5 apps to help your little one learn.
Arriving home from work in the evenings generally means throwing your bags and mobile devices onto the couch and immediately making a bee-line for the kitchen to get dinner started. The problem is that you often have young children who need to be bathed and in bed by 8pm, but who also want attention.
While digital devices have become the norm of kids’ entertainment in many households, we often find ourselves questioning whether or not we are doing the right thing. How young is too young? Is it really a good thing to expose our kids to technology when they can’t even tie their shoelaces yet?
Some experts believe that children who become tech savvy at an early age are better equipped for school, while others say that it’s bad for development at such a young age. My son is 7 years old and I allow him a limited amount of time on the iPad each day (after his homework has been completed), and it often amazes me how easily he scrolls through apps and knows exactly what he is looking for.
Amanda Gummer, a child development psychologist and author of The Good Toy Guide, says that tablets are fantastic for developing your child's confidence with technology. “They really engage with cognitive development and can bring all kinds of learning experiences alive.”
So what’s the best way to prepare your toddler for the tech-centric world that awaits them?
The answer is not tech-avoidance, but rather, parental interaction and wise choices when it comes to the apps you download.
Let’s have a quick look at my five favourite apps for tots:
This is a great play-along music app for tots, which provides them with a rich and interactive musical experience. The colourful interface is designed to spark the toddlers’ interest, while introducing them to musical instruments which sound exactly like the real thing.
Articulation Station Pro
With six interactive activities incorporated into the app, this comprehensive articulation program will help your child to pronounce words like never before.
5 Little Monkeys
This app is all about nursery rhymes and encourages language development. In a nutshell, it is an interactive counting song.
Art Class with Dr. Panda
Let your tots have fun with arts and crafts as Dr. Panda trains their motor skills and teaches them about logical reasoning. Tots will be able to paint, sculpt, design and even create their own friends out of vegetables!
Magic Laptop: Toddler School
This adorable learn and play laptop app teaches your toddler to recognise letters, numbers, colours and shapes, as well as toys, fruits, veggies, and musical instruments.
Technology is an incredible enabler and it provides us with the tools we need to simplify and improve our lives, and education is no exception. Through the use of laptops, tablets and smartphones, our children are able to gain access to world-class educational material at the drop of a hat.
There isn't a certain age when technology is ‘okay’ for children - it’s up to you, as the parent, to decide what you expose your child to. The key in this instance is balance - a healthy combination of technology and good old fashioned personal social interaction should best equip your little one for their future.
Kirsty Chadwick is the Founder of the e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online. With over 20 years’ experience in the field of education, Kirsty has spoken internationally on incorporating technology into training and is passionate about developing people.
What are your opinions on tablets for toddlers?