If you really want to grasp how little time today’s kids
have, just take a look at this well-meaning webpage from
PBS Kids. Entitled “Time
Management: Make a Daily Schedule,” it
shows a child how to set goals and plan a schedule with an eye toward “time
wasters,” something I did not feel I had to learn until my early 30’s.
Remember when being a kid was all about time without
borders, life without worry and fun without goals? Well, those times are obviously gone.
Between school, heavy homework assignments; organized
sports; play groups; meals; television and computer time, when do kids actually
play? It would appear that play takes
place “in-between.” It’s that time in
the backseat of the car going from overscheduled place to place; in a fast food
restaurant between bites of Chicken McNuggets and surreptitiously when no adult
It’s this nature of play, play on the go and out of sight
that lends itself to tablets and cell phones.
Think about it, oversized toys and games with lots of pieces just don’t
travel well. Just try taking Playdoh
Lego in the car.
Is it any surprise that digital play platforms, inconspicuously
hidden in pants pocket or secreted in a Mom’s pocketbook have become the
platform of choice for kids and their parents.
They are instantly accessible, provide a wide breadth of choices and don’t
make a mess for busy parents to have to clean.
This is the arena in which
everyone in the business of play competes.
Are you building portability and simplicity into your toys and games?