Hey kids – log off and have fun!

UGC Columnist Graeme Tidd is an education business manager who lives in Sheffield and runs the Sheffield Kids website
UGC Columnist Graeme Tidd is an education business manager who lives in Sheffield and runs the Sheffield Kids website
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If the history of the Earth was condensed into 24 hours, humans have only been in existence for 60 seconds.

Civilisations have risen and fallen via the relentless evolution of technology, fuelled by a star that will one day die. We will have left our planet behind long before the sun collapses – if we survive.

In the meantime can we please let our kids have a little more fun?

I grew up in Scarborough and spent a lot of time at Mr Marvel’s fun park, clambering over large fibreglass dinosaurs and paddling in volcanic moats. Growing up was a blast; Kinderland’s ball pools, Water Scene’s long slides and the Tree Walk’s flea circus –now replaced by wasteland and apartments. Yet now there are more children, with a thirst for entertainment no different to ours.

Is playtime passing? My children were born in Sheffield and I am thankful for what this wonderful city has to offer. The council does a good job of maintaining our many outdoor spaces and there is a good variety of entertainment. But we could do more.

I hope we don’t one day wake to see playgrounds with children fused to sofas and screens. If you’re not aware of the problem society faces withchildren and adults alike being too engrossed in their mobile devices, you’re probably one of them. We addictively and often pointlessly toy with our phones, only emerging to undertake a task that requires the use of both hands. Cue the loom band. This week, my five year old daughter opted to play with loom bands rather than an iPad. The celebrations are still ongoing. Ironically, we have used the iPad to watch videos showcasing loom band techniques, she now spends time creating designs, working with her hands and gets pleasure making things for others. Don’t get me wrong, she is very active, but the tech was encroaching on basic activities, such as talking.

Some teachers are banning loom bands. Wouldn’t it be better to learn from the latest crazes? Look up Sir Ken Robinson’s video on TED: How Schools Kill Creativity. Creativity, freedom and fun create experiences, happiness and memories. That’s something we shouldn’t let slide.

e woriah.