Author Topic: January 2010, Children's Attention Spans  (Read 6571 times)

Captain Calamity

  • TwoStars
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • http://www.madhousekids.com/
January 2010, Children's Attention Spans
« on: January 02, 2010, 09:18:31 AM »
So I'm sitting at home at 9am on a Saturday morning just drinking a coffee before I head off for my 11am party and I started wondering are we the last of the balloon modellers?

It just seems to me that technology and the need for an immediate fix has taken over and that skills that require time, dedication and patience don't have a place in our modern society.

I remember sitting with my dad on a Sunday afternoon working on building, gluing and pain stakingly putting together a model plane or ship. I used to make aircraft hangers of boxes which i cut and glued and painted to house my models but all these activities take time , dedication and patience. I used to build up a collection of action models and paint each one but I look at my son and as much as I love him; he is part of a different generation.One that is expert at computer game play, one that knows all the characters to the latets Ben 10 series on TV. One that certainly absorbs everything around him but not a generation that will carefully sit and learn how to model a balloon and then work until he has become an expert in his field.

It strikes me that crafts that require time and dedication and that includes balloon modelling and sculpting are not crafts that will be picked up by future generations... or am I wrong?

What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
[size=150]CAPTAIN CALAMITY[/size]

www.madhousekids.com

"What goes up, must come down... especially if you stick a pin in it!"

Graham Lee

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 27441
    • View Profile
    • http://www.grahamleesmagic.co.uk/
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 09:53:52 AM »
What a great post, plenty of food for thought. Danny this could be discusion of the month??
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
"Lets Improve Our Art"
Balloon Excellence 2012 Award Winner
For Services to the Balloon Community.
http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk
http://www.sempertexballoons.co.uk

Danny the Idiot

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1921
    • View Profile
    • http://www.dannytheidiot.com
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 10:01:27 AM »
Why not? But what would you call it for a topic of discussion?

 :shock:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Danny Schlesinger
Balloon Excellence Award Winner
http://http://www.CircoRidiculoso.com
http://http://www.DannyTheIdiot.com
Follow me on Twitter at @danny_the_idiot

YvonneH

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
    • View Profile
    • http://www.loonyballoony.co.uk
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 11:21:32 AM »
I have to admit whilst I agree to a certain extent I have 2 children who are very much into crafty stuff and will just as happily sit drawing for a couple of hours as they will watch tv.  The are very young at the moment (5 & 3) but I am very concious not to let them waste their lives in front of the telly or computer (not saying that anyone else is btw but I do know people that use the TV to babysit their kids).  Neither of them use a pc (other than at school) and both have so far shown no interest in the wii and I intend keeping it that way as long as possible.

Rachel, my eldest is always drawing, she loves to face paint (and has her own kit) and she loves doing all the fiddly hama bead type stuff.  Adam is more into making and fixing things (he is actually very good at simple construction and is already onto proper Lego) and absolutely loves puzzles.  Both of them helped their Dad yesterday paint the walls in the kitchen and had a blast - to quote my daughter "this is much more funnerer than watching TV".  They are also very much into their music and actually understand more about it than I do!

As soon as they are a little older and can understand instructions a little better I shall have a go at teaching them twisting.  Rachel has shown interest but her hands are too small to cope and she doesn't yet have the attention span to be able to make anything from start to finish.

I honestly believe that whilst the technological age has it's downside for our children it will also open up endless learning possibilities.  For example look at that little boy in the YouTube clip a while back on here who had taught himself entirely from video's he had watched on YouTube!  Amazing.  We never had such fanastic learning tools when we were kids (or at least when I was).

Captain Calamity

  • TwoStars
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • http://www.madhousekids.com/
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 03:10:05 PM »
I agree that some children; if encouraged to do so by their parents will grab a paint brush or sit and work through a jig saw but too many parents want the easy option and it is too easy to sit your child in front of the tv or computer and working with a balloon, crafting it, modelling it and using ones imagination to turn it into something special requires time and patience that the next generation of adults (all be it with a few exceptions) just don't have. Do they?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
[size=150]CAPTAIN CALAMITY[/size]

www.madhousekids.com

"What goes up, must come down... especially if you stick a pin in it!"

