Toddlers and Technology
If you are a mom of a toddler, then you know that they are pretty much born understanding technology these days! Well, that statement might be slightly dramatic, but you know what I mean parents! From our cell phones to our desktop computers, toddlers are curious and want to learn. After all, the desire to play, discover, and explore are the natural instincts of our babies (or am I the only one that still calls my toddler a baby?:). They are born into a world where technology is advancing daily, therefore, hiding them from technology is impossible. In fact, technology will be present in their schools by the time they start Kindergarten. As a teacher and a mom, I’m excited to see schools advancing! But, before I get ahead of myself and talk Kindergarten…let me focus on toddlers today!
Toddlers can use technology to play and toddlers can play with technology to learn.
As their parent, which do you prefer?
I say that there is room for both!
If you think about it, the desire to play, discover, and explore doesn’t ever really go away. As adults, we rely on technology and we get excited about new products, don’t we? In order to function, you need to be able to understand and use technology. From emails, to checking bank accounts and applying for employment, technology has transformed our lives for the better.
Guarding our children from technology will not help them in today’s world. Instead, we need to embrace technology with our toddlers and use it to foster and environment of learning.
I recently got to review Samsung’s new Chromebook from the kind people at Staples. Integrating it into our toddler lovin’ home was fun!
Here are my simple DO’s and DON’TS for toddlers and technology:
DO provide opportunities for toddlers to explore a computer.
Allow them to touch the letters on a keyboard, click the colors on the screen, and feel comfortable learning with a computer.
DON’T let toddlers play with a laptop by themselves.
Toddlers need the comfort of a parent! Help them learn and show them how to use technology properly.
DON’T allow excessive screen-time.
Set a time limit with your Chromebook. 15-20 minutes a day is a good place to start.
DON’T limit computer time to games.
Find phonics programs, math programs, or reading programs that work well for your family and toddler’s needs.
DON’T prohibit the use of technology and guard toddlers from utilizing computers as a learning tool.
Studies show that children perform better in in school readiness programs when they work on computers at home and at school.
Are you looking to invest in a great laptop for your kids? Let me explain why I love the Chromebook for our family:
The Chromebook provides easy access to online educational games and programs. The Chromebook is lightweight yet heavily advanced for the modern day internet usage. This makes it a great tool for researching school reports and homework help! Google Apps for Education are great for students, teachers, and schools. These apps provide fast, intuitive, and safe access to educational tools for school.
Speaking of fast internet, since this is a wireless laptop, you’re going to need a router to get access to internet. I suggest the Netgear N600 Dual Band WiFi Router. It is super easy to set up AND has parental controls (yes, parental controls in your router- genius!). I also highly recommend installing Norton Anit-Virus to ultimately protect your awesome Chromebook. Norton Anti-Virus works specifically to protect passwords (something that is important to explain to your school-aged children). Both the Netgear Router and the Norton Anti-Virus can be purchased from Staples.
The Chromebook has a fantastic battery life and, better yet, it updates itself (how’s that for easy?!). Stella, Mitch, and I even like to use the Chromebook outside because it has a special screen that you can actually see outside! We plan on bringing our new Chromebook with us on vacation for that reason.
For learning, play, and computer access on-the-go, the Chromebook is the perfect family laptop for Smart School House!
Disclaimer: My favorite people at Staples provided me with the Chromebook, router, and anti-virus software. The thoughts, opinions, and suggestions I’ve written about these products are my own.