Online or digital activism, particularly via social media, can be a great way to educate people about social issues and to raise awareness. However, online activism can sometimes fuel misinformation, scams/fraud, and online hate speech.
Small Builds for Big Conversations has been created to address such barriers by giving parents simple, fun ways to talk to children aged six to 10 about digital safety and wellbeing while they play.
The ‘Build & Talk’ challenges are based around characters built from LEGO bricks, who represent both the positive and negative aspects of life online. Parents and children are encouraged to build similar characters with LEGO bricks they have at home and use play and conversation prompts to talk about digital wellbeing, safety, and potential dangers.
During the pandemic, more than 290 million children globally were left learning from home when schools closed. As a result, online usage skyrocketed with estimates showing that screen time will have quadrupled3 for many kids by September, making it more urgent and important than ever that young children understand how to stay safe online. Without school, the onus is falling on busy parents to have important conversations around the benefits and risks of going online.
Anna Rafferty, Vice President Digital Consumer Engagement, said: “As a parent I know it’s not always easy to talk to your children about being a good digital citizen in a way they understand, as they are often influenced by peer pressure and exciting digital experiences. We have a long history of creating safe digital play experiences for kids, so we wanted to give parents the confidence to connect with their children on this important topic.
The builds are available in three themed activity packs that include two character categories: ‘The Online Explorers,’ like ‘The Giggler’ who loves to watch and make online videos, and The ‘Watch-Outs,’ like ‘The Chameleon’ who represents strangers that pretend to be friends. Each activity pack includes inspiration on how to build the characters, as well as talking points and questions to help guide the conversation between parents and their children, helping them have a natural conversation, that leads to learning while they play. The content has been developed in line with UNICEF digital safety guidelines.
See articles and resources to help children stay safe online.