Sometimes the best way to reduce stress is to have fun taking a trip down memory lane together as a family. The other night, I amused my kids with anecdotes about how electronics worked during my childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. Remember how we had to get up and change the television channel using a dial? Or how we had to sit by the radio for hours waiting to hear the newest song and then record it using our cassette player to make sure we had a copy to play back over and over again? Or what about life before call waiting? Oh my!
All of these memories sure can make our kids laugh now. Laughter is an incredible natural anecdote to stress. Here are some fun ways to explore old media forms with your kids and show them the benefits of the way things once were.
Why not have a suitcase record player at home for playing vinyl records? Not only are artists once again putting out records, but many companies have decided to make new models of record players. A small compact player makes for easy storage and hours of listening to everyone’s favorite artists. The limitations that records once had no longer exist.
Remember the days of “be kind and rewind?” Introducing kids to the wonders of having to wait for a movie to rewind before playing will certainly leave them confused. In a world where everything is ready on command, a VCR teaches kids to practice a certain level of patience they may otherwise not experience. All of those home videos that have yet to be converted can finally be seen! Show your kids how watching films wasn’t always so instantaneous back in the day.
The days of having to fast forward and rewind to find your favorite song may not be as popular anymore, but cassette tapes are making a comeback. With shows such as Stranger Things and movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, kids are asking more and more questions about the world of cassette tapes. Finding that old Walkman and headphones with a cord could give your child a brand new learning experience. Dance around your house to your favorite tunes to make some new memories while enjoying old ones.
While so many kids are walking around glued to their Nintendo Switches, there were days when playing games was a new experience. Many people remember games like Astro Blaster and Ms. Pacman. Why not bring the joys of such games to your children now? Pulling out an old game system provides your kids a look at a different set of graphics and a simpler time. Sure, they may think it’s a little cheesy at first, but they will be hooked before you know it.
Once upon a time, car rides used to include hoping that your game system didn’t let you down and die in the middle of the trip. Now, many kids have mobile phones with batteries that last longer than we could only have dreamed of 30 years ago. Why not give them the chance to understand what it was like to play old school video games in the car? Find that old Gameboy and show your children the games that you grew up playing. While it’s important to ensure kids do other activities besides playing video games, an hour or so of game time can give them a fun break.
The way media has changed might be for the better, but it doesn’t mean we can’t share what we grew up with and have some old-fashioned fun together. From digging out those old vinyl records to plugging in a game system, share those fond memories with a new generation and enjoy listening to their laughter.
How do you get your kids laughing?