Category Archives: children’s play

Birth of a new toy catalog

Kids who spent hours pouring over the annual Toys’R Us Big Book will soon have a new visual wish list.

Amazon is gearing up to print a holiday catalog to fill the gap. Look for the toy catalog at the end of this month in Whole Foods (conveniently owned by Amazon.)

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Ten days and counting

Nickelodeon’s 15th annual Worldwide Day of Play is scheduled for Saturday, September 29.

As usual, the kidcaster will suspend programming from noon to 3 pm (EST) to encourage health and wellness through play.

Play at the library

Trending at libraries this fall: a closer tie between play and literacy.

During the past few years, libraries have become re-imagined digital centers, but a new emphasis is to intentionally grow readers from the bottom up.

As fall schedules gear up, look for storytimes geared to 18-36 month olds. Activities will probably include puppets, flannel board, finger plays and more.

VR theme park

The 2018 vacation season is over, but if your family likes theme parks, you might want to plan a trip to China next summer.

The first theme park in the world to use virtual reality on all 35 rides opened recently in Guizhou, China.

And when you’re done with the spaceship tours and virtual roller coasters, your kids would love a stop at one of China’s thousands of VR cafes to play a video games.

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…