START + Kindcraft = Device Free Dessert!

We often get asked what makes START special. Our answer? The way our community has pressed in and grabbed hold of a vision: to raise kids be captivated by life, not screens. Last night, we got to see that vision come to life in a magical way, when we linked arms with an awesome local nonprofit, Kindcraft.

If you aren't familiar with Kindcraft, this organization offers families monthly service projects, usually to serve someone in need that the kids don’t actually know. For this this event—a device free dessert—they honored the Kindcraft values of kindness, compassion, and empathy for others by creating a space where families could gather together and give their attention to the people who matter most—their own families and friends.

Together, we channeled our inner superhero powers and placed our phones in a cell phone box. Then, we used our superhero comic placemat to guide us through some fun conversation starters and games. Wonder Woman showed up, and so did a crew of volunteer actors who put on a pretty spectacular performance of “How to NOT do a Device-Free Dessert.” Oh and we ate cake, lots and lots of cake.

The event was mostly screen-free, but we did pause to watch a clip from the movie Wall-E, which led to a conversation about the accidents that sometimes happen when we are too focused on our screens. Kids shared about how they noticed that screens can make us inactive and unhealthy, and sometimes they can keep us from seeing the needs of other people—which then causes us to miss out on opportunities to serve and help them. One young Kindcrafter even shared with the room, “I noticed that when the girl in Wall-E broke her screen, she suddenly noticed all the beauty and excitement of the world around her, and realized that she was missing so much of the moment that was happening right in front of her.”

We loved that. And in the end—that is the exact invitation we give our children when we help them learn healthy tech habits like device-free meals. It can be hard to start, but it doesn’t take long for kids to notice that you aren’t just calling them away from something, but into something better.

Kindcraft, thanks for bringing this to life with us this week.

Krista Boan