A couple of days back, I had posted an image on my stories of the boys watching the iPad and got questions from so many mothers asking which app they are using, how long do I let them watch the iPad, since when are they watching and so on. This made me think hard to write something about can screen time to be educational for toddlers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises no screen time for children unto 18 months of age and not more than half an hour of screen a day to a 2-5-year-old. Such recommendations by experts always add to our guilt and make us consider and reconsider our choices. In today’s world, where social media surround us, is it even possible to keep your child away from technology? The answer for most of you would be a ‘NO.’
Some TV shows, games, and apps are more developmentally appropriate for preschool children than others. Just like we choose what to offer our kids to eat, we must also decide what they get to see if you give them the technology at all. There are so many apps that guarantee to learn and claim to teach your toddler educational things. But experts say children cannot switch between 2D and 3D learning fast enough and are unable to switch and relate quickly. This means that if your child is learning shapes on the screen in a 2D format, they would learn it much faster when shown 3D shapes. My toddler loves the Peppa Pig holiday app, and there is a part of the game which says to drag a definite number of bags down and keep it on the airport luggage scanner. He comprehends this so much slower than what he would do if he had to in real life.
Learning for toddlers is a lot to do with motor skills, body movements, color recognition, and identifying shapes and patterns, memorizing poems, phonics, etc. Technology does not teach them any motor skills, and it does not teach them body movements. Because of the repetition, they might end up learning colors and poems and sometimes phonic too, but relating to phonics in real life with what is heard on the internet could be tough. Teach your child yourself first, and then use technology to teach them better. Your voice modulations and eye contact while teaching is going to have a better impact on their learning, than when they are just staring at the phone or the iPad.
Participate in your toddler’s screen time by showing repeating what’s said. Use ajoint media engagement, which means you’re going to interact with your child around screens just like you would interact with your child around any media, whether it’s a book or art material.”
What apps get your child’s attention?
The ones that have ultimate sensory inputs like tapping listening,
seeing, swiping, coloring, and that’s why these game apps do well.
It’s ok to let your child watch some TV while you are cooking and need some time off. Don’t just let it go overboard and try not to offer it during mealtimes.
The apps that we have been using our very few but since so many of you wanted to know about it here’s a list –
-Peppa pig holiday
-Peppa pig sport
- Starfall (older kids)
- Fisher-price storybook
If you know, more you could please drop your answers in the comments below and let other mommies know.