Reposted from the Tahoe Daily Tribune:
Recent position papers of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Zero Through Three, and The Fred Rogers Center address this intersection of child development and children’s media. The consensus is that there is no turning back. Young children are continually exposed to technology. However, with new guidelines and intentionality, parents and teachers can integrate play and technology in healthy, productive ways.
Parents should use appropriate, ad-free apps WITH young children. That means that when a child is using an app, the parent and childe are talking about it and extending the learning — just like reading books with a toddler in one’s lap. There are thousands of apps to choose from and it can be confusing to decide which ones to invest in, so searching online for suggestions from reputable sources like NAEYC, Common Sense Media or KinderTown is a good idea.
Dos and Dont’s of Play and Media include:
- Provide creative, open-ended play opportunities with “loose parts,” such as blocks, hands-on materials and items found in nature.
- Provide time for outdoor play and open-ended exploration.
- Watch and do media together — children thrive and learn through relationships and social interaction.
- Have rich conversations — new research shows that the “quality” of words is crucial to language development.