Captain Calamity

  • TwoStars
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • http://www.madhousekids.com/
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 03:11:31 PM »
I'd love it if you made this topic of the month! :lol:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
[size=150]CAPTAIN CALAMITY[/size]

www.madhousekids.com

"What goes up, must come down... especially if you stick a pin in it!"

Darren

  • OneStar
  • *
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • http://www.razzledazzleballoons.co.uk
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 03:32:41 PM »
Its wierd, I hear people saying that thier children are crafty and that its sometimes because the parent is a twister, but for me, my girls 5 and 3, have always been crafty like thier card aking mum and it was them that got me into twisting in a funny way.

I left work for health reasons and after being a hands on person for years i needed something to do to occupy my time, without the XBOX. So I, like the small boy, started looking on You tube and after about 8 months I think i'm getting quite good at this, I THINK!

I love this topic

p.s if anyone wants to make me a XBOX balloon modelling game, feel free.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
\'If I grow up, I want to be like you!\'


daz@razzledazzleballoons.co.uk

YvonneH

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
    • View Profile
    • http://www.loonyballoony.co.uk
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 04:52:23 PM »
I get your point about kids emulating their parents but my parents never had time to be that hands with the crafty stuff and to be fair never had the money to have hobbies.  My Dad was a DIY'er, my Nan was seamstress and my Mum and other Nan knitted but that was the extent of it.

I got into twisting via face painting and I only got into that once I had my eldest as something to entertain her with.

I really believe that if you spend good time with your kids and encourage them to pursue their interests they will find their own "thing" which makes them happy.  My daughter especially does not enjoy learning new things but that is only if she realises she is learning.  At present she does music class, swimming lessons and rainbows and each is fantastic for a different reason.

Also seeing the enjoyment the kids at Music school get from learning their chosen instruments I honestly believe there are enough kids out there still that understand that to do anything well you need to actually work at it to become better at it.

Captain Calamity

  • TwoStars
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • http://www.madhousekids.com/
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 10:57:40 PM »
Ok. Let me play Devils Advocate just for a moment. I can accept that those  of you who are artists (balloon modellers and creative types) may well have nurtured children who are of a similar persuasion (i don't know how to smell persuasion) but what about the children you entertain in your work? Are they also creative types with an ability to absorb your creative juices or are they (as I suspect) made up of people who need a quick fix and quick balloon or 5 mins of one style of entertainment followed by 5 mins of another. I'm sure attention spans are getting shorter because of the instant access we now have to a thousand different tv channels etc and i'm sure when you look out on  sea of faces at say a children's party that they are not looking for a 20 minute or half an hour experience watching and learning as you create a beautiful balloon sculpture with them assisting. I'm sure they want an instant fix followed by another and then another.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
[size=150]CAPTAIN CALAMITY[/size]

www.madhousekids.com

"What goes up, must come down... especially if you stick a pin in it!"

Neil

  • ThreeStars
  • ***
  • Posts: 477
    • View Profile
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 11:47:34 PM »
Hi Captain - great topic.

Your last post kind of touched on what I was going to say.  When I've turned up at parties and events with 'pre-made' animals, hats etc, the kids generally tend to take them, run off, and if we're lucky they last 5 minutes - I don't think they really 'get' the piece, it's here and now!

