Technology toys for children

nbruce writes "How would children survive without all the techie toys we think they need? Apparently they'd return to just being kids again. Click on the comments of the teens and children who were isolated from everything familiar during their 4 months on Colonial House (PBS, May 17, 18, 24, 25).

Here are the comments of just two. David Wyer, age 9, said, "I thought I would really be bored in the Colony without modern toys and entertainment. But when I got there I found all kinds of neat things to do. My friends and I went exploring every day and had adventures. I miss the rabbit tunnels we crawled through and played in. I also felt really proud of myself when I cut down trees and chopped firewood for my family."

His 17 year old sister, Amy Wyer, said, "I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being away from modern-day technology. I expected to really miss TV and radio but once I returned home, I realized that not only had I not missed them, but had never really even thought about them. Once home, I actually found the noise kind of irritating. I missed sitting around with my friends in the evening visiting and laughing together. While there, I came to appreciate that when it comes to 'things,' with less you receive more."

It’s not such a leap to wondering if we're really helping children by making "information toys" so accessible and indispensable in our public libraries."

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Reading

I worked one summer in the woods of Maine as a forest ranger. I was in a mountain valley that had no radio reception. Also, the cabin I was in had no power. This eliminated tv and radio and electric lights. In the evening I would turn on a gas light and sit in the office and read. In one summer I read about thirty books. I read the enire Foundation series by Asimov and the entire Robot series by Asimov. I also remember reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" that summer. It is amazing how much you can read with no television or computer to distract you.

Boxes

My kids will always be more thrilled with a big box than what comes inside it. Come to think of it, it's the same for my cats. Since my kids are no longer wee toddlers, I've had to buy bigger and bigger things to keep them box happy--refrigerators, washing machines and earthmoving equipment.

Mickey better watch out...

My stepson favorite vacation ever was when we went to the ocean in Rhode Island for a week with no tv, television, videogames, etc. All he did was play bumperpool, catch crabs and swim in the ocean. He was just like the kids in the show - he complained at the beginning but by the end he totally loved it.

yes but how?

I absolutely agree with all-of-the-above but I don't see us providing rabbit tunnels for kids to play in.

When you're in one environment you are one way, when you're in a different environment you act a different way. We are stuck in the more tech-oriented environment.

Its not enough to just say "read!". And I dont see a way to create a tech-free environment unless you had one day a week when you shut off all the computers. Can you imagine?!

Re:yes but how?

"Can you imagine?!"Every single day I imaging a week when I shut off all the computers!

Re:yes but how?

But now we all know where you live. We'd hunt you down and force you to reinstate our LISNews access!


Of course, I spend a week every summer with no computer, television, or telephone. I do more reading during that week that I do for most of the rest of the year.

Re:Reading

The adults of the Colony seemed to have a harder time--all sorts mini-rebellions. Hello! You don't have underwear and you're complaining about keeping your head covered! Get a grip, lady.

A Day without Tech

You know....this is a brilliant idea, Greg. For libraries who are strapped for funding, they could prove their value and importance by having a Day without Tech.

Last week we had a couple of Days without Patrons, while we had some HVAC work done and stacks moved and it was pretty darn fun. If we had a Day without Tech, I know our door count would make it almost a Day without Patrons. Let's start a movement!

ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

wouldn't that be counterproductive if the purpose is to promote the absense of tech as opposed to the loss of it?

Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

My ADHD brain makes big leaps, but doesn't always make it across the chasm. Brainstorms turn into brain farts. I'll just settle for a Day without Tech. I still think there's a brilliant idea in there somewhere, regardless of the end result. I promise to share any royalties with your for any t-shirts, bumperstickers, bookmarks, or feature films that come from Day Without Tech.

$$$$Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

Now you're talking.

Isn't there some program that tries to get people to go a week without TV?

Maybe something along that lines. Not that long though.

Re:$$$$Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

I think you're referring to "Turn Off TV Week," promoted by Adbusters.It's always scheduled before May sweeps ... just when new programming starts to show up again after the spring re-run thaw. So, I'm starting small by swearing off whole channels (WB & UPN, I'm looking at you ...).

Re:$$$$Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

Do I get bonus points for not owning a TV? I get to watch some on the weekends when I'm house sitting, but other than that I don't miss it at all.

Now, a week without access to the internet would be tough. I've done three months of no access, but that was back in my online infancy when it didn't hurt has much and spam was a relatively new concept.

Re:$$$$Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

Yes, we'll give you bonus points, but only if you don't roll your eyes and say, (tongue click) "I don't watch tv," when patrons ask you if you saw something on tv last night. ;-) I've seen it happen.

Re:$$$$Re:ummmm Re:A Day without Tech

Nah... I just give them a blank look and say I missed that show. I keep up on what's the latest thing on TV thanks to the media infiltration into news and culture.

I can totally relate!

I can relate to the older sister who said, "... I expected to really miss TV and radio but once I returned home, I realized that not only had I not missed them, but had never really even thought about them. Once home, I actually found the noise kind of irritating...."
When I was in college I went on a sort of "holier than thou" mission of NOT watching TV at all! All I did was read or take walks and listen to music on my headphones.
I can completely validate this girl's reactions b/c when I went home after that time at school and tried to watch TV, I found out I could literally NOT sit through a sitcom! They were so boring and mindless and truly ANNOYING! It is amazing what you just "get used to." I think that the brain actually adapts to these types of things, i.e., watching TV (just letting images, etc. flow in) or being active, i.e., reading, thinking, etc. My brain was trained away from the passive pose and into the active and there is a noticeable and big difference when you try to go back.

and bubble wrap

Kid nirvana.

Re:and bubble wrap

Kid? more like adult nirvana!

A Day without Tech

I've decided I'm going to share the idea with some co-workers and the director. We're working on promoting the databases we have a lot more then what we do so some balance isn't out of the question. I think next year's National Library Week would be a reasonable goal. Have it on a Saturday, do lots of promotion so everyone knows about it. Shut off all the computers (except staff checkout stations and book catalogs) rope off the video section and cds, and even disconnect the public wireless access. Have a cookie and brownie table, some read-aloud times for the kids, and all available staff will be on the floor for Reader's Advisory purposes.

I think everyone will look at me like I'm nuts but its worth putting out there.

Re:A Day without Tech

Okay...so you'll owe me a percentage....;-)

% Re:A Day without Tech

I'll send you a brownie...

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