Category Archives: children’s play

Screenless playtime

We know the importance of managing a child’s screen time, but what about regulating the “screenless time” with AI? (artificial intelligence)

One of my grandsons loves to talk to Alexa. But I wonder what our little guy would be doing if he wasn’t spending time with this virtual friend.

Does his screenless time keep him from climbing the big tree in his backyard or playing with his little brother or reading a book?

We’re on the front edge of a new era in parenting.


Prioritizing experiences

This summer, super cool kids are defining themselves by what they do, not what they buy.

Experiences are the new social currency. That means money is going toward engagement-driven activities, not products. This is an especially valuable tidbit for parents who want tweens and not-yet-employed teens to come along on the family vacation.

Isolate and connect

We’ve all seen how tech can isolate: merely observe a family out to dinner “together,” when everyone is scrolling a screen.

But tech has become an essential connector, once kids get their first phone, about the age of ten. That’s when they start hanging out with friends in digital space.

Even though 8-12 year olds typically have a growth spurt, they’ll still recognize friends at school next fall with whom they’ve FaceTimed.

Now, if those tweens can just remember how to make eye contact and read body language…

Theme park connections

If your family is headed to a theme park this summer, be ready to meet the Internet of Things: robotics, virtual reality, facial recognition, bar codes, beacons, interactive bracelets and more for “frictionless fun”.

Rides and attractions are quickly upgrading to include the newest connected technologies. Will that help us forget about the increased entry fees?

Unbox for unplugged play

Summer schedules have historically offered relaxed opportunities for parents and kids to have fun together.

Ideally, we should be seeing an uptick in unplugged play. After all, millennial parents put nostalgic toys and traditional games under Christmas trees six months ago. Now, will those gifts actually be used?

Time to start unboxing!

Eatable art

This summer, museum exhibits are good enough to eat.

Foodies and kids will be especially pleased to sample art displays at some museums. Changing forever the notion that museums are stuffy and boring, edible art exhibits are attracting attention.

Look for special activities in children’s areas, too, with glow in the dark ice cream and invitations for kids to play with their food. Constructing works of art is especially fun when gummies and other candies are the ingredients.

Smart speakers, smart families

Moms and dads are using voice-activated speakers to help them parent.

Researchers say parents use smart speakers to make lists, manage the family calendar, check sports scores and search for information about local sites.

But smart speakers also fit into the daily routine for kids: they like listening to music and asking to hear jokes.

Sounds like kids already see the benefits of a digital assistant!