The evolution of toys

Newsletter by Family Graffiti | Published on 15th May 2018

Play is the most natural way for our kids to learn. It gives them time to process complex social situations and their feelings. It allows children to explore and role play different outcomes and reactions in a safe environment. It's an exploration activity... 'what happens if I?'. 

Play allows a child to externalise their feelings and explore their surroundings, so as games and toys become more digital and less physical how is this impacting our children psychologically?

 

The evolution of Toys...

How will technology shape the future of kids toys?
It's very likely, if not a certainty, that toys will continue to evolve digitally. With technologies such as augmented reality developing at such a speed, it probably won't be long until our children's toy room contains no physical toys at all - except for perhaps a controller and screens. 

In 2018 more and more children are turning away from books, cars, dolls and Lego and instead playing Minecraft, roblox and reading books from their iPads. They are spending more time on social media sites, watching vloggers on YouTube and exploring their identity and social outcomes more instantly in our digitally connected world. But, alongside this instant communication comes new forms of bullying, anxieties and self esteem issues. Have our kids got the psychological tools to deal with this kind of interaction at just 8-12 years old? 

Generally speaking, it can be said that technological toys have both a positive and a negative impact on children.

Most future careers will involve the use of a computer, and the skills our children are picking up today - creating their own videos, building games, making animations and learning website coding are preparing our children for their future profession. 

Minecraft vs Lego?... Not only are children able to create entire worlds, structures and civilisations with infinite blocks but our Children are also learning which materials are best for building structures and how to combine different elements to create more useful objects. They are building strategies for survival, developing an outstanding hand eye coordination and logical thinking...

But, of course, we also recognise that gaming has psychological affects on children's moods and behaviours but understanding these complex new interactions and psychological demands from these new types of 'toys' is the key to avoiding the tantrums, aggression, addictions and isolation that gaming can induce in children.

So, how do we allow our children to take the best of what gaming has to offer and reduce the emotional strain and behaviours at the same time?

Ultimately, we can't stop our children from being exposed to this technology, even schools have iPads and free computer time. Instead, we need to teach our kids and give them the right psychological tools to cope with the affects of gaming and the new advanced technologies. 

 
Can you relate?

 

The kids pile into the house after school, you’ve only been home two minutes and already your son is asking if he can play on his console.

You ask him to check his homework diary first and he begrudgingly agrees. He’s tapping his fingers on the table and can’t seem to sit still, it’s impossible to hold his attention and he doesn’t want to talk about his day.

Eventually you give in and let him escape upstairs, he closes his door and you don’t hear a peep from him until dinner time.

You call him down for dinner, but he never answers first time. Eventually you send his little brother up to ask him to join you for dinner but (as per usual) there is shouting and an aggressive reaction.

At dinner time he is quiet, fidgety and you can tell his mind is elsewhere, his reactions seem defensive and it feels like he’d rather be anywhere (upstairs on his game ideally) than sat with the family.

Normal teenage behaviour right?

Maybe not… 


Our online eWorkshop 21st Century Parenting – Gaming explores how gaming affects a child psychologically and is packed with step-by-step techniques and solutions for curbing the unwanted behaviour and equipping your child with the tools they need to navigate the online world.

Login to read the entire article