Nowadays, preschoolers are as adept as adults at swiping through smartphone or tablet screens. This digitally advanced world has given rise to an era where kids have left behind their outdoor activities to spend more time playing video games or swiping through screens rather than turning pages of a book. We know too much screen time can harm young minds. But all of it does not need to be bad, does it? Children’s screen time can easily be optimized to their advantage! With the help of the right apps and websites, we can utilize this time to build an interactive learning experience for kids. However, the first step towards optimizing screen time for kids is to understand how it can be monitored.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL SCREEN TIME FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS?
Parents need to give as much time to choosing the online content for their kids as they would spend to choose their kids’ preschool or caregivers. According to most neurologists, toddlers in the age group of 2 to 3 years should be allowed a maximum of one hour of screen time with proper breaks in between. It is also advisable for parents to be available with the children and interact with them during these hours. This screen time can be focused on interactive games, puzzles, or essential educational development.
As the kids grow older, their screen time can be increased substantially. Children between the ages of 4 to 6 years can have two hours of screen time with thirty-minute breaks. However, at this stage – where kids learn healthy exercise, eating, personal hygiene, and maintaining routines – they need to develop healthy online habits. Hence, the type of content that the kids watch is of utmost importance. The content should be age-appropriate and focused on education and interactive development. It is also advised that parents monitor their child’s online engagement and make sure social media age guidelines are being followed.
But all this monitoring and rationing of screen time does not mean that it becomes tedious for the little ones. Many applications and websites engage the kids through vibrant games while creating a fun learning and social development environment. Let’s look at some interactive apps that can help optimize screen time and teach through play.
INTERACTIVE APPS THAT CAN HELP IN OPTIMIZING SCREEN TIME TO THE KID’S ADVANTAGE
- Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
A healthy-eating monkey is the main protagonist of this game! Young kids can enjoy helping the monkey fill up his lunchbox with healthy food. The application has been developed to teach shapes, patterns, colours, letters, and fruits to kids through puzzle solving.
- AlphaTots Alphabets
Designed particularly for toddlers and young preschoolers, this app aims to help kids learn the alphabets through twenty-six different action verbs. It has puzzles, sing-a-longs and much more to entertain the kids and encourage them to learn the alphabets by themselves.
- Reading Eggs
This fantastic app is designed to help kids learn reading skills through entertaining lessons, phonics games and exciting stories. The app piques the interest of children, teaching them to picture words and develop their vocabulary.
- Sago Mini Road Trip
This app helps to enhance creativity in kids by allowing them to plan and enjoy their road trip. From packing the luggage, selecting the car to stopping for petrol along the way, it helps to build confidence and creative skills in kids.
Most of these apps are tailor-made for young kids – they are easy to use and have many colourful animations and engaging content to keep them interested. So, adding these creative applications in your child’s screen time along with a little bit of monitoring can go a long way in keeping the kids happy and entertained while teaching them at the same time!