Kids and Electronics
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There’s an on-going debate about kids and cell phones/tablets. Some are quiet passionate about it. My biggest rule of thumb is- you let the hold it you take your chance on them breaking it. Don’t get mad if it happens. If your two year old gets mad at something and throws your phone across the room, it’s not completely their fault they didn’t know it was going to crack the screen. Oh, and obviously it’s not a babysitter (I feel like I don’t have to mention that but just in case.)
Letting the kids play on my iPhone or iPad helps me out sometimes in a store or at a restaurant when the kids are restless to let them hold my phone. Yes, I can see people judging me but if it wasn’t for letting my kids hold my phone then I’m sure it would be for something else. My favorite comment is “you know, their finger is going to turn into a stylus if they are always playing with that!” Um, it is?? Really? And you know this how? lol. I keep those questions to myself but one day I might ask if it comes up again.
I have always tried to find educational type games for my iPad or iPhone that the kids can play with. There’s a peekaboo app from the iTunes store that they both love. There also a wheels on the bus app that is another big favorite. They’ve learned a lot from these apps and it has the added benefit of keeping them quiet when needed too.
One of my favorite apps and one that grows with them is ABC Mouse. I had seen multiple Disney Jr advertisements for it and my sister had downloaded it for her kids. They year my daughter would have started pre-school we received the notice that my company was closing our office and because I didn’t know exactly when my job would be over so I wasn’t sure where to send her to pre-school. My mom and sister watched the kids while I worked and I would either send her somewhere close to me or take my chances and send her somewhere closer to them so they could help with picking her up. The issue being that when my job was over whether I’d have to go further to get her to preschool and pick her up. On top of, where would my next job be?
In the stress of everything I winded up not sending her and making it a point to work with her at home as much as I could. I decided to try ABC Mouse, after all there was no obligation to it so what could it hurt? It offers it all…education, music, ‘pets’, and I can configure it to fit where they are at and what they need practice on.
As lessons are completed they get tickets that allow them to buy things such as a pet, things for their ‘room’, outfits for their avatar. I found with my daughter it was a big incentive. I was able to login to the parent side and check her progress as well as change her path if needed at any time. A lot of times we’d sit together while she did the activities. Can I tell you that she’s been absolutely on par and above with where she should be when she entered Kindergarten this past fall? I’m not saying it’s all due to the app, we put a lot of work into helping her learn but ABC Mouse gave us direction and made it a lot of fun for her. My three year old has recently gotten in on the fun to and is practicing letters and numbers with the app.
Kids still need outside time, and to play with blocks and Play-Doh along with other sensory enhancing items. I don’t think we should discount electronic things merely because they are electronic. Moderation is key. I do believe you should monitor the screen time your child has, but I wouldn’t say that banning it totally is the perfect answer either.
Tell me your thoughts!
What do you think? Do your kids play with your phone and/or tablet? Have you ever had your child throw it or dunk it in their drink?
If you are interested in trying ABC Mouse you can use this link to get your first month FREE!