2019 Update: Kidstown season is over, but summer fun is not! Visit our blog for fresh and fun unplugged play ideas.
If you’ve ever come to a First Friday event at the Republic Wireless pop-up shop in downtown Raleigh, attended one of our screen-free dining events, or even taken a look at our website, then you’ve probably noticed that Republic is very different from a typical phone company. We don’t proliferate smartphone addiction—we champion activity that emphasizes outdoor play and empowerment through healthy technology habits. Through its screenless design, Relay encourages active unplugged play, the kind that reminds you of the childhood we had, biking with your best friends, playing hide and seek until your parents called you home (and by called, we mean shouted down the street!) Growing up today is different. It has challenges and complexities we didn’t have to think about as kids, like screen addiction and a rising fear of letting kids play outside by themselves. In fact, when we surveyed parents, we found that 87% believe that the world is more dangerous for children today than it was when they were growing up¹, with 64% being very nervous about letting their kids play outside on their own². But new technology also gives us access to tools that help us navigate this new era of digital parenting and teach our kids to balance unplugged play with modern day tech. That’s the kind of helpful technology we want Relay to be—the screenless alternative to your kid’s first phone, something that inspires and enables freedom and play. “We are all about facilitating meaningful childhood experiences and helping families use technology in helpful and productive ways,” says Barbara, our Director of Marketing. “As we work on Relay, we wanted to do something special in our Raleigh community where we have 200+ employees and many customers.” So what kind of summer fun are we setting up in the Raleigh community? Imagine enjoying a summer afternoon at home with your family. The kids are playing in the front lawn, you’re taking a moment to relax while they amuse themselves while keeping a watchful eye out, then suddenly your child tells you: “I’m bored—what can I do noooow?” It’s every parent’s dreaded summertime question. While we want kids to play outside and enjoy being kids, Mom, Dad and other caretakers are all too often expected to be the “ringleaders of fun.” And that can sometimes be challenging, especially when the kids have completed a whirlwind tour of all the activities you had planned and there’s still three months till school’s back in session. With summer just around the corner, Republic partnered with Triangle Today’s Kids Town, a website featuring detailed guides of where to find local family fun, as well as a list of the best summer camps to keep kiddos happy and engaged. Relay offers parents the peace of mind to let kids be kids. And as parents ourselves, we understand the challenges of planning all the summer fun, and we love the idea of helping lighten the load for fellow parents. Triangle Today’s Kids Town offers a wealth of helpful digital information that enables real-world activities in the Raleigh area. You can search by county and peruse a scrollable database of family activities for the coming weekend. We especially love the “Did you know?” section for family-relevant news. Did you know the North Carolina Zoo had an Earth Day celebration on April 21st? Or that the best wind strength for flying a kite is 5-25 mph? From our products through to our sponsorships, we want to empower parents and make their lives easier. Now when you embark on a family activity—perhaps one you read about on Triangle Today’s Kids Town—you can give your 6-11 year-old children Relays so you don’t have to worry if they wander off around the corner. Maybe you could even enjoy a conversation with a friend, knowing it’ll be ok if you don’t constantly keep your eyes glued on the kids since they’re always in ‘shouting distance.’ Relay may work like a walkie-talkie, but it’s WiFi and 4G LTE-enabled. It works in the other room, around the corner, down the street and even across the country—anywhere a cell phone would work. While Relay packs some powerful tech underneath the hood, it is designed to be fun for kids and hopefully evoke the nostalgia and freedom of the endless summers we experienced. So the next time your kids ask the dreaded summertime question, we hope you’ll feel empowered by the technology available to help you and your kids unplug, play, and spend time as a family. 1-2: Nationally representative online survey of 1,270 U.S. parents of kids aged 6-11 conducted by Republic Wireless; November 2017