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Technology can be an issue of contention when it comes to children. Often viewed as a hindrance, technology can lure children away from the great outdoors, keep them cooped up in their room, and distract them at bedtime. The negatives of technology have been widely documented and some parents believe that children and tech just don’t mix.
However, there are some ways that you can use technology as an aid to creativity, setting goals, socializing, and even eating healthily. If there was a way to make technology productive for kids rather than disruptive, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Toddlers love toys that light up and make noises. They can be both inspiring and educational. These types of toys teach children about cause and effect develop their hand skills, and help with motor skills as well. If you are trying to encourage your children to play with more educational games, technology can be a good way to do this. Technology looks exciting to children and can provide a great point of access for educational activities. Let your children use interactive quizzes and challenges online; this will make them more interested in completing them.
When your children are younger than five it is best to limit the amount of time they spend staring at the television screen. There are, however, some programs which are better than others for your children to watch. Shows like Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street are great because they can help your children’s language skills and are shown in small segments. Watching these kinds of educational shows help your children learn to identify sounds, letters, and shapes. Just monitor what your children watch and how many hours they spend doing so.
In terms of phones, it is best to keep children away from these smaller screens. You do not want your children to be exposed to unnecessary radiation, especially as their skulls are thinner than adults. Your children will want to mimic you, however. So if you are glued to your phone do not be surprised if they want to do the same. Always turn your phone onto airplane mode to prevent unnecessary radiation around your children. It is also a good idea to download child-friendly apps. This will come in handy for trips and errands when you need to keep your toddler still.
Technology is a great way to get your children’s creative juices flowing. From toddlers to teenagers, technology can be a useful tool when used the right way. As your children grow, their access to technology will expand. By the time they turn 12 years old they will be quite adept at navigating tablets and laptops.
Internet usage will still need to be monitored to keep your child safe, but you can still use technology as an aid. At this age puzzles probably will not cut it anymore. Instead, try using technology as a tool for learning. If your children ask you for a pet, a good idea is to get them to work together to come up with a compelling presentation to convince you. Let them copy and paste images from the internet and add fun effects. This will help them strengthen their communications skills and IT competency. You can also get them to design their own magazine cover, leaflets, or flyers. This is a really great way to teach children about the importance of creativity. It is also likely to reflect the kind of homework they will start getting, too.
For younger children, bedtime can be a struggle. The desire to stay up and play is often much greater than the one to calm down and go to sleep! Technology usually is not helpful in this situation. Watching television too close to bed does not allow time to switch off and unwind. There are, however, some technological aids that could make bedtime easier.
When it is time for a bath, bring a waterproof speaker into the bathroom with you. These usually stick to the tiles easily. Bathing children before bed is a good way to relax and unwind. Run a warm soapy bath and put some toys in the tub. Play calm, soothing music during bath time to set the tone. Over time, our children will start to associate the songs with bedtime and know it when they need to calm down and relax. Audiobooks are also a good idea because they are a helpful way to get your kids to fall asleep while listening to a story.
As a parent, it can be incredibly challenging to know what to feed your children. Of course, nutrition and healthy food are important, but it can be difficult when all they want is chips! Nutrition apps which you can download are a good way to keep track of what your child is eating. By entering their daily intake you are, in effect, keeping an online diary. The only difference is this diet can tell you what they are lacking. It is also a beneficial tool to use during doctor appointments so you have a clear log of what your children are eating.
How do you use technology in positive ways?