Toddlers and Tablets Unite – What Does That Mean for their Development

Toddlers and Tablets Unite – What Does That Mean for their Development?

Toddlers and Tablets Unite – What Does That Mean for their DevelopmentMy youngest son learned how to use my phone at the age of two and we ended up buying him his own tablet. I was so worried that he would accidentally dial 911 while using my phone so when we found a cheap tablet we jumped on it. I know that some parents might think that it is crazy to give a toddler a tablet but I felt that he was getting some educational benefit from it. We have a few toddler apps on his tablet that he is allowed to play and he is limited to the amount of time that he gets to play on the tablet. As a mom, I know that technology isn’t going away anytime soon and I might as well teach him how to use it properly. Today, I wanted to share with you some tips from Davis Miller on Tablets and Apps for children.

As advanced technology becomes ever-present in our daily existence, American parents finally understand what it could be doing to their kids. Technological sophistication and competence haven’t translated into reassurance for most concerned parents. To some extent, they fear that technology will damage their children; the good news is some parents see tablets and similar gadgets much like delicate instruments that could do miracles for the IQ of their precious ones. That’s definitely good news; iPads and Android tablets are not just meant for entertainment. These gadgets are excellent teaching tools every child should use. We can’t run away from advanced technology, and since it’s impossible to avoid it, our only option left is to embrace it.

Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants

The term “digital natives” was invented back in 2001 by tech writer Marc Prensky. It was meant to describe the 1st generation of kids growing up proficient in computer languages, video gaming and other similar technologies. Everyone else is included in the “digital immigrant” category because for many, computers are still challenging to understand. In April 2010, the term “digital native” took an unexpected turn when the iPad emerged. iPhones were already starting to interest kids, but they had small screens so toddlers couldn’t use it with ease. At the time, parents were more controlling with their phones, keeping them hidden in purses and pockets.

When the iPad gained recognition, it was bulky, much like a laptop only smaller. It immediately became an object of the whole family, and researchers recognized that the iPad was on the verge of changing a lot of things in the life of a toddler. About 10 years ago, kids had to be taught by their parents how to use a keyboard and a computer mouse, and because the whole process was new and rather strange, it took a lot of time for children to understand what was happening.

Touch Technology Has Revolutionized the Way Kids Perceive Tablets and Similar Devices

Touch technology has proven to be easier to understand and operate by kids than desktop computers. Swiping things on a display, knocking down piles of blocks and cutting fruits with your fingers in a video game is both something fun and easy to do. Using a tablet with your fingers is not rocket science, and even if your kids don’t know how to use it, they will still try to uncover its secrets by constant tipping and swapping.
Toddlers are capable of “enactive representation” from a very early age. They don’t use symbols or words to classify objects, but gestures. They use their imagination to mimic real activities, and thus their actions become an extension of their thoughts. According to official studies, by 2010, 2/3 of kids with ages between 4 and 7 had already tried to use an iPhone.

Thousands and Thousands of Games for Kids To Choose From on IOS or Andriod

When Apple launched the App Store in 2008, the games began invading the online marketplace. Dozens of apps were available per day, and then over a thousand per year; according to a publication called “Children’s Technology Review”, there are over 40,000 games for kids in the iOS market, and the number keeps growing at an insane pace with every day that goes by. Most top-selling apps target elementary-age kids and preschoolers.

We may not want to admit it, but we’re currently using children to help technology advance even further. There’s no turning back, particularly since we can’t hide smart gadgets from our kids anymore. However, parents should limit access to games because as educational and as stimulating as they can be, games might create addiction. Combine educational gaming sessions with actual play time, and thus your toddler might turn into a prodigy.

About the Author

This is the guest post by Davis Miller and Dirt Bike Games 365!

Image Credit: Flickr Via Creative Commons


6 responses to “Toddlers and Tablets Unite – What Does That Mean for their Development?”

  1. Rosey Avatar

    I used to think it was crazy to give the little ones a table. Our son got a Kindle Fire HD for Christmas and we held it from him for a few months (he didn’t know he got it) trying to decide if he was old enough for it yet or not. We opted to give it to him and he’s had a good long while now and takes great care of it. He loves to get surprise books downloaded on it, and he’s not behind the curve at school where his Kindergarten and now 1st-grade classrooms both utilize the iPad in their course work.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your opinion. My son still has his tablet. They make cases that are heavy duty and will protect a tablet.

  2. Andrea Callahan Avatar
    Andrea Callahan

    Kids adore tablets. They enjoy/learn from it.

  3. Karen Dawkins Avatar

    Kids and technology are okay, unless kids substitute tablet time for physical play time (17% of kids 2-17 are obese, with a BMI of 30 or more) or if parents use tablets as a regular “babysitter” instead of interacting with their kids. It breaks my heart to see kids on tablets as families vacation —- nothing like missing out on the Great Wall because you chose to sit on the bottom step and keep your nose in the screen. Hopefully, parents will consider how to effectively use technology to help kids excel without sacrificing their health or relationships.

  4. Suzanne Avatar

    It’s amazing what kids are capable of so young. As with anything in the life of a child as long as it’s being monitored time wise, game wise and app wise I don’t see anything wrong with it. What I am afraid of is how smart my 2 year old and I directly link it to technology.

  5. Patrycja Figurska Avatar
    Patrycja Figurska

    I am not a big fan of giving a kid tablet or phone..if they are not at least 10 years old. Don't see it as a device that is helping in their development. Sorry. I am opting for experiencing life in reality, creating things from whatever is around and growing your imagination…without computers.