Every time I hear that a child under 10 years of age is going to visit us, I spend hours thinking about entertaining things to do. Years ago, we went to a playground, the Children’s Museum, a musical for kids, or a sporting event. Those days are completely over for me since I visited a few Apple stores recently.
Apple is becoming the new digital playground for children. It has reconfigured the layout of its stores to accommodate children from three to pre-teen, depending on the size of the store. Apple has designated work tables for different age groups. I got a tremendous amount of pleasure watching these kids totally absorbed in the programs they were working on, which only proves that if you give someone something that he or she is interested in, that person can stayed focused for a very long time. This has nothing to do with a high IQ or better education.
While some grandparents feel technology is killing the social structure for the younger set, I believe the opposite. Bring two people together with a common denominator and a love fest will develop on its own. I have had bonding conversations with people 40 years younger than I am because we both liked the same app.
Most of you do not realize that Apple has free workshops for children comprising hardware and software instruction, youth programs, and one-on-one coaching. Did you know about The Apple Camp for kids ages 8 to 12? It teaches the ins and outs of iMovie and how to make your own films. The free three-day session, held at the Apple Store, leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival where campers debut their masterpieces. I wish I were young again.
Apple also launched a Kids App Store. It’s not a separate mobile application. It’s a brand new section within the Apple App Store itself featuring a “Kids” category where apps are broken down by age range.
This section of the store separates apps into three age ranges: five and under, between six and eight, and between nine and eleven.
It’s wonderful being a youngster today. I hope they take advantage of everything being offered to them.