A friend of mine posed a question on Facebook, thanks Dana, Do people buy jacks, jump ropes, roller skates, baseballs and basketballs for their kids anymore? You know the stuff that makes them sweat and lose weight, you know gives them energy. She wondered where you could even buy jacks.


When I read that I thought about a girls’ night out, which was really a night in that I attended the other night. I went to a good friend’s house and we played bowling and boxing on Wii. During the boxing we were getting this great workout. We were actually tired when we got finished knocking out our opponents. Is this what kids are using for exercise? No more tag your it, dodge ball and racing each other down the block. When we were kids we would play all day, outside, in the sun, the wind, the rain and the snow.

Dana is right, you don’t hear about kids wanting things like skates and jump ropes. Jacks taught you hand and eye coordination, there was a skill to jumping rope, one I never got the hang of and I would think most kids would think these elementary gifts would be an insult. Electronics, designer clothing and gift cards seem to top the list.

So what do kids want? Reportedly 44 percent of the kids aged between 6 and 12 would like an Apple iPad. It has been shown that tablets in general are a natural user interface and young kids can use them perfectly well. Non-iPad tablets like the Kindle Fire are in fourth place. The iPod Touch and iPhone both are beating them along with computers, the Nintendo 3DS and Kinect for Xbox 360. The iPad is top for older children and young adults as well, with 25 percent wanting one. The iPod Touch and iPhone are further down the list, but probably only because most of the respondents already own one of each. E-readers and Blu-ray players are higher on the agenda, however, as these kids realize they’re the best way of reading books and watching movies.

In terms of gift ideas technology is where it’s at. This has been the trend with adults for many years, but now even the youngest of kids are getting in on the action. If you want to buy your child the absolute best present this year, or make him or her love Santa Claus more than he or she ever has before, then buy them a piece of consumer technology, preferably from that company with the logo that looks like a half-eaten piece of fruit.

Darren Parrack says there is a price to pay for young kids learning so soon about technology. In the Digital Diaries series by AVG it shows just how much technology is grabbing onto kids and refusing to let them go. Twenty-two hundred online mothers with kids aged 2-5 in 10 different countries were polled. A reported 69 percent of these kids (aged 2-5) can operate a computer mouse, but only 11 percent can tie their own shoelaces. Fifty-eight percent play computer games, but just 52 percent can ride a bike, and only 20 percent know how to swim. Twenty-eight percent can use a mobile phone, but only 20 percent know how to dial the emergency services.

(Email the columnist at debbie­norrell@aol.com.)

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