I think that writing a short article about some suggestions on using the iPad (or other electronic tools) with your child can be useful for many parents. Some of these suggestions I have learned as a professional and others I have learned as a parent. I hope these recommendations help make this a bonding and learning experience for you and your child.
– Do try to sit with your child.
– Do give your child a time limit with the iPad or other electronic toy (I literally will set a timer so I don’t forgot).
– Do monitor what apps your child navigates to (as I mentioned before, your co-workers might not want your child’s cake pop sent them multiple times throughout the day and you also might not want them to go into your amazon account and start buying things!).
– Do give suggestions and provide modeling when your child is playing (e.g. “I see that you are putting green frosting on”).
– Do encourage asking for help from you.
– Do provide positive reinforcement and be specific (“You are doing a great job putting purple frosting on the cupcake”).
– Do give specific directions and play with the iPad (or other electronic toy) at consistent times so your child can expect when it’s the right time. We usually play in the morning for 30 minutes. This gives them the expectation of when its going to happen so they doesn’t ask for it all day!
– Do carryover activities at home (try making cupcakes after the EZ bake app or having a tea party after Toca Party)
– Do use it for literacy activities (I highly recommend LetterSchool.
– Do enjoy your time with your child and have fun. This is supposed to be a fun and creative activity.
– Do listen to your child and observe what they are doing. If they love a puzzle portion of an app, try a puzzle later in the day. I have myself been pretty impressed with my daughter with what she knows and understands.
-Do help your child if they are having problems but try not to do it for them. If they need help, that gives you the perfect opportunity to wait for them to ask you for help or model for them what they need to do.