Technology is an important part of our modern society, and some kids spend a lot of time in front of the screen. Most of the time we are told this is bad for the kids!
Yet when technology is used in the right way, these interactive tools can be very beneficial for the growth and development of a child. Kids can learn everything from math, to business and so much more!
As a parent, there are a few things that you can do to improve the productivity of the time your kids spend using technology, and these are a few tools that you might consider:
It is debatable about the age that children should start using technology, and some parents strive to keep their youngsters away from technology for the first few years. When you decide to implement tech devices, look for things that will help them to develop important skills. There are some great tech toys that make it possible for kids to learn to read, talk, and develop cognitive skills.
For example, LeapFrog is a great brand to consider, because they have a variety of options that are catered to many different ages. You can give your child their own “laptop” or “tablet” which is actually a LeapPad with built-in educational games and learning opportunities. Your child will be excited to have their own computer like mom and dad, and the activities will be beneficial for their development and progress.
As the child gets older and starts to “grow out” of their toys, they might be more interested in your phone or iPad than their own educational toys. If you plan to hand over your phone to your child, download apps that they can use to play educational games or learn while they are using the phone.
For example, there are many smartphone apps that can be used to practice spelling and vocabulary words, improve hand-eye coordination, and help the child learn about history and science. When these apps are installed on your phone, then you won’t be as hesitant to hand the phone over for a few minutes when the child has earned technology time.
Another option is to look for online websites that offer educational games, because these sites can be fun for a child to use when they are at the computer. You can find many free sites that are available, as well as paid services that offer lessons and games that progressively develop the concepts that the child is learning.
Once a teenager gets their own phone and/or computer, it becomes much harder for parents to control the things they are viewing and participating in online. While at the same time the apps to help them manage school can make things much easier than in our day!
For the education side, look for specific apps that help them develop critical and strategic thinking skills. Certain apps will help the teenager engage in various types of problem solving skills and abstract thinking, to help them strengthen their ability to think outside the box in many ways. Teenagers can benefit from technology when they are doing their homework or completing a big assignment for school, because the internet provides many opportunities for research and learning.
It is important to monitor the way technology is being used in your home, because these same tools can also be problematic if they are used incorrectly. But, there are many ways that technology can be used for good, which is why you need to find the balance between too much technology vs. having just enough technology in the home to support learning and growth.