22. 06. 2018

5 + 5 Golden Rules of Using Mobile Technologies with Preschool Children

Let’s prepare our children for the digital age! We created these 10 golden rules as a safety measure so parents know whether kids are spending too much time on a tablet and whether they’re using it in a meaningful way.

Keep It Safe

1. Proper Usage

Show children how to use the device properly.

Protecting the tablet with a case is a great idea, but it’s also good to show kids some basic rules of using the device correctly: they should have clean hands, and sit still in a comfortable position. We also recommend you adjust the tablet settings when necessary, especially in terms of volume and brightness for the given light conditions.

2. Safe Environment

Avoid annoying ads by setting up parental guidance.

You don’t have to be afraid of letting your kids use a device without supervision. All devices have parental functions and locks that ensure kids always play within in a safe and appropriate environment.

– iOS: Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access

– Android: Settings > Security > Screen Pinning

If your child is spending time in an online environment, keep in mind the rules of online safety. For parents of preschool kids, this means filtering website content in the browser settings, and using websites with guaranteed safe content or with direct access to a children’s section. It’s also never too early to explain to kids that they should never share their personal data or photos online. Learn how to protect your child from cyberbullying.

3. Focus on Content Rather Than Time

It’s not just about screen time; it’s about good content and meaningful play.

When it comes to kids and technology, the question how much is too much is a regularly debated one. Numerous studies show that rather than obsessing over time limits, parents should think about whether the activity the child is doing on the device is meaningful. The ideal amount of screen time is subject to your own judgment and the individual needs of your child. But make sure that using a tablet is only one of the many activities your child does during the day.

4. Be an Example

Hold yourself to the same standards that you hold your children.

As adults, we basically live with our phones glued to our hands, even when we’re with our kids. Ask yourself if you might be using it too much when your child is talking to you, or when you are doing something together. If possible, don’t take your phone to a family dinner.

5. Keep Up-To-Date

Become a kids’ app detective and keep tabs on what your kid plays.

Before kids ever start playing a new app, get to know the app for yourself.

Keep It Meaningful

1. Functions Matter

Make use of all the functions your device has to offer.

There are great functions you can use both indoors and outdoors, such as:

  • camera for recording and taking pictures of various activities
  • recording noises and voices (kids love listening to themselves)
  • read-out function, which can reproduce texts in many languages
  • screenshots for capturing the process and result of children’s creative activities, which you can then turn into cute photo albums.

2. Know Your Child’s Interests

Watching what kids like doing on the tablet can give you important insights.

Do your kids enjoy drawing on the tablet? Learning numbers? Listening to music? Playing with animals? Solving puzzles? You can find out what digital activity appeals to them most by simple observation. Use their interest as a basis for reading books about the same topic, doing various experiments indoors and outdoors, or even choosing a club in the future.

3. Encourage Reading

Kids learn best through stories and storytelling.

When it comes to nurturing a child’s imagination, nothing beats a good book. Interactive books on tablets offer animated features that immerse kids in the story even more. Read and talk about the story together: this will help develop children’s communication skills and nurture their love of reading.

4. Smart Searches

Search for new apps and games using specific keywords.

When searching for new apps on the App Store or Google Play, try using keywords such as “education”, “learning”, “kids”, “preschool”, and alternate combinations of those words.

5. Get Inspired

Find recommendations from certified sources and also endorse the content you like.

Nowadays it’s easy to find inspiration online from other parents or preschool teachers who recommend a certain app. Detailed reviews can tell you a lot about a game’s content and appropriateness. Leave your own reviews to help other parents in their search!

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