Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

Introducing Toddlers to Computers

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Computers have become such a part of modern life that it has become important to introduce them to children at an early age so that they are familiar with technology and better able to utilize it during their schooling years and beyond. Young children and toddlers can safely learn how to use computers and technology with the close guidance of their parents, at the appropriate age.

Teaching your child how to use computers is also a great time to bond with them while helping them learn important skills that will benefit them their entire life. Be sure that you interact with them and monitor them the entire time that they are using the computer, just as if you were reading them a book.

(Here at Gecko Parents we have a few tools for helping the process of introducing computers)

Around nine months of age is the earliest time to teach your toddler

Some parents prefer to wait until their toddlers are older before they introduce them to computers, but there’s no real good reason to wait if they show curiosity around computers. Toddlers can safely interact with technology when supervised. Most child development experts recommend teaching toddlers how to use computers starting at nine months at the earliest. At this age, children have developed the motor skills to be able to use computers including the ability to sit up on their own. Some choose to wait until their toddlers are 1.5 to 2 years old. There’s really no perfect answer as to what age is the best time to introduce them to computers, but nine months is the earliest time to consider it.

games for toddlers

Limit the screen time

Most child development experts agree that the amount exposure to technology and computers should be limited, especially at a very young age. The best way to do this is to limit the amount of screen time for your toddler. The time should be limited to about 20-30 minutes and most of your child’s free time should be spent on other activities. Limiting the computing sessions to 30 minutes is better when they are 9 months to 2 years old, and once they reach the age of 3 to 4 the time can be increased to up to one hour per day if the child wants more time on the computer.

Use games designed for toddlers

One of the best ways to introduce your toddler to computers is to use games designed for them. There are a wide number of interactive child development games on Sesame Street, Fisher Price, and other websites for toddlers. Be sure to avoid games designed for older children which can be fast moving and scary for toddlers. The games that you pick should be designed to teach your baby new skills, knowledge and creativity. Also be sure to use the appropriate filtering and parental control software on any technology that you use with your toddler, whether it is a tablet, phone or computer.

Start teaching your toddler when they show an interest

The best time to start teaching your toddler how to use computers is when they show an interest in them by grabbing at the keys on the keyboard or the mouse. Don’t try to force them to learn how to use technology but wait until they demonstrate some curiosity. If your toddler doesn’t show any interest in the computer, don’t worry about it. They will still have plenty of time to learn how to use computers in kindergarten, and a delay in computer interaction doesn’t mean that they won’t be highly proficient with them in the future at all.

Best iPad Learning Apps for Toddlers

Monday, December 30th, 2013

The iPad is the perfect learning tool for toddlers, and the evidence suggests that interactive iPad apps can be very helpful for early childhood development. The key is to pick apps that are engaging and fun for your toddler and apps that will teach them fundamental concepts and skills. Thankfully there are a wide range of apps that have been developed specifically for toddler learning and many of them are free as well. If your kids are using the PC as well, use our parental software to keep them safe.

girl with mobile phone

Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet is a fun app that is designed for children ages 3 and older and was created by Sesame Street artists. The app teaches toddlers how to spell using talking letters that are slid into place. Once all the letters have been placed, an entertaining animation pops up on the screen as a reward. The app is free to use but $0.99 can be paid to remove advertisements. This is a great app for learning spelling but some of the words may be difficult for toddlers.

Kids Piano Lite

Kids Piano Lite is an eight tone piano with several different “learn to play” music activities, and it includes some free children’s songs. Ads are not show in the “baby mode” and the app is designed for toddlers aged 2 and older. This app offers a way for toddlers to develop fundamental music skills and can be a great way to keep them entertained when they are bored.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids gives toddlers and children access to videos from their favorite PBS television series anytime. It is a free app and only for those who live in the USA. PBS Kids is a great app for keeping your toddler entertained during the day.

Toddler Soundboard Free

This app teaches toddlers shapes, ABCs and numbers through association. When a color is touched the app says the name of the color out loud, and the same goes for numbers or letters. It is a simple app but it can be helpful for teaching your toddler the basics of colors and letters through simple association.

Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo is a picture book that was developed by animator Christoph Niemann and introduces toddlers to 21 animals with clever and creative animations that both parents and toddlers can enjoy. The cost of the app is $0.99.

Drawing Pad

Drawing Pad is $1.99 and offers toddlers a wide range of digital art tools to create with. The app is easy to use and toddlers can create their own art with the help of their parents. Creations can be printed or shared online and the potential mess and clutter of crayons can be avoided.

Abby Monkey: Preschool and Kindergarten

This is a free version of the paid app that has most of the same features as the full version. There are various activities such as shape matching, creating your own train, and more. The app is best for toddlers age 2 or older.

Funbrain Jr.

Funbrain Jr. offers five fun games for toddlers age 2 and older including a balloon popping game, pattern games, and an alphabetical order game. It is a popular free app and teaches many concepts and skills including quantity, sequence, patterns, letter recognition, sounds, and also helps with fine motor skills.