Hello my lovely WAWAers. This week we’ll be tackling the controversial topic of iPhone and iPads use by toddlers. I must admit that my opinion is slightly if not greatly biased, being a tech geek, an apple fan boy, and due to the fact that I work in the video game business. Therefore, I do have an affinity for Apps and smart devices, but I’ll try to present both sides of the argument. Hopefully, you’ll learn a little, and find some damn cool apps to download for your kids and/or yourself >~<
My wife and I have our own iPads and smartphones and use them pretty much all day long, at least when we’re home, and when they’re charged!
Monkey see, monkey do, our daughter quickly learned how to use the iPads and smartphones. This happened before she was even 1 year old. When I say learned how to use them, I mean by 1 year of age, our daughter could navigate the screens, find her apps, turn on the device, and even crack some passwords! We marveled at this. Our daughter’s dexterity, subtle and specific inputs, memory, problem solving and specific choices and likes were all mind-blowing. This technology ability also extended to remote controls for the TV and video game console controllers. She couldn’t even talk yet but for a few words, but in a way was communicating…to the device. This may indeed be the rub.
I first started my search for great learning apps, as we noticed that our bilingual toddler was behind on her speech development according to our pediatrician. My daughter was already using iPads and smartphones to play kid-friendly games, and I was wondering if there were spelling and talking apps that could help.
With a quick search on the Apple App Store under “Free Spelling Toddler” I found a few great FREE spelling apps.
Learning apps are readily available on iTunes and on Android devices with a simple search for Babies and Toddlers. Many of the apps are free, but be careful of the dreaded in-app purchase. Many “FREE” apps give you a simple intro portion of the game, and provide add-ones at a cost. These add-ons are often accessible for your toddlers to make “accidental” purchases. Check out this link from parents.com for some great leaning apps for babies and toddlers.
Soon I found a great article on a visually stunning spelling app for toddlers which I quickly downloaded:
Apart from learning apps, I’ve also found some great kid-friendly apps that mix reading with story-telling, animation and music. My favorites are the Charlie Brown apps. I originally purchased them for personal nostalgia reasons, but my daughter ended up loving them. They have a nice calm tone, and are great for the holidays:
Some companies are integrating iPhone and iPad support directly into toys for babies and toddlers. Here is an example from Fisher-Price:
Believe it or not, app-enabled accessories for toddlers has even led to an iPotty, behold:
The movement against letting your babies/toddlers/children use iPads and iPhones is strong, especially online. Some of the arguments towards this cause are that iPad and iPhone use at too early of an age can lead to antisocial behavior. Here’s a great article on the risks and some interesting benefits of tablet use by young children.
For those looking to lock down and/or restrict the access their children have to their iPhones and iPads, Apple has provided some simple options though Guided Access:
Best to be informed and make the best decision for you and your children. I say better to address the new technologies available, rather than shun them. Setting reasonable restrictions makes more sense to me than turning a blind eye. In my humble and somewhat naïve opinion, it seems that technology is here to stay, and toddler’s using the latest and greatest might have an edge in the years to come.
Lastly, here are some hot links to learning apps on iTunes:
Till next time MAMA NATION. – Mr. Dante
BREAKING NEWS: Mr. Dante's Apple Watch just arrived 1:53pm 4/24/15. Now to see how our daughter deals with that! :) #thestruggleisreal