We let Brie use an iPad and I have seen the benefits she has gained from it. I realize there are pros and cons on this subject. There are many studies out there that have said it can have negative effects while others say there are positive benefits. It’s ultimately up to you to decide what is just right or too much entertainment for your child.
Just like any young kid Brie was intrigued by our phones, computers, and tablets. It was something that made noises, lit up, and responded when she touched it. We decided to let Brie have my husband’s old iPad. We only have age appropriate apps downloaded and set up restrictions. She is not able to download, delete, or make any in app purchases. When she first starting using it I always stayed close by incase she needed help, but it didn’t take long for her to become a pro at navigating around.
The improvements I’ve seen
Brie picks up on things pretty quickly and I have worked with her without the iPad on letters, numbers, and colors. She seemed to be progressing well, but a few educational apps have really helped to increase her development on those subjects and others. The biggest improvement lately is her counting. She could always repeat numbers after I would say them, but after using a particular app for a couple of days she was counting up to ten all on her own. She can match and recognize shapes, colors, numbers, animals, and letters. It’s great to see her keep learning and even identify what she sees when we are out of the house.
The tablet is not the babysitter
It’s all about moderation. I will not allow her to be on it for more than 2 hours a day. That time limit usually isn’t even a problem. Most days she doesn’t use it and would rather color, play with her toys, or have us read books together. The only time we’ve brought the iPad out of the house was this past weekend. We went on a little road trip and put some movies and her favorite shows on there to keep her occupied. Brie is usually content playing with the iPad on her own, but I also like to engage and interact with her while she is using it. I also never give her the iPad as a bribe if she is upset or seems bored. It’s important for me to make sure she uses her imagination and is continuously developing her emotional and social skills she needs to grow.
Her favorite apps
I always download free apps for Brie and test it out first to make sure it’s not too advanced for her. If she seems to really be enjoying a game and is learning from it, I will purchase the full version.
Here are some her favorites-
• Doc Baby – She can be just like Doc McStuffins and take care of toy babies by feeding, changing, dressing, bathing, and playing with them.
• Smart ABC – Letters, words, and number matching.
• Smart Shapes – Similar to the ABC just with shape matching.
• 123 Learn – I purchased the full version of this app because this one really helped with her counting.
• Explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Here she can visit and go inside many different shops, such as, a music store, grocery store, doctor’s office, and a park. Each place has different activities.
• Fisher- Price Animal Sounds – Learn animal names and their sounds.
Overall, I believe the tablet has been a fun, engaging, and educational toy for Brie. The important things are monitoring and moderation. Like I mentioned earlier, the final decision is up to you and what you and your child are comfortable with.