UK Children’s Library Attendance Is Down

From the Bookseller post:

According to a new report from the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the number of children visiting libraries in the country has fallen to 70 percent. This is a seven-percent decrease from the five-year period measured before. Said Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency: “This report raises a lot of questions about the value people find in libraries and we need to keep on encouraging parents and carers to take children to visit the library.”


Roald Dahl’s Gruesome Twosome The Twits Return In New Children’s App

From The Guardian article:

One of the most dysfunctional couples in the history of children’s fiction, The Twits, are starring in a new children’s game for smartphones and tablets.

Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss, due for release on Thursday, is the first in a planned series of apps based on the author’s back catalogue, released by the Dahl estate and publisher Penguin Random House.

The Twits app features two of Roald Dahl's meanest characters.

Kids and Screen Time: Empowering a Digital Generation

From the Mediashift post:

“What happens on the screen does not stay on the screen — Have you ever noticed your child pretending to be their favorite TV or app character in their off-screen play time? Children do that all the time. They also relish having toys that represent their ‘virtual friends’ in the real world. They extend screen-play experiences to offline play during role play, block play, drawing, crafting, and many other traditional forms of play.

What happens in the real world influences children’s play on the screen — children love apps that resonate with familiar everyday narratives like cooking in the kitchen, shopping in the supermarket, playing trains, driving cars, or going to a restaurant. That means children do not separate their “real” experiences from their “virtual” ones but merge the two to grasp a better understanding of their day-to-day routines and the events around them. Perhaps, that’s why Toca City, Toca Kitchen, Tiggly Chef, Tiggly Doctor, Homes by Tinybop, and many other pretend and role-play apps are always among the most popular apps on children’s play list.

Our brains are wired to think and learn with our hands — that means we should try to incorporate playing with real objects as part of play on screens. In fact, there is a new trend on the rise that brings physical play into children’s digital sandbox. At Tiggly, for example, we have designed real shapes, counting toys, and letters that children can grab with their hands and play with them directly on their screen as they interact with apps. Wonder workshop brings the real and virtual world together by providing the means for children to code actions for real robots.”

Sometimes A Little More Minecraft May Be Quite All Right

From the NPR interview:

“It’s family vacation time, and I’ve taken the kids back to where I grew up — a small plot of land off a dirt road in Kansas. For my city kids, this is supposed to be heaven. There are freshly laid chicken eggs to gather, new kittens to play with and miles of pasture to explore. But we’re not outside. I’m sitting in my childhood bedroom watching my 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old-cousin stare at a screen. The older kid is teaching the younger the secrets of one of the most popular games on Earth: Minecraft.”

At a Minecraft camp in Shaker Heights, Ohio, kids trade secrets about making their virtual worlds come to life.

How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First

From the NY Times article:

“Young children learn by example, often copying the behavior of adults. I often see youngsters in strollers or on foot with a parent or caretaker who is chatting or texting on a cellphone instead of conversing with the children in their charge. Dr. Steiner-Adair said parents should think twice before using a mobile device when with their children. She suggests parents check email before the children get up, while they are in school, or after they go to bed.”