I am scouring the Internet to find gifts outside the box!
(X-box, Play Station, Wii).
HERE is a link that will take you to my posts
about Inspiring Gift Ideas.
I have a philosophy about too much "gaming time". And let me disclose for the record- I am not ANTI Video Games. I just think MODERATION is important. I believe learning how to MANAGE YOUR TIME is needed.
So we have an Xbox. There are some benefits to video games. My brother, who is a doctor, says in medical school it was obvious the people who had games and who did not growing up. The medical students who DID - were able to maneuver the tools for surgeries involving - going into someones body with a probe. All those fine motor muscles in their hands, fine tuned already by using game controllers. There is a dexterity you develop- that is hard to develop any other way. That is just ONE benefit.
We have the Kinect- added to our Xbox. Now that we live in a snowy state- I love that my boys can still get moving- jumping, running in place, swinging, etc... by playing these games. There is a cute game I bought a few years ago for my preschool son who loved to dance. The songs are popular kids songs: Our version has Insy Winsy Spider, Jingle Bells, London Bridge, etc... and then many other popular songs. What I love is you can set a time limit (I usually do 20-30 min, make sure they get a work out.) AND you can set skill level! (So all the songs selected have dance moves he can do- and not get frustrated and quit.) Select START- and off he goes! There are kids dancing-- doing appropriate moves. They have boys and girls dancing.
SO- I want to make it clear. I am NOT anti Xbox.
Having said that- my philosophy about too much gaming is:
Kids today lack confidence. So many are stressed out and depressed. WHY?
There are probably a lot of factors.
But life isn't harder.
I think growing up in the Depression would be hard.
I think growing up during WW1 or WW2 would be hard.
I think growing up where you had to cut wood for your fire and grow your own food- would be hard.
Life has always been "hard".
But I do think life is different. Our children spend so much time in a virtual world- they don't gain real life experience that helps them build confidence in themselves to solve problems, do hard things, and gain confidence in their abilities.
For example: A child who builds his own dog house.... ( or any real/tangible/hands on experience)
and SATISFACTION, etc.. etc.. than the child who takes care of a virtual "pet" or reaches level 120 in some game.
Here my son was about 10 years old. We didn't even have a dog at the time- but boy did he want one! (read here) He was bored with nothing to do and I suggested he build something. He was working with just scrap wood we had. A neighbor saw his project and donated some additional ply wood for the tops and sides. We ended up getting a dog- about a year later.
So THAT is my goal this year- is to buy gifts that will inspire them. Help them DO. Gain some confidence, learn something NEW about themselves. Interact with people! (Face to face)
It's a long shot.. (lol) but a worthy goal to strive for!