Linking to wish lists

Did your child forward a holiday wish list to your phone?

Sending links to coveted Christmas gifts is coming naturally to the current generation of digi-kids. And marketers are responding.

Holiday ad budgets are being spent on Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps targeted to kids. Many of the ads are personalized with customized messages.

The shift to digital ads makes sense: nearly half of 10-12 year olds have their own smartphones.

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Piggy banks go digital

Recent research shows that children generate an average allowance of almost $9 a week from allowance.

Not only has the amount changed (upwards) but parents have gone digital. This makes it hard for young children, especially, to understand the “realness” of currency.

Instead of an app to teach money management, I still recommend the “save, spend, give” approach using three transparent containers, that involves multi-sensory learning. How else would kids experience the empowering jingle of coins in a pocket?

Shifts in the balancing act

“Bring a child to work” days have been transformed into co-working spaces everyday.

Growing awareness of equality in the workplace has forced companies to offer child-friendly environments for employees.

Amenities to foster a healthier workplace have gone beyond the early morning yoga classes and fitness center to include on site licensed childcare and such self-care services as laundry services and expanded healthcare.

The big “t” in STEM

Holiday shoppers looking for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) toys will discover interactive playthings have shifted in a couple of ways.

As the STEM market has matured and competition has increased, prices have gone up. Buyers will spend more, because many view STEM products as more than a toy. Developing core skills is seen as an investment in a child’s future.

Second, there’s a stronger overlay of technology. Science and math are still primary. However, because many parents anticipate that future jobs will require some tech aptitude, look for a stronger emphasis on games and toys to enhance technological skills.

Slamming shut the lockers

The sound of slamming lockers won’t echo in our kid’s memories. An increasing number schools are locker-free.

Instead, students at these schools are given low-cost Chromebooks
which allows access to all textbooks and library resources.

This also allows schools to eliminate labor-intensive security sweeps of lockers.

Kids cope with uncertainties

The uncertainties and fears of everyday life have triggered new attempts to help kids develop personal resilience.

This fall, some schools are prioritizing strategies to help students cope.

As a result, classroom breaks might include quiet music, a non-competitive game on the playground (even when it’s not PE!) or line-dancing. Some teachers pull out a joke book, merely to trigger laughter and a release of pent-up emotions.

Will it help children feel empowered to cope with life? It’s worth a try.

Fun and games

Playing together contributes to positive family life.

Researchers have documented that a family who plays is happier, feels more in touch with each other and is less stressed than those who don’t spend down-time together.

Perhaps this holiday weekend will offer opportunities for the fun and games that can raise the happiness quota for everyone.