Q: Why are you using screens to try and manage excessive screen- time? How does that help?
A: Today’s kids are growing up as screen/digital natives. This makes parenting a challenge! So what Biba seeks to do is to leverage the appeal of screens to get kids back outside, while providing the same types of rewards they get from their screen-based experiences. By using screens in this way, we re-orient the screen-based behaviors of children from sedentary to active, promoting healthier screen habits in the process.
Q: Do kids even get active playing this type of game? Isn’t ‘natural’ playground play better?
A: We are parents too and we are obviously huge fans of natural play. However, for many families, getting kids outside—or even keeping them out and active longer—can be a challenge. We committed to heart rate and activity research in partnership with Simon Fraser University and the result was that Biba kids consistently demonstrated higher heart rates than standard playground play as they engaged in greater amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity. This makes Biba a healthy option for initiating a playground visit or extending a current one.
You can read more in our peer- review published study in the Journal of Child Health Care.
Q: Are kids or devices potentially at risk in playing these types of games on the playground?
A: Nope! Quite the opposite: our games are always held in the hands of the parents and never in the hands of the child. This is both to ensure that kids and devices stay safe, while also ensuring the attention of the parent, which as research demonstrates, promotes greater amounts of physical activity. We feel parental engagement is a critical part of outdoor activity for kids and Biba is all about promoting the parent-child dynamic.
Q: My kids already enjoy the playground as it is, why do I need this?
A: Biba is an intervention for those parents looking to manage screen-time and get their kids outdoors and active more often. If you currently don’t face challenges in either of these departments, Biba may not be for your family. Biba exists as an option for parents to get their children active outdoors and to extend playground sessions. Our outreach shows that this is a useful tool for many parents. For those who would rather not use it, Biba doesn’t change anything about the way your playground already works for you.