Since they were born, I haven’t lived close to my niece and nephew by a full day’s journey. They were suddenly much more ready to come on video chats with me, which these low-tech, outdoor, free-range children were previously reluctant to do, which in a strange way provided me an opportunity to be closer to them. In 2020 and 2021, they had to master new computer skills including video conferencing and setting up their first email addresses due to their remote schooling circumstances. They were prepared because they were 8 and 10 years old at the time.

Last year, as their birthdays drew near, I was scrambling to think of the ideal gift, something they would enjoy and would encourage them to think of me as the entertaining aunt. At about the same time, I was looking for new sneakers for myself and discovered that Vans.com offers a tool called AA1 that allows you to choose a specific sneaker design as a template and then alter the hues and materials of each component, from the laces to the toe. And, surprise, there are selections for children’s sizes.

” alt=”Two people on a Zoom call using the screen share and remote access tools to design sneakers together”>

Caution: Never grant remote access to a stranger, including a support agent that you’ve simply spoken to over the phone. Remote access software is used by con artists posing as customer service to access victims’ bank accounts, gather sensitive data, and carry out other frauds.

I signed into my Vans account and went to the screen where you initially choose a shoe style to personalize in the case of making sneakers. To reduce the possibility that my nephew (who went first) would unintentionally choose something on my computer, I would only open that one browser tab when screen sharing.

” alt=”Two sneakers designed using Vans.com’s customizer tools”>

Is there a “Fun Aunt” award for me? Once they arrived, which took about three weeks because the sneakers had to be built to order, both youngsters were in love with their new footwear. They both performed an amazing job of designing shoes that had attractive aesthetics and weren’t flamboyant or clashing. I must admit, I was impressed. Observe the photo above.

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I enquired about the procedure from the two children. Was it enjoyable? They liked it, right? Will they suggest it? All of those queries were answered positively, but they claimed that the remote access capability was sluggish, which it is. You don’t get controls that are completely fluid. There is considerable hesitation and lag in the reactivity. But it functions.

They also admitted to me that they now visit the Vans website to create creative designs for sweatshirts and bags in addition to sneakers. You don’t have to use it if you feel like you should just use it to purchase shoes, my niece said. You may use it for graphic design as well if you’re interested in it. Good student!

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