Recent studies show that up to 62% of children feel their parents are frequently digitally distracted whilst they are trying to talk to them – with the number one factor in this being the smart phone. Many children are also consumed by their own devices – with the combination coming to significantly re-shape traditional family dynamics and, in some cases, even negatively impacting the relationship between parents and their kids. A study by Paediatrician Dr Jenny Radesky found that technological distractions not only eat up precious socialising and bonding opportunities, but also lead to an escalation in child misbehaviour and a sense of frustration on the child's part, due to the need to 'compete" for parental attention.
Recognising the increasing role that mobile phones, laptops and iPads were playing in their own family life, Sydney couple Alexandra Drury, David Oswell and their young daughter Freya decided to recalibrate their time outside work and school. They created -The WeDo Game' as a way to help them disconnect from social media and the internet, reconnect as a family, and spend a designated period of quality time each week together with no digital distractions.
The game initially began with each family member writing down a screen free activity that they'd like to do, with the suggestions being put in a hat and drawn at random. When the trio told friends about what they were doing, they were met with positive responses and many decided to do the same thing with their own families. Between them, Alexandra, David and Freya decided to turn their idea into a product to take to market. They refined the activities, designed the packaging and launched The WeDo Game in September 2016. Over 3,500 copies of The WeDo Game have been sold worldwide to date and it is now stocked in over 100 stores across Australia, New Zealand and the United States, to help families rediscover the elements of -together time.'
'The alarming effect of technology on our kids' brains have been extensively studied but what about the digitally distracted parents?" asks Alexandra, Co-Founder of The WeDo Game. 'As busy working parents, we recognised that it's important to spend quality time together as a family away from screens. We play the game once a week by switching off all of our phones, laptops and TVs and doing the activities that make us talk, laugh, learn and reminisce. The way the game strengthened our family bond and the joy it has brought made us realise that we could help other families too. We spent over 18 months developing and refining the product. Our mission is to help digitally distracted parents and children spend quality time together and deepen familial bonds away from screens."
The WeDo Game is a collection of screen free fun and innovative activities for families to do together. Each game involves randomly drawing a card and completing an activity together. The games take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and unlike traditional board and card games there are no right or wrong answers, nor luck involved. Imagination and a willingness to participate are all that's required. David's experience as a high school teacher ensured creative and educational elements were woven throughout, but The WeDo Game is primarily about utilising smart parenting techniques, increasing the quality of time spent with one another in fun activities and fostering conversations between parents and their kids.
Launched just last year, The WeDo Game has already been recognised for its innovation and creativity, having won the -Gift' and -Best New Talent' categories at the GALA 2017 – Gift & Life Instyle Awards, hosted by Reed Gift Fairs.
Review: THIS is the game for the holidays! Parents will no longer have to deal with the regularly "I'm bored" comments from children with Things We Do Together Family Edition. The collection of cards have the most creative, fun and educational ideas for keeping families of all ages entertained. What an absolute winner!
- Brooke Hunter