However, the ones that wait and see the item made in front of them more often than not do so with a degree of interest and wonder, and on the whole *seem* to be more connected to the piece, and 'own' the piece more, if you know what I mean.  I suppose its a similar thing to the argument that you are more likely to take care of something you have waited for, saved up for, earned, etc than something that is just handed to you.  As twisters/modellers, most things are made within the attention span of children ( I have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old - ok, the 2 yr old isn't the most patient!) but generally speaking they can deal with the wait - and as long as they're interested, will wait, and are pleased with or even cherish the end result then I'm not convinced we live in a world of complete 'instant gratification' and that we have many, many more years of entertaining to come!   :)

Best regards

--Neil
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
"I don\'t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby

Simply Shonna

  • ThreeStars
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
    • http://AdventureInFun.com
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 12:31:30 AM »
All three of my children are very crafty and all three do balloons.   I must say though, that when they were little, I limited their tv time to one hour a day in a foriegn language.  They only got more if their Dad was home watching something child friendly in English.

I also use to limit their TV time.

A lot of their friends are pure lazy and just sit around watching tv and texting each other.

But, when I do parties where I allow the kids to model balloons with me, I see a lot of interest in it from some, and some who do quite well.   That is the same with painting when I allow them to do it on their own.  

To be honest, I find that about 25% of the kids I run into are very creative and curious about learning balloons or other crafts.   It has probably been the same throughout time.   Each of us is born with different personalities, but of course I interest develope by us having fun experiences with things like balloons, crafts, sports or such.

I would love to hear others opinions.

Simply Shonna
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Captain Calamity

  • TwoStars
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • http://www.madhousekids.com/
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 08:54:43 AM »
I've always found it more interesting and exciting to watch a balloon modeller perform a show with balloons and whilst carefuly sculpting some great big balloon model; he is also engaging the children with jokes and interactive moments when they must clap their hands, wiggle their fingers and jump up and down. But the demand (certainly in my experience) in the corporate arena (shopping centres and town council jobs) seem to be more for the balloon line (where one makes a series of single balloon models for every queueing (god, my spelling's awful) child. I find that when Marketing Managers of these kind of establishments book me; they have less interest in the show and more in the production line. Is that more to do with their understanding of what a good balloon modeller can do or are they responding to the need that children have for instant gratification? I imagine it's a bit of both.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
[size=150]CAPTAIN CALAMITY[/size]

www.madhousekids.com

"What goes up, must come down... especially if you stick a pin in it!"

Danny the Idiot

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1921
    • View Profile
    • http://www.dannytheidiot.com
January 2010 - Children's attention spans
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2010, 10:01:43 AM »
The topic of this month is children's attention spans.

Its already started and Graham will kindly move it to this thread shortly.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Danny Schlesinger
Balloon Excellence Award Winner
http://http://www.CircoRidiculoso.com
http://http://www.DannyTheIdiot.com
Follow me on Twitter at @danny_the_idiot

YvonneH

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
    • View Profile
    • http://www.loonyballoony.co.uk
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2010, 10:42:08 AM »
Captain whilst I agree with you regards shopping centre Marketing people's wish to have the fastest and cheapest person (well the ones near me do anyway) to get through as many kids as possible I have to disagree with your comment about children wanting instant gratification.

I've not noticed it so much with the balloons but I have often wondered at the children queuing patiently to be face painted and it is usually their parents who get fed up and try queue jumping or kicking off if you need a toilet break!

Shonna I actually agree with you.  I think in each generation there are children who do nothing with their lives, others who strive to achieve great things and then there are those in the middle that find their niche in life and do their best to excel at it.

There will still be kids who grow up to be entertainers, twisters, etc just as kids will still train to be electricians, carpenters and builders because in these days where office jobs are disappearing to the far east as is manufacturing it is only services such as ours that to some extents are a safe lifelong profession.

Danny the Idiot

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1921
    • View Profile
    • http://www.dannytheidiot.com
Re: The Last of the Balloon Modellers
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2010, 11:06:19 AM »
This thread is January's Discussion of the month and will be moved, when Graham has a moment, to the Discussion section.

thanks

Danny


THANKS GRAHAM!

 ;)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 08:27:40 PM by Danny the Idiot »
Danny Schlesinger
Balloon Excellence Award Winner
http://http://www.CircoRidiculoso.com
http://http://www.DannyTheIdiot.com
Follow me on Twitter at @danny_the_idiot