Ditching the device: 10 essential tech-free pastimes

If you're reading this, the chances are you've tried going cold turkey on your electricals before and found it tough. Well, fear not, there are ways to ensure both you and your kids are engrossed in a scene, and not in your screen this summer.

1. Pottery

With pottery classes, you'll be learning a craft, making useful things and, most importantly, all getting far too mucky to get near a touch pad or keyboard.

2. Learning an instrument

You'll need focus and fancy fingerwork to take up a musical instrument. And you probably won't hear your phone even if it does ring.

3. Mountaineering

Not only will you be getting exercise and fresh air, long walks into the countryside with your family are a great way to escape the invisible tendrils of the mobile network. And if you're climbing, you won't want to be answering your mobile anyway. Unless you have a hands-free kit and a lot of faith in your balance.

4. Potholing

If you still can't keep your hands off your phone, try exploring Britain's vast and exciting cave networks. You're guaranteed to get no signal there.

5. Bird watching

If you've spent several hours waiting for a bittern to emerge from the dense reeds of the marshland you've been staking out for hours, the last thing you want is a ringtone to frighten it off.

6. Meditation

Whether you contact your local Buddhist centre or pick up a book on Mindfulness, the trend that's sweeping the City, setting time aside for meditation means spending devoted periods away from your devices. And if it works, you'll feel much more calm, and 'in the moment'.

7. The theatre

If you need something to engage you in your free time, the theatre is a great way to get your entertainment fix without facing a screen. And the strict 'no phones' policy makes transgressions a tricky business. If you get really serious about it, you could even try a bit of Am Dram.

8. Pub quizzes

Joining a pub quiz, or one in any venue for that matter, is another way to put yourself in an anti-technology straight-jacket. Any hint of a phone or a tablet and you're disqualified. Plus you get to do some real life socialising, and you might even win a prize!

9. Sailing

Electronics and water do not mix. Even waterproof smartphones aren't so effective when they're on the seabed. What's more, you'll be far too busy balancing, knotting ropes and swinging the boom to get tap happy with apps. So join a sailing club and you'll find yourself immersed in fresh air instead of Facebook in no time at all.

10. Historical reenactments

Carrying an iPad would ruin the authentic feel of a mediaeval ruckus. But you'll get to wield a sword and shield instead, which is much cooler. Check Historic UK for events near you, or Clash of Steel for more hands-on activity groups.

If you're worried about the cost of all these pastimes, try using our free money management software to keep track of your finances. It puts all of your income and outgoings into a single, easy to use interface, so you can see whether your decreasing data usage will cover the costs of your new passions.

If you've got any other tips for ditching the devices this summer, let us know in the comments below!

Posted by Money Dashboard

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