Back in the day I remember playing arcade games like Tetris, PacMan, Donkey Kong, and Pong. I thought I was pretty tech-savvy, even though my VCR still flashed 12:00, 12:00, 12:00. But those games were for another generation- another time....right?
Not so! This summer, the Eades Family from Mt. Airy, North Carolina, went out on a mission to build their own family arcade and bring those games back to life. Now this would have been a cool undertaking for any family- but it was especially cool because it was part of mine. A few years ago- our families blended- and it has been a wonderful experience- but back to the arcade.
Ty and Ashley Eades are not your normal parents. I mean, they are normal (somewhat) but they are unique in that they build experiences for their two young children, Jay (10) and Evey Sam (7). This summer was no different. They decided to design, collaborate, and create their own family fun. Ty (an Application Development Manager with Old Dominion Freight Line), Ashley (an educator and Media Specialist- now stay at home mom), and the kids went down to the workshop and came up with something pretty spectacular.
Ty taught the kids how to safely suit up for the construction of the arcade and they begin to make magic happen.
Why is this of such interest to me? It's because we need to be developing the culture of communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking in our children. In a world of "I'll just google that" or "Just tell me the answer"- we need to do everything possible to help the next generation begin to think on their own. It's not (and can't be) just the teacher's job. These parents (my family) are making sure that their children are ready for whatever career comes their way. I love that! They could have just purchased the arcade or taken them to play a game when they asked- but instead they are instilling the values of hard work and pride into Jay and Evey Sam. It will be an experience that they won't ever forget. And, they will become pretty good gamers too.
Remember that FAIL means "First Attempt in Learning". If you ask Ty, Ashley, Jay, or Evey Sam, they will tell you that they made some mistakes with this- but with every mistake, a lesson was learned. I would say that this was a summer well spent.
Photo Credits: Tymon Eades, Ashley Eades, and Steve Jones!