Using Media Themes as Presence Over Presents

hunger games archeryDec. 21, 2014 Every year my teen prefers experiential “go-see-do” gifts to anything I can wrap up and put under the tree, (other than a GoPro which was a ‘save up’ winner for a milestone birthday) and so every year I have had a media “spin off” that segues from pop culture pervasiveness into an offline unplugged  adventure.

Studies show that presence over presents continues to rule, even among young millennial parents (18-30) who wish for “more family time” in this new PBS Kids 2014 Holiday survey.

And though developmentally, young children may prefer concrete ‘toys,’ some may enjoy ‘non-toy gifts’ earlier than others…So here are some “last minute” gifts of time and presence to create a big “win” in the memory bank…

With The Hunger Games continuing to dominate the media landscape in white hot empowerment circles, older teens and collegiates might enjoy an outdoor outing of STEM, as a ‘tribute’ to archery in film. Archery lessons hit the  bullseye in my household.  I’ve also given a Groupon for a kickboxing workout which, of course, could apply to a gazillion action films to channel their inner Lara Croft and shift toward resourceful Hollywood sheroes far beyond the Bruce Lee franchises of yesteryear.

For younger kids, Frozen lends itself well to ice-skating, sledding, and skiing romps (just wrap up an ice blue ornament, snowflake craft, practical beanie/hat and a ‘good for one’ outing and you’re all set for icebreakers in kids’ conversations and Frozen lends itself to a dose of critical thinking and media literacy too.

The Lego Movie is giant toy joy in itself, but why not turn it into a day of ‘buildables’ and snap together some STEM science to keep winter break builders and holiday hackers learning way beyond snowman physics?The options are endless.

gilmore-girls.jpgRelated…Here’s one of my favorite prior posts on wrapping up the gift of time, using The Gilmore Girls as a getaway theme for a B&B Inn celebration of a parent-child relationship transitioning into teen years…

It’s all about ‘unplugging’ to get plugged in to the one-on-one unique mother-daughter friendships shared watching several seasons of The Gilmore Girls, which was her favorite show at the time. (Today’s teens might enjoy the show “Mom” for this theme) Give it a go, I’m curious how kids react to ‘doing’ rather than ‘acquiring.’

Also, here’s a related post I wrote about counter-marketing consumption cues and the simple pleasures often being the holiday hits of the season! Enjoy the gift of time!

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