles from holiday baking. JoJotastic.com blogger, Joanna Hawley, doesn’t throw away leftover ingredients; instead she recycles them for a decorating project. Take her lead by throwing some sprinkles on the touch mat to scan, print and cut the images into your favorite shape. Then, tie each piece to ribbon and voila, festive garlands to hang on the wall for any holiday party!

Beat Holiday Boredom

Spending time at home can be a nostalgic, cheerful experience. But between baking pumpkin muffins and holiday shopping, there are bound to be stretches of free time -- especially for the kids. Borrow a few tips from LunchboxDad.com blogger, Beau Coffron, who uses creative holiday boredom busters to keep the kids busy! Like Beau and his family, you can explore apps like Crayola DJ to brighten up a chilly winter day. The kids will love interacting with the projected turnstiles on the touch mat to show off their musical skills.

Direct a Family Video

Give the traditional family video a new twist by recording quirky moments and piecing them together on apps like Video Capture. Lunchbox Dad likes the eye-catching DreamWorks Story Producer app that lets you create and direct your own How to Train Your Dragon animated film. You can even choose the difficulty level. Try challenging the family to see who can get the fastest time!

Don’t Forget To Share

When used imaginatively, technology can unite the family to inspire new, meaningful traditions.

Celebrate your creations on social media by sharing the hashtag #GoMakeThings and see what others have created with family this holiday season!

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