The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of events, from Maker Faire Rome, to an event with the awesome Mums in Tech, to the EdTech UK launch (of which Tech Will Save Us are a founding member).

It’s been inspirational! Hearing about the maker movement making a difference within so many different fields, education, tech, confectionary! It made me think though, it is funny that as we take Tech Will Save Us around the world the same “horror stories” keep coming up again and again from parents I’ve spoken to. As it’s Halloween we thought we’d address those fears.

There are three main stories that we hear all the time;

Number one has to be a fear of too much screen time. In the last few month alone, there have been so many articles written about the dangers of screen time, and the way it affects our children. We think there’s so much more to tech than screens anyway. It’s especially important when we’re talking about technology to understand the way young people interact with it. We think the secret to getting kids away from their attention consuming screen, is by unlocking it’s mysteries and tinkering and playing with technology.

Another concern we hear of is quality of play, which is so linked to the fear of too much screen time, parents want to feel like their kids are getting benefit from their free-time as much as their school-time. There is a growing agreement that play is best when it is educational, with six out of ten parents expressing this view — an increase from under half in 2009. We believe that educational play is great but it’s really important that it’s lots of fun too. There are so many great projects to undertake with your kids, that benefit you both. Take a look at Instructables and for inspiration, they have bags of things for your kids to do.

And last, but not least spending quality time together is definitely a concern, beyond our anecdotal evidence, earlier this year the IKEA play report showed that the number of children across the world saying they would like to spend more time playing with their parents has increased from 38% in 2009 to 47% in 2014. By taking on a project together, time spent together has purpose, it doesn’t need to be as large as Trotbot, working on small scale projects has so many benefits. Learning something new together is great as it’s an opportunity to troubleshoot and work it out together.

We’re so excited that everything we’ve seen on our travels points to the maker movement being the antidote to these fears. Giving kids (and parents) the permission, and confidence to make, play and invent, leads to happier mums and dads and kids too.

Originally published at