YouTube Family Game

I just recently played a game (two hours ago) with my son where we shared YouTube Videos.  The ground rules for the game were simple.  A: Parent shares an educational video, and B: Child shares a video of choice with parent.  After each round, parent and child compare videos and a superlative adjective is awarded such as the funniest, the most informative, the most awkward, the most entertaining, etc.  This can be done at any age level.  My child is currently a sixth grader so I definitely understand the risks involved; consequently, I am recommending this be done in the home with parents but not in the classroom with students.

Through my observations (having played the game three times now), I have found this a great way to promote educational videos, real historical content found, artistic creations, and other edu-entertainment films.  In addition, I have also learned about what my son is viewing on the internet, how he makes choices, what his values are, and what is going on in my son’s school and world.

So how can you be prepared to play the game?  I don’t have an easy answer, but I will share with you what we have done.  In the past, I have used the “Animaniacs” educational videos on maps and presidents, an outdoor music flash mob in Vienna, Austria (precious), the Iran Hostage Crisis short history (to answer unanswered questions about Argot), Los Angeles Historical photos, and time-lapse videos from various regions of the world and various climates.  These keep him engaged and interested, and provide a starting point (always go first) to show what you value.  In response, my son has shown me (sometimes better videos) of pop-culture, goats singing with stars, how kids cheat (although he does not participate), cool sports moments, how it should have ended videos, and minecraft videos (sit through it you will learn a lot about your child).

Obviously every parent will uncover different facts about his/her child and his/her child’s way of life, and I am sure some kids will not play (can’t fix that one).  I have just found this a great way to get to know my child, his digital generation, his thoughts on society, his concerns, his understanding of the world, and his understanding of fact and fiction.  I hope this works for you, and I wish you the best.  We do get outside on a regular basis too.

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