Simply Nerdy Mom: 4 Old-School Forms of Entertainment That You Should Definitely Introduce to Your Kids

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4 Old-School Forms of Entertainment That You Should Definitely Introduce to Your Kids

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Kids these days are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to the variety of entertainment options available to them. Instead of having to create their own magical worlds using sheer imagination, sticks, and pebbles from the garden, they can now disappear into photo-realistic videogame dimensions at a click, or stream their favorite cartoons at any time, day or night.


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There’s no doubt that a lot of these new entertainment forms are extremely engaging, exciting, and fun. But there’s a good deal of evidence that’s been emerging in recent years, to suggest that when kids (or even adults) spend too much time with these super high-tech forms of entertainment, they are at an increased risk of various behavioral disorders, including a vastly reduced attention span.

They may also just become desensitized enough to the exciting media, that the slower and more mundane pace of real life – even in exciting moments – fails to seem as appealing at all.

It’s not that you should never let your kids play a videogame, or that you should never take them to see a film. It’s mostly about being attentive, mindful, and balanced.

It turns out that there may be some real, substantial benefits to getting your kids familiar with some of the old-school forms of entertainment that you might have grown up with – or that your parents or even grandparents, might have grown up with.

Here are a few classic forms of entertainment that you should definitely introduce to your kids.


LEGO

LEGO is one of the most timeless, beloved, and universal children’s toys around, and benefits from not only being great for a kid’s imagination, but also being fun and challenging for people of all ages.

What’s more, LEGO comes in an extremely varied array of forms, with special packs being released on a regular basis, and all sorts of construction challenges remaining on offer, even decades after they were first introduced to the market.

A quick visit to LEGO Ways should be enough to give you a good sense of just how seriously LEGO takes its role in the children’s entertainment market.

The great thing about LEGO is that it’s the kind of thing that you can leave your child alone with (assuming they’re not too young, and at risk of swallowing pieces) and let them amuse themselves for hours by constructing their own bizarre monuments, houses, and more. Or, you could get them a specific LEGO kit, where the aim is to construct a small monument or figure, from scratch. Or, you could help them out and the two of you together could engage in a seriously ambitious castle construction.

LEGO can be as complex or as simple as you or your kids want it to be. It entertains while also engaging a child’s creative mind, and giving their analytical, problem-solving mind a good workout, too. And that’s very rare and valuable indeed.


Choose Your Own Adventure books

In the 90s and before, you could commonly find lots of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, either published under the “Choose Your Own Adventure” brand name, or as one of any number of similar offerings.

Choose Your Own Adventure books can be found in every genre, ranging from Westerns, to horror. The famous kids’ horror brand Goosebumps even released some of its own choose your own adventure material.

So, what are these “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, anyway, and what makes them special?

Well, the clue’s in the name. They are books – and tell a story like all fiction books do – but with a twist. Instead of just following a preset narrative arc all the way from beginning to end, these books would allow you to actively make decisions that affected the progress of the plot, and the fate of your protagonist. The books primarily did this by presenting you with choices at regular intervals, and then having you turn to different pages depending on the decisions you had made.

You can still find these books and similar ones, today – and a lot of the material is undoubtedly online. Get your children to play with a Choose Your Own Adventure book from time to time. They are a bit like video games, except with the individual’s imagination having a lot more to do with things.


Stamp collecting (and collections in general)

Alright, so first things first – it’s important to acknowledge that stamps aren’t exactly what they once were.

These days, fewer and fewer people communicate with each other on a regular basis by sending letters through the post, and most of what does get delivered is now in the form of packages, and ominous-looking letters from the government.
And yet, letters do still get sent, and all sorts of interesting stamps are still around. In fact, all sorts of interesting stamps still get printed specifically for their novelty.

Stamp collecting is a well-worn and more or less timeless hobby, that allows the collector to enjoy a slower and more reflective pace of life for a while, as they collect, steam off, and catalogue the latest acquisitions.

But if you don’t think that stamp collecting is a viable option for your kids, it is nonetheless worth getting them interested in starting collections of various sorts, in general.
A collection is something that you nurture over time. Something that you invest yourself in. A collection is something that develops attention and focus – and that can lead to a lot of fulfillment, as a result.


The new generation of board games


Board games, in general, are a great old-school kind of pastime for friends and relatives who want to have some fun while sharing a few laughs, and a bit of friendly competition, at the same time. While the classic board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo should definitely be things that you familiarize your kids with, however, there is also currently something of a boardgame renaissance going on, that’s certainly worth looking into, as well.

The new generation of board games – such as Terraforming Mars – are often deeply engaging, and complicated enough to keep teenagers and adults engage for hours, nevermind kids.

Then again, there are also shorter and punchier games such as Exploding Kittens, that nonetheless contain plenty of humor and fun.



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