From phone use to social media connection, our kids are growing up ‘wired’ in a way that no one has. How do we help them feel connected, loved, and secure in a REAL, non-virtual way?

We hope this month’s POP-UP Mini Kit inspires you with some tools and tricks for communicating the importance of real-live connection with the children in your lives for a kinder and more connected world.

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Tech Attack
Technology has changed our lives, but is it good for developing brains? In this quick card game, kids learn more about how technology is specially designed to appeal to Brain Drivers. As kids learn more about themselves, they can evaluate their feelings about tech to make better decisions about its role and how to use it.
Kids will understand what drives their brain to do certain behaviors, and they will think more critically about how they use technology in their lives.
To play, download these free game pieces:
  1. Each player gets a brain card with an illustration of a brain with 4 quadrants showing 4 Brain Drivers (To Feel Connected, To Feel Understood, To Feel Energized, To Feel Safe,) 
  2. Players take turns drawing Brain Fact cards from the deck, reading the fact out loud to determine which Brain Driver to color on a player’s brain card (answers may vary).
  3. The player colors in ONE section on their brain card to show which Brain Driver is activated in the situation.
  4. Players are racing to completely color in their brains first.  If they get a repeat Brain Driver, they do not color again, but pass their turn to the next player.
  5. Randomly in the deck are TECH ATTACK cards which are super-powered to affect all players.
  6. If a player draws a TECH ATTACK card, that player reads the card out loud and all players discuss and decide which Brain Driver(s) is/are affected (answers may vary). TECH ATTACKs may affect more than one Brain Driver.  All players circle the Brain Driver section(s) on their brain card to show it’s been affected by the TECH ATTACK.  
  7. The game is over at a preset amount of time (5-8 min).  The objective of the game is to color in the Brain Driver card first but learning rather than “winning” is the goal of the game.
  • How do you feel about technology? Do you have too little, too much or just the right amount of tech in your life?  Why?
  • How did you feel when you experienced a TECH ATTACK?
  • How do your friends use tech? What are the troubles they experience with tech?
  • How is the consumption of technology like or unlike our consumption of sugar or fast food (and if appropriate with you may ask older kids to discuss things like nicotine or alcohol)?
  • What can kids do? If you were able to share your ideas on a global platform through POP-UP Festival and UNICEF World Children’s Day, what would you say to Big Tech? To parents?
** A big thank you to Teodora Pavkovic, who co-authored this activity and provided much inspiration for this Mini Kit!

Picture Books
by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening—and above all, by interacting with a new friend.
by John Rocco
One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, “Mommm!” His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can’t work on her computer, and Dad can’t finish cooking dinner. What’s a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights–in stars that can be seen for a change–and so many neighbors it’s like a block party in the sky!
by Tim ‘Dr. Hope’ Anders
An endearing story of persistence and determination written in English and Spanish. Chip, a little computer, learns the value of having faith in his dream while he faces an uncertain outcome and seemingly insurmountable problems.
Chapter Books
by Heather Demetrios
Remember your teenaged years? What if, instead of those embarrassing memories living on the pages of your diary (or your impossible-to-expunge Facebook wall), they lived on late-night reruns of the reality show you appeared on for the first 13 years of your life? (Oh, the awkward hair decisions!) Teenaged Bonnie Baker, one of 13 siblings, is psyched to have a chance at a normal life after the cancellation of her family’s reality show, Baker’s Dozen. She reinvents herself as Chloe and starts building a “real” life…until her mother signs the fractured family up for another round of reality TV “fame.”

Results from the Pew Research Center found that 54% percent of teenagers said they spend too much time on their phones, and 60% of them feel it is a ‘major problem’. 

Kitchen Table Question:

What do you love about screen time? How else in your life could you find that thing you love?

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