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SLPs, Educators, & Innovators
Our recommendations for Implementing Apps with Young Children:
An iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad can indeed be irresistible tools to add to your toddler's
toy box, but there are some things to consider before using them with your little ones:
*Choose apps that stimulate some aspect of learning that is developmentally
appropriate for your child's age and stage (e.g., vocabulary building, letter recognition,
visual-spatial skills) to ensure he/she is benefiting from the experience and not
becoming overwhelmed by the information, graphics, and/or noises.
*Make your time on the iPad tablet computer interactive rather than a chance for the
child to tune out or to become distracted. If listening to and looking at an audio book,
pause after interesting events and discuss what happened. To avoid distractions, turn
the screen towards you and away from your toddler while talking.
*Depending on his or her age, teach your child good habits about caring for and
handling the iDevices, how to prevent deleting the apps, and when and how to recharge
it. Also, consider purchasing accessories that can protect it, such as anti-slip and
waterproof covers and cases, screen cleaners, and table top stands.
*Decide beforehand the time limits regarding how long you will allow your toddler to
play on the tablet computer and be firm about sticking to those boundaries. As with any
electronic device, set reasonable limits based on your child's developmental age.
NOTE: The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to limit video game
and computer game use so that the total screen time, including television and computer
use, should be less than 1 to 2 hours per day. Children younger than 5 years should play
with computer or video games only if they are developmentally appropriate, and should
be accompanied by the parent or caregiver for maximum benefit.