When your baby becomes a toddler, suddenly you are called upon even more as a parent. At the baby stage, your child needs little beyond food and clean diapers from you. We can get on with our lives thanks to the use of harnesses or slings, so we can still cuddle and be close. Although toddlerhood is the dawn of independence for our little ones, they actually require far more involvement from you than you realise.
You will need to be down on the floor with them, helping them to build up bricks, and roll the cars around. There are so many toys and games a toddler can begin to use. While free time play is vital for your child to begin to learn to explore and gain independence, the vast majority of what they do will include you. Story time is a firm favourite. Your toddler can snuggle in and look at the pictures as you read through their book. But at what point is it acceptable or appropriate to bring in digital media?
Using an iPad or the TV is still very frowned upon. With toddlers, there is an old-fashioned assumption that screens can damage their development. This is a very naive view, by people who have failed to explore the extensive amount of educational apps out there. Dedicated TV channels for children are full of programmes designed to develop cognitive skills and key skills in maths and language. They introduce substantial amounts of information about the world around us. By using TV, this information can be presented in many ways at once, enhancing your child’s learning.
The internet is also a great tool for finding activities to support your child’s development. Looking at puzzles for kids available online, you will find an excellent range of games to help your child develop mentally. The movements of the mouse or dragging a finger across the screen greatly helps fine motor skills in ways that weren’t widely available to us as children. Some games, apps and TV programmes also encourage kids to respond physically to ideas presented. This enhances their gross motor skills too.
If you are happy to allow your little one to use a small device like a smart phone or iTouch, you can find many apps for free that will keep them entertained. There are many games that develop skills in music, maths, language, fine motor skills, art and creative thinking. If you have concerns about their access to the internet, you can easily turn off the wi-fi on your device. Most apps for kids operate offline, so there is no need to worry about data usage either. Using technologies available to us today does not mean you are irresponsible as a parent or causing any harm to your child.
Digital learning aids are essential to providing your child with the very best opportunities to discover and do. Playing out in the garden is always to be encouraged. However, learning about the world around us on a rainy day can easily be achieved thanks to the use of digital media.