10/30/2012 05:54 pm ET

Parent Traps: Gadgets, Games Can Be Stimulating -- But Only In The Right Amounts

My son’s 10th birthday just passed this last weekend, and I pulled out all the stops to create and organize an entire backyard carnival party for him and his friends. I spent a fortune renting all kinds of games and picking up prizes for them, and ordering a half-ton of desserts. When Saturday came, his entire class plus half of the neighbourhood showed up, and the weather could not have been more in our favour. So imagine my surprise when, a mere 30 minutes into the party, I heard the familiar whine of “I’m borrrrred. What can I do?” coming from not just my own son’s mouth, but from those of a handful of our young guests.

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