The Screen Time Dilemma

I Became Obsessed with Creating a Hands-on/Screen-Off Collaborative Technology Experience for my Kids.

There’s a long list of topics that you only think about as a parent. The amount of time my children spend sitting in front of a screen has moved to the top of that list.PixiSchoolKids2

When the research community talks about excessive screen time with kids, they use terms like sensory overload, lack of restorative sleep and hyper-arousal of the central nervous system. Your child’s sensory system is overloaded while they’re getting no physical activity. We’ve all the seen the zombie look on their faces as they stare at the screen, and the anger they experience when finally pulled away. We are simply exposing them to a set of stimuli that they’re not equipped to deal with. It has become a serious concern for us as parents, and our friends. We’ve all been struggling with how to handle it.

Here in lies the dilemma: How do we prepare our kids for a world dominated by technology without overloading their delicate brains?

There’s a big difference between consuming technology, and using it to create. Those who can use it to create will have a distinct advantage and find themselves well equipped to thrive as the world becomes ever more dominated by tech. For younger kids, creating means hands-on experience. Children have an insatiable desire to understand how the world works and “hands-on” allows them to do that while becoming little technologists.

Kids engage in play with the same intensity we engage in work.DaughterPixi

It’s not enough to give a young child a pile of gears and expect them to engage. With Pixi Kits our goal was to capture their imaginations with endearing characters and a fantasy world they would find irresistible. We partnered with an Emmy award winning animator who made his name creating characters that kids love. When combined with the expertise of one of the best design firms in the world, we ended up with toys that teach robotics, electronics, anatomy and engineering and do it in a fun way while giving them a sense of compassion. The engagement has been tremendous and it’s amazing what kids accomplish when in a state of play.

The issues we all face are complex. The devices that provide fun, education and streams of information, also present a host of potential dangers. We all want to give our kids the best tools possible to learn and grow in a world of technology. With Pixi Kits we made it a core mission to give them those tools in a fun, safe way that they will find highly engaging.

Pixi Kits launched a Kickstarter campaign on Feb. 3rd and is trying to gain enough traction to bring their products to market. Those who offer financial support will receive one of the first robotic bunnies and have the satisfaction of helping to bring an exciting product line to life. The campaign can be found on Kickstarter.

Guest post by: Lee Middlekauff is a father of 8-year-old boy/ girl twins and lives in Denver, Colorado. He works as a business analyst during the day and has been toiling away on Pixi Kits, after hours, for the last two years.