Nerd is the Word: Tablets aid development in children

TODDLERS plus tablets equals parents who feel guilty about their parenting ... but perhaps that shouldn’t be the case.

Research has found skills kids learn when they play a game or use an app on a tablet are seamlessly transferable to real life.

For example, if a child can play a game of chess or complete puzzles on a device, they can simply transfer those skills to the 3D object.

The research by Swinburne University of Technology revealed tablet games can aid a child’s educational development significantly.

So, that opens up the debate about the pros and cons of youngsters using tablets.

The cons typically relate to promoting anti-social behaviour, hindering creativity and a mind’s desire to wander, and restricting important experimentation with objects and toys that have different smells and textures.

There’s also no denying that people still judge parents who allow kids to use tablets in public because they assume it’s to “keep a child occupied and quiet”. I guess that one will change with time.

As highlighted in that research, there are clear pros to embracing technology-use in kids as well.

iPads and tablets can fit in your bag and they are an easy “toy” to pull out for your child on trips.

In your device app store the list of games and apps specifically designed to challenge little minds is endless. From teaching hand-eye coordination to learning modern skills such as computer programming, there will be something for your toddler or child, guaranteed.

Another interesting pro comes from teaching your child life skills, such as responsibility, respect and trust.

A cousin of mine took his young daughter to pick out her own iPad cover for the family iPad, so when it was her allotted time to use it, they simply swapped covers.

She took the iPad to school some days and knew that between the hours of 9am and 3pm it was her responsibility to keep it safe, as if it were her own device.

The great thing about that technique is it doesn’t actually require your child to own an expensive device, only the heavy-duty-but-cute cover they picked out for it.

This is only the first generation of toddlers to have widespread access to large handheld devices so it’s still too early to know how continued exposure to technology from a young age will impact kids in the future. But experts suggest that as long as there is balance between tech and no-tech times in the day, there aren’t health risks.

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