Tech Savvy Toddlers

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When I was a little girl I played outside in my Wendy house, on my swings or my preferred play time activity, making mud-pies! I have never in my life been able to use any kind of game console or in fact any game that requires hand-eye coordination. My brother loved to let me know how terrible I was, everytime I tried to play, by wacking me round the head with a play station control.  Now, at 24 years old, I am astonished by the number of toddlers that can use, expertly might I add, I-Pads, I-Phones, X-boxes and any other techy gadget that I struggle with.

I am simply AMAZED at the rate that children can pick up on how to use these things.  I’ve seen my 9 year old cousin send an E-mail from his Mum’s I-pad – I have absolutely no idea why a 9 year old would need to send an email -maybe it was a party invite…? I think those are sent by email now. I’ve tried to put films on for children to watch on I-phones and they’ve just grabbed the phone from me and done it themselves, frustrated by watching me struggle with a touch screen.

I came across a new gadget from Fisher Price today; a rattle that your I-Phone/I-Pod fits in, so it can be used by a baby of any age! Now this is an ingenious idea, there’s no doubt about it, but is it really necessary for a 6 month old to be entertained by an I-phone? What happened to all the worries about radiation etc?

The Apptivity Case

The Apptivity Case

I know I haven’t had children yet and these things are obviously amazing as portable DVD players, as we’ve found out on the shoots, the kids can watch loads of different things on them for hours.

Some of our little models taking a break

Some of our little models taking a break

I’d love to know Mums’ opinions on the matter… not having children myself I could be completely missing something,  smugly saying  I’d never ever let my children play with an I-phone but maybe  one day the time will come along when  I’ll (more than likely) have to eat my own words.

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10 comments for “Tech Savvy Toddlers

  1. Suzi
    31/05/2012 at 8:40 am

    I dont buy my children anything with lights, sounds or batteries. occasionally we get the odd gift but the majority of our toys are noise and flashing free. that way it saves money on on batteries for a start, and allows them to use imagination and creative play – we also dont have a tv (but DVDs are allowed within limits!)
    As a result my oldest daughter is creative, has brilliant imaginative play, and doesnt spiel off things shes seen on tv when shes playing.
    However, we did buy her a vtech camera, which she just cant get on with at all! she has no idea how to use it, even with having it for some time, and relied on us to make it work (for the games features etc) she got bored of it very quickly. I figure shes got years of computer use ahead of her but i do hope it means shes not behind compared to friends in the future.
    I do cringe when I see babies holding mobiles. I dont know much about radiation but I do know I wouldnt risk it.

  2. Sally Green
    31/05/2012 at 8:43 am

    If our toddlers are to grow up securely, I think it is inevitable that they will learn to love gadgets as well as lego and wendy houses. Providing you get the right balance between techie toys, traditional toys and good old fashioned play both indoors and out, and that tech play is adequately supervised (if you know how!), it can only help them to develop into well rounded and highly skilled little people. My eldest son is at school and from age 5 has been expected to use a computer both in school and at home, including uploading his homework. At this age children seem to pick up technology intuitively and they do not see it as an extra thing to learn, merely an integral part of play in 2012. To my mind it’s a good thing – provided the balance is right!

  3. emma
    31/05/2012 at 8:51 am

    I didn’t give my little boy an ipad, itouch or iphone until he was 2yrs old so I’ve no idea about the rattle!

    However, he is 4yrs old now and he is better at using the itouch and ipad than me. He plays on these devices but he also spends lots of time outside in his playhouse, playing with friends, playing board games, playing with wooden puzzles. His imaginative play is incredible.

    There are lots of educational apps for the ipad which he loves and I do them with him and he benefits a lot from them. I’m all for children learning to be tech savvy.

  4. Monique Marks
    31/05/2012 at 9:21 am

    I said “no, never” but my son is just fascinated. I must admit to being quietly impressed when he navigated to BBC i player to find a programme he asked for on the telly (and I said no to) that little bit of rebellion alone highlighted (one of many) minefields – accessing inappropriate content etc etc. Rather than get all militant about it I’ve opted play it down, not leave my phone around, supervise and enjoy watching him explore.

