Off, off and away!

Posted on: Wednesday 30 June 2010 8:53am

I’m sitting in the Showroom cafe and feeling not a little like my hero, the patron saint of flying, Buzz Lightyear. I’m surrounded by bright, brilliant people who’ve made it their lives’ work to inspire and alight children’s imaginations, and the sense of vast possibility in the room is unbelievable; for the people here, anything can be done.

Children’s media is a powerful world — one where a sheep can incite raucous laughter, kids gain daily access to the wonders and complexities of the world through their own news program, and a postman can bring together a community.

As someone who spends most of my days working directly with kids, hanging out and researching children’s play in one of London’s adventure playgrounds most days (I’m also writer, blogger and possibly space ranger for Star Command by night), I’ve gotten to see the impact children’s media has on kids. They don’t always take to everything, sure, but the good bits — the great shows — kids can’t seem to grab hold of and latch onto ‘em fast enough. Great television shows and books and other media give kids a shared culture that they can recreate and re-appropriate with their friends — giving them shared stories and characters to play and things to talk about. It’s a sight to see, when kids take these on and make ‘em their own.

So I know that children’s media *can* have an impact. Now that we’re here, I’m excited for so many of the conference sessions — and for The Fonz’s keynote talk tonight! — to see how that impact happens, and how far and how high it can reach… because as far I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit. So, are you ready then? Let’s go!

To infinity… and beyond!

Daniel Bigler

regular 2010