Mar 16, 2017

What Makes Kids Go "Wow?" You Might Be Surprised

Kids have access to more technology than ever before.  They've never known a world without it.  Technology comes as naturally as breathing for them.  But something interesting is happening.  Kids have become so inundated with technology that the latest device doesn't wow them anymore.  Look what toy expert Chris Byrne says.

“Technology isn’t a wow anymore.  Play, and things that allow kids to express themselves, is a wow.”

An example of this is the change that has taken place at the New York toy fair over the last few years.  Just three years ago, the tech toys section was several aisles wide and was filled with robots, DIY kits, tablets, mobile apps, interactive dolls and more.  But now at the fair, you will find the tech aisle has been drastically downsized.

Why the shift?  Because kids and parents are not saying, "I want more tech toys."  Rather they are looking for products that facilitate what children have always loved to do.  Create.  Learn.  Explore.  Build.  That's what engages kids. 

Here's an example.  5-year-old Brianna is given a doll by her parents that has the latest technology embedded in it.  Since she's never known a world without technology, she isn't wowed by the technology of it.  What she wants to know is can she comb the doll's hair?  Can she take it take it swimming with her?  Can she push it in a stroller?  Can she have a tea party with it? 

This is good news for children's ministries.  Most ministries can't afford or get access to the latest and greatest technology to use for teaching kids about Jesus.  But that's okay.  They don't have to.  As long as they provide kids with opportunities to learn through hands on play, simple and interactive games, creative crafts and projects and active learning experiences, they will be able to engage kids and "wow" them.

This is not to say we shouldn't stay in the know about technology and use it when it is available, but it is to say that technology is not the end goal.  The end goal is to give kids the opportunity to learn through their own creativity and natural curiosity.  

And that's what parents desire as well.  When they pick up their child from your classroom, they are not thinking, "Did they wow my kid with the latest technology?"  Instead they want to know if their child was engaged and learned something about God.

Give kids the opportunity to create, learn, explore and grapple and you will "wow" them...whether it's through the latest technology or through a simple craft.

1 comments:

Dale, I love this post. I'm a grandmother who has a lot of "old" toys at her house. And kids love coming to my house. At first when I throw open the closet doors where all the toys are, kids kind of look stunned. I'll leave them alone and in a short while you can hear laughter coming out of that room. Next the little girls come out all dressed up and the boys want to show me how to spin something, or something they built with old, old legos or blocks. Stuffed bears get set up in a tea party. So much life living skills can take place when kids play. I'm not saying kids need to play at church necessarily but props and "play" can help teach many lessons from the Bible. Anyway thanks for sharing.

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