While some of the toddler focused apps on the Ipad have some all the rage, we feel the need to express some concerns about toddlers spending unsupervised time on the Ipad. Discover why your 2-year-old doesn’t need an Ipad.
Physical Play Teaches Toddlers Imagination and Problem Solving
The interactive screens are fun, colorful, and may even help slightly older children learn faster. However, an Ipad screen does not teach toddlers how the real world works. If a puzzle piece doesn’t fit during a video game, a funny cartoon monkey might come out and slip on a banana, repeated mistakes might lead to virtual hints on how to solve the puzzle. Naturally, a real-world puzzle, building blocks, or a board game, will not offer a toddler much in comparison. These toys do not seem as fun, they are more frustrating because they are slightly more challenging. Instead of encouraging necessary imagination and problem solving skills the educational Ipad games are teaching children how to interact with a screen.
Physical Play Acclimates Toddlers to the World
During the toddler years, a child is learning about the world around them. They are new to all of the things we take for granted. Many toddlers have only recently become reliably mobile on their own. They are learning about how to run, jump, and play. They are learning about gravity in that they tend to fall a lot. In short, during their toddler years they learn what is physically possible and impossible. Sitting a child in front of an Ipad to play seems like it will probably start their “21st Century Posture” sooner. In addition to that, Ipad games might give toddlers skewed expectations about the world before they are cognitively able to know better.
Ipads Might Impair Language Skills
When a child is 2 years old, they are beginning to realize that they can communicate in small sentences with people outside of their family circle. This is a pretty big deal for a toddler, because previous to now generally only mom and dad knew what they were saying. Language, communication, and social skills have been absorbed by children since birth. When they are around 2 years old they continue to learn but also to practice. And yet, language and communication skills are not strengthened by Ipad games. Those important skills may even be hindered by continuous Ipad time. Ipad games teach children how to listen and follow directions very well. Ipad games teach children content, the educational games are great to supplement math and spelling education.
In closing, it must be said that we do not believe Ipads are evil or that they need to go away. They are great tools to use as a family and with older children, say 5-6 years old. They are great to have as a conversation starter as opposed to a babysitter. However, toddlers are too young for them. Let your Ipad be a rite of passage so you can teach your children to have a healthy relationship with technology.