For 21 days, the LEGO DUPLO marketing team will not post on social media between 5pm and 8pm, as part of the ‘do not disturb playtime’ campaign. According to the LEGO Group, 21 days is how long it takes to break a habit, and 5pm-8pm is ‘toddler playtime’. The stunt is intended to encourage parents to ignore their phone during playtime and focus on interacting with their children.
Here are more details, from the LEGO Group’s press release:
With social media being an integrated part and creative inspiration to modern family life, it is no surprise that both parents and researchers call out digital behavior as a concerning barrier to quality play time between parents and toddlers.
“While we are all hooked on our cell phones, we should think about turning them off when interacting with our young children. Kids learn so much from us and we don’t want to get in the way of that. Take language learning. It does not happen in a vacuum; when nurturing caregivers talk to their children about what they are interested in, it helps them learn new words and new ways to express themselves.
Our research shows that the use of a cell phone in the middle of a conversation between parent and child disrupts that child’s word learning. Give yourself and your child a break! Put it away during playtime!” Advises Roberta Golinkoff, PhD: Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware.
Our research shows that parents today understand their significant role in ensuring their kids grow up to be happy, well-rounded, and equipped for the future. At the same time, many worry about not spending enough time with their toddlers. LEGO DUPLO wants to inspire parents to make the small moments into memorable moments. Creating meaningful play experiences together does not have to be a big project.
“We know parents today feel more time-starved than ever before, juggling careers with personal time and parenting. Many feel guilty over not spending as much time with their little ones, as they would like. Through the “Do not disturb play time” campaign we hope to re-assure parents that it’s not so much the amount of time they spend with their kids, but the small meaningful moments they create and connect over during play. This campaign is intended to inspire parents and create awareness of the importance of taking playtime seriously”, said Steffen Jensen, LEGO Group Senior Marketing Director, Pre-school.
Play is not only the most natural way for children to learn, it is fundamental for their future development in life. This is why every child not only has the right to play*, but also a foundational need to play. Play stimulates the human brain, helping to develop physical, emotional as well as critical 21st century skills such as problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and communications.
For the youngest children, playtime with adults is key to unleashing these potentials. A young child’s brain can activate between 700-1000 neurons every second, which then again connect to thousands of other neurons. Play helps activate these neurons, and the connections serve as the building blocks of their future, impacting their health, emotional wellbeing and ability to learn**.
“Humans need humans. The very foundation for learning comes from the back and forth of social interactions between adults and children. Anything that disrupts the natural flow of this conversation disrupts how well our children will learn.
While we tend to focus on how children’s screen time deprives our kids of important conversations, we should also focus on the adult. Every time we pick up our cell phone in the middle of a conversation with our child – every time we check for the latest message and every time we have to follow that ding to grab the latest e-mail, we break the flow of normal treasured moments with our children. And in that broken moment, our research suggests, the conversation is lost and our children learn less”, says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Main, PhD: Professor, Department of Psychology, Temple University and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.
Join the fun and take the challenge yourself. Share your reflections and your creative approaches to the challenge across social media using #donotdisturbplaytime Just remember to do it outside of playtime.