Various types of technological gadgets are at the forefront of United States culture. Chances are, you -- and your kids -- use computer devices, such as tablets, e-books, and cell phones, for everyday tasks and duties. Computers serve an important purpose in many aspects of your child's life, such as school, work and play. Rather than pulling your laptop away from your child's inquisitive reach, embrace her curiosity by teaching proper computer use and its benefits.
1. Learning Through Play
An essential aspect of early learning is the use of play to teach children about the world. Digital learning allows children to expand their mind by encouraging exploration through technology. Desktop games, such as Millie's Math House, can teach about shapes, sorting and classification, while Kid Pix can teach them to paint just like Picasso. Visiting zoo webcams can teach your child about animals, and clicking through street view maps transports them to a foreign country. So when your child asks to "play on the computer," have no fear of mindless screen time! The use of the right tools can support learning in a memorable and exciting way.
2. Literacy Development
Electronic books are all the rage nowadays. Using an e-reader in support of literacy development allows your little bookworm access to a full library of classics at the touch of a finger. Since classrooms are leaning towards the integration of technological learning, exposing your child to electronic readers will develop a stronger relationship with books. Curl up for a night of reading and watch the pages of your child's favorite story come to life with bright colors, large font and interactive illustrations. The best part of using an e-reader is the condition of her books will stay pristine and without dog-eared pages -- which means no more disapproving looks from the local librarian.
3. Fine Motor Practice
Fine motor skills are what build the muscles necessary for grasping pencils and crayons. The use of a mouse and keyboard are additional hands-on tools for building dexterity. Using the computer mouse can teach your child to single click, double click, click-and-drag, and control wrist movement through a variety of games and applications. Keyboard use can not only teach your child the ABCs, 123s and punctuation, but also five finger isolation. Keyboarding games for kids, such as "Typing Factory," are the perfect way to teach skills necessary for typing.
Your child may not have an email address quite yet, but speaking with family members and friends through technology is another positive benefit for computer use. Tools like Skype, ooVoo, email and instant message can show your child additional ways to connect with loved ones near and far. So if Aunt Sue and Uncle Jack are unable to come in for the holidays, settle in for a night of chatting through the beauty of screen time.
- Technology in Early Childhood Programs: NAEYC, Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media
- ooVoo: Features
- Smart Kids Software: Millie's Math House
- Kid Pix for Terrified Teachers Grades K-2; Marsha Lifter
- Software Mackiev: Kid Pix 3D
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images