1 comment

  • Hey Sam -
    Good meeting you today.
    And yep, I hear you on this issue.
    I had to throw down the hammer once when my kids (2 boys about 2 years apart) misbehaved. I followed through with a threat to remove every toy from the house. The shock and crying was epic. But I’m not a mom to be trifled with. I left them with 1 “toy” that had a button or an arrow that would land on a U.S. state and there was a recording that identified the name of the state and the state capitol. The result: In just a few days my 4-year-old knew all 50 states and capitals, and they created elaborate games with a balloon, socks, and empty boxes.

    Not a result that would have been achieved if my kids had been immersed in technology, which makes me glad that my kids grew up before it was normal for every kid over 5-years-old to have a cell phone attached to their hand.

    Cell phones were becoming the norm for kids just before my kids started high school, so even though my kids eventually had phones, I still kept them engaged by playing games.

    For example, I found a game called Kwizniac, a trivia countdown card game. Some of the questions are hard, so only about half of the 200 cards were suitable, but I was fine with that because they were learning and playing at the same time. Plus I figured that I would eventually integrate the more difficult cards into the game as my kids got older, but I think I eventually lost the game.

    Anyway, we mostly played in the car on the way to or from sports practices and whenever we played, my kids totally ignored their phones. And when we arrive at our destination, my kids always said, “One more, just one more,” and we end up sitting in the car just to keep playing the game.

    When we didn’t have anything, there was always the alphabet game, where we picked a letter and then took turns naming athletes, U.S. states, or countries that start with that letter until there was a winner.

    Also fun is electronic classroom Jeopardy. It can be buggy, but when it works, it’s magic because it hooks up to your TV and kids get buzzers like the game on TV. The game sells preprogrammed cartridges, but if you buy blank cartridges, you can create custom games with fun or educational topics, like Spongebob trivia, sports nicknames, or a geography category of family vacations.

    This game kept my kids excited to “play” without realizing they were also learning, and the educational questions they didn’t answer resurface in later games until they finally knew the answer. At the end of the game, we had a little plastic trophy that I found in a dollar bin at Target that we put over the winner’s name on the game board, and my kids acted as if they just won an Olympic gold medal.

    So all this to say, I’m really glad I didn’t surrender my kids to technology and I prioritized playing board games, card games, and word games because my kids almost always (sometimes to my regret when my youngest pulls out Twilight Imperium) choose playing games and personal interaction over technology.

    Just my 2 cents and I’m glad I met you today. Great blog.



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