by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
Technology, in its myriad forms, is ubiquitous in today’s society. It has almost become a fundamental need of the modern man. Both young and old embrace technology; while elders still stick to the television as their primary source of information and entertainment, adolescents have smartphones as their constant companions, and younger kids amuse themselves by watching cartoons on their tablets. The use of technology across age groups is so distinct that it is possible even to find out age based on your technology use! Do you find it unbelievable? Take the ExpressVPN’s technological age quiz and check what your tech age is!
Is technology beneficial for very young kids?
There is a raging debate about the use of technology by very young children, of five years and below. There is a school of thought that advocates for technology literacy at a very young age. According to them, technology is a tool, a medium of expression, much like language. Children may find an outlet for their creativity and innovative spirit if we introduce them to age-appropriate technology.
But are there age-appropriate technological products for very young children?
The answer is yes. Let us see.
Curiosity Kaleidoscope Cause & Effect Electronic Toy is a great cause-and-effect toy for babies. What are cause-and-effect toys? They are toys that can be used to make the baby understand that doing something (cause) will result in something (effect). This is a very important pre-language learning skill. With Curiosity Kaleidoscope, when the baby squeezes a colored handle, a corresponding color lights up the dome, and the name of the color is heard. This is cognitive development through play at its best! “fine motor skills, and stimulating the senses.
Your little one is exploring the world and learning fast at this age, and will greatly benefit from appropriate educational shows. Cocomelon is a great educational show for this age that gives 3D animation videos of traditional nursery rhymes and other original kids’ songs, all sung by an adorable family that sets a very good example of family life. Dora The Explorer, Peppa Pig, and Blue’s Clues are other beneficial shows for babies of this age. “WordWorld” is also a perfect fit as an educational show for kids of 1-2 years. It is a unique show that has been recognized as a fun way to develop language skills.
Kids of 2-3 years old are old enough to move on to their own gadgets. LeapFrog My Own Leaptop is a kid-friendly laptop that is perfect for this age. It is very educational since it introduces the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-10 as well as pictures of animals. “Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around the Town Learning Table” is another cool gadget that has the advantage of having different levels for different age groups. At level 1, kids play with different lights and songs.
Your little one is now attending preschool most probably and has officially started education. Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids and Kids Pro is a great fit for this age with a 10-inch screen that is perfect for displaying comics and picture books. It comes with parental controls that ensure that your child is safe as they read, watch, and browse. “Animal Island AILA Sit & Play Preschool Learning System” is another perfect companion for toddlers to develop STEAM literacy and 21st-century skills.
Draw and Tell HD from the iOs app store provides kids of this age with all that they need for expression of creativity such as crayons, stickers, brushes, and different backgrounds with which they can create their own stories. “Doodle Buddy Draw for iPad” is another great fit for this age as it lets kids use stencils to make perfect shapes and use a chalk or pencil to create smudge lines.
Both the promoters and detractors of technology agree on one thing: technology is here to stay. Therefore, as parents, we might as well take advantage of it, instead of trying in vain to banish it completely from our kids’ lives. The key is in finding the right balance between making use of the constantly evolving technology for learning, and for other purposes. With kids of 0-5 years of age, it is great that parents are still in charge, and so are able to choose the right technology for them instead of them finding things that may not be as good.