Concerns over kids and screen time versus play time are legitimate. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 17.0% of youth ages 10 to 17 had obesity in 2020-2021. That rate has increased slightly from 15.5% in 2018-19, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet it’s pretty plain that the screens aren’t going anyway. Educators and parents need to figure out ways to work around the devices and get kids moving.
Playscapes Founder and CEO, Pamela Gunther, has some suggestions. In this conversation, she breaks down the various scenarios schools face when trying to get students up, out, about and goes into some other ideas about how technology can encourage activity, not sap them from it. Have a listen and scroll through for some edited highlights:
In the work that we do, which is to design and develop physical activities for kids, there are a couple of different ways we get inspired. And how we approach and develop our products. First of all, it’s got to be fun. It’s got to be colorful. It’s got to work and when I mean work, it’s a lot of our products are backed by science-based movements, movements that hit particular parts of the brain.
There are some things in life that you can’t quantify, but you know you want to qualify and to have engaging graphics that speak to kids For example hopscotch. We’ve got 12 different hopscotch. When I was growing up, Hopscotch was simple. It was one to 10 and it was squares and it was white lines that the parking lot striper put down in their spare time with extra paint. Numbers and squares. We approach it with a much different, more creative, approach. We have Daisy House gotchas and skyscraper hopscotches with lots of different colors. They’re not going to use something if it doesn’t look good. This generation is very visual. They are used to that stimulus on their phones. They want that color, they want that high design. And you know what we’re going to we’re going to do whatever we can to pull them off those devices to get them to move and color and graphics is what we’ve got—to wow those kids. Because that’s what we’re up against.
We’re continuing to produce a lot more products for schools and resources. We have an active blog. We’re constantly putting out content about the health and wellness of children in and out of schools. We’ve also looked at our older kids, as well as our seniors and active adults, and they need the same thing. They were isolated it as well. Call us. We’re actually an actual person. We’ll pick up the phone 800-681-0684. Or they can visit our website at fit and fun plays skates.com and we are on pretty much all social media channels. We’ve been here for 12 years. We’ll be here for another 12 at least.