Kids don’t watch TV!

I found this comment from Alice Taylor, a Bafta award-winning gamer, very interesting.  It was during a panel discussion at Microsoft Soho Studios.  Kinect has recently added National Geographic and Sesame Street to the Xbox peripheral allowing children to be more interactive with the games.  They’re trying to move away from the Dora style attempt at interaction on TV, where she asks a question, pauses a moment and then applauds the child even if they get it wrong or have walked out of the room.

Ever since my daughter was little we’ve worried about the amount of TV she watches.  I remember sitting in the waiting room to see the health care visitor and chatting with a more experienced mother.  Embarrassingly, almost in a ‘holier-than-thou-new-mum’ type of way I professed that we restricted her TV watching to 30 minutes a day.  She looked at me in that ‘bless you’ type of way and said ‘don’t worry you’ll get over that’.  I have to admit that it’s been a slippery slope since and she watches more TV than I’d like her to.

However, I have absolutely no problem with my daughter playing games as long as there is some kind of educational content.  This may have something to do with me being an ICT consultant in education.  She’s been using my iPhone since she was two and flies around my Ipad.  I have more apps on it for her than myself.  I’m constantly amazed at the quality of ‘edutainment’ content that is out there.  As a parent, I have to say I’m more comfortable with her playing educational games than watching TV especially if they get her off the sofa jumping around.

However, it’s another thing for us parents to worry about.  I lump computers, Ipads, Smartphones and games consuls into one larger category which I call screen time and as a parent I’m going to do my best to try to balance these with playing outdoors, eating mud, cooking, crafting and socializing.

And when I come to think of it, I watch very little TV except the odd episode of Embarrassing Bodies or Strictly on the Weekend.  However, I spend far too much time on the PC but in my defence I’m not watching soaps or reality TV, I don’t knit and this is my hobby.  Unlike television where there is very little social interaction, as it’s a very passive activity, my online activities are very social and educational.  I spend most nights chatting with others via twitter/facebook, composing blog posts (hoping to engage others in discussion via comments) or commenting on others blogs, so I guess I’m not a crusty after all!

I’d love to hear your comments on this.  Does this worry you?  Do you allow your kids to play games?

Disclosure:  I was paid to attend this event

Our Royal Wedding Street Party

I don’t live on one of the prettiest streets but it’s one of the friendliest by far.  The mums have a Facebook Group, we often meet for drinks and a take-away in the evenings, when a new baby arrives on the street everyone swarms to give them a warm welcome, you can often see people chatting in the street and we do have a street party every year.  However, this year was even more special.

The men on the street, started to filter out onto the street at 8 am to help hang the 350m of bunting, erect the bandstand and sort out the tables.  The party kicked off around 1pm.  We had a band, a cake baking competition, which a couple of woman who have lived on the street for 50 years judged, a hat decorating contest for the kids, a giant ‘flip-flop’ piñata, pin the tail on the Corgi and a burly ex navy officer painted the children’s faces along with a few of the young at heart adults!  But for the most part the kids just loved running loose in the street, it took me back to the 70s.

It was an absolutely brilliant day, a great chance to catch up with everyone and meet a few new people.  I can’t wait till the Jubilee next year!

Funky Friday Give Away Entry!

I was a bit worried that I wasn’t going to be able to enter Noble Savage’s Funky Friday Give-Away for the chance to win Old school, vintage Sesame Street (select episodes from 1974-79) on DVD as all my photos of me growing up in the 70s are back in Canada.  But, then I remembered my aunt had sent me this photo a while back.  She’d just worked out how to use a scanner.

That’s me front row centre with the dodgy haircut, cheesy grin, and blue polka-dot polyester dress! I can still remember how it felt against my skin.   That’s my sister on the left with the matching dress but minus teeth!  My mum was always dressing us the same.  I don’t know exactly when the picture was taken but I’m guessing it was about 1976.  Check out the curtains in the background!

I grew up on Sesame Street and would love for my daughter to be able to experience the real Sesame Street and not this CGI crap!

And if that fails to impress here is a photo of me dressed up as Anni-Frid Lyngstad on my 27th Birthday!