    Parental angst aside, he’s currently in his wellies digging a hole in the garden – no touch screen technology involved!

  5. Gina
    31/05/2012 at 9:38 am

    We’ve all smugly said things we will or won’t do when we have children & looked back on them & laughed when reality has kicked in! For most children it’s a part of life & aslong as it’s part & not the whole of their lives then there’s no problem with that. I have an 8yr old who adores books & is an amazing reader but she’s totally confident on a computer/i-pad etc. My 4yr old has been happily using a computer since she was 18months from watching her big sister. She’s now learning to read through an amazing website & can find her way around allowed websites choosing what she wants to do. I-pads are even more fun for them & there are amazing apps for young children. It’s great for independant play & but also a really fun thing to do together. Neither of mine ‘spiel things off TV’ & both have great imaginations. I don’t think it’s a plus for children to not have a computer, I think they’re pretty much expected to know how to use a mouse etc when they start school though most nurserys have them for those who don’t at home. As for no tv children talk about their favourite programs & it would be hard at 4/5yrs to be different & be left out, plus they’re missing out on some great programs for pre schoolers.

  6. Suzy
    31/05/2012 at 9:46 am

    My son (18 months) is stimulated by all things, books, the outside, water play, colouring, other children, TV and also my iphone. Why deny them all forms of stimulaiton that we have availble in this day and age, as long as it’s relevant and designed specifically for them? All in moderation of course but having just done a 9 hr flight with him, the fisher price apptivity case was a God send!

  7. Kristie Scarle
    31/05/2012 at 10:12 am

    My 2 year-old plays some of the CBeebies games on the PC (on my lap), and we have a Timmy Time game on our Nintendo DS, which she loves playing memory games on.

    She also asked to use our compact digital camera – so we let her and have some great fun snaps of us and the dog that she took.

    But we spent most of the weekend in the garden – playing with bottles and cups in the paddling pool. She comes to the park to walk the dog with me most days and we’re going swimming in a moment.

    The world has moved on from when I was a child. As long as children aren’t sitting using gadgets all day I think there is a place for them.

  8. Angela
    31/05/2012 at 10:20 am

    Our children today are growing up in a different age to us. When I was a child I too played with mud playing, climbed trees, had dolly tea parties etc. We didn’t have technology that is available to our children today nor would we have been able to afford it if we had. Stimulation for children can come in all forms and as long as you enable them to have a balance there is a place for technology, after all if they keep them in a bubble that doesn’t involved technology, tv or artificial stimulation then potentially when they start school and their peers are part of the technology world then this can ostracise the child, make them stand our and be a potential target of bullying, it can also make them fear change. Before I had my daughter I said I wouldn’t allow her to watch children’s television and would certainly never have entertained allowing her a games device, however, I have learnt that the right TV programmes are educational and the games devices provide stimulation and have a learning element to them. Moderation is the key.

  9. 31/05/2012 at 7:31 pm

    Phoebe loves looking at her dad’s iPhone probably because it always has a picture of her on the front. She has got a few techie toys but she doesn’t seem all that interested one of her favourite toys is a silicone spatula and a biscuit tin. She does watch t.v. but again only seems interested in Baby Jake. I think there is a happy medium in old fashioned toys and modern technology, there’s no point in hiding from it. Bizarrely I set my year 10 some planning work last lesson today and they asked if they could listen to their music on their mobile phones, I said yes as long as they had headphones. They were virtually silent and some of my most disruptive pupils produced more work than in the previous three lessons. Ok these kids aren’t toddlers but it does show that if you embrace technology rather than hide from it you can have very positive results.

  10. Melanie
    01/07/2012 at 1:18 pm

    I keep seeing kids out and about with ipods, ipads, iphones, etc and It boggles my mind! Bearing in mind that these are expensive pieces of technology, I can’t understand it when I see a mother casually handing her child an ipad to play with.

    Also, someone please tell me why a toddler needs a phone….

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