Indoor Playgrounds - A Changing Demographic
It used to be the traditional indoor playground was a perfect fit to attract young families and their children aged 2 - 12 years old. Today however, that traditional playground is having a hard time keeping up with the “age-creep” that has seeped into our new, technically advanced entertainment landscape. Sure it is fun, unique and cool to slip on a VR headset and fight dragons, or do some sweet moves with Beat Saber, but it pulls us further and further apart from the face to face values of a good old fashion family game night.
Entertainment experiences unite us, they help to secure bonds and relationships on many levels and they can help to reinforce a set of values that inspire and motivate us, while providing a sense of compassion and decent social and community behavior. Case in point may be the sheer amount of destruction found in most (not all) popular video games. Yes, it’s a great release to massacre 800 zombies with a chainsaw, but an equal amount of gaming experience that challenges, inspires and provides a fun opportunity to reinforce human compassion and community value is less available in an entertainment setting, and becoming more important to a new demographic of parents, who themselves grew up killing zombies, but are also looking for opportunities to share a more evolved entertainment experience with their kids. An old mentor of mine likes to remind me ‘the contents of your mind, rules the path you walk’.
It is this authors belief that the missing link more and more - is a lack of good old fashioned, active play time among family members and friends. An opportunity to work as a team and share a common goal within an active entertainment environment, working together, communicating and planning to create an outcome or complete a unique challenge. Nothing builds a bond like a positive shared accomplishment.
Face to face time continues to slip from us, from our families and especially for the younger, family demographic of tweens and young teens. For some, it has become harder than ever to connect with our kids in a meaningful and entertaining experience, outside of the mobile device or the VR headset. You know… old school face time.
For this entertainment demographic of young families and their tweens up to 12 or 14 years of age, there is a growing opportunity to provide a community based entertainment experience that puts the family unit smack in the middle of an active team challenge. Games that demand communication, planning and execution within a limited time help to instill value-based soft skills for our kids, putting an emphasis on self-reliance, responsibility, actions and outcomes. Values that unfortunately seem to be harder and harder to find these days - just ask any employer.
Indoor playgrounds should offer an opportunity to advance and motivate our kids through ‘playful learning’ as part of an overall indoor entertainment experience. An active challenge, a physical feat, some live hand-eye coordination along with a good amount of communication, initiative and cerebral exercise helps to make us whole, and can be included within a well designed indoor play experience. For more information, stop by our website and see why smart playgrounds are advancing the community agenda and providing party center operators with long term profitability.
Thanks for reading!