Age-appropriate Technologies for Kids – Digital Milestones to Aim for

Age-appropriate Technologies for Kids - Digital Milestones to Aim for

In today’s technology-driven world, education and childhood development is driven by a gizmo surge. Children in classrooms are experiencing efficient benefits of the tech-driven revolution where blackboards are replaced or supplemented by projectors and computers. This is a world where homework can be emailed in and technology and children’s cognitive development go hand in hand.

The major concern on an educational level is the balance between technological learning and extensive usage of the same. Many experts have raised concerns about the same issue and have pointed out that an over-reliance on technology can remove important developmental techniques from the child’s life. For example, with schools introducing laptops and computers at a younger age, children are not focussing on using pencils and pens to write which can affect their ability to learn effectively.

Benefits of Using Technology for Kids

There are many benefits to adding technology to your children’s lives. Whether you do this through their education or during their time at home, technology will add more range to their knowledge base. Here are some of the benefits of kids using technology.

  • Technology allows children to be more creative and express themselves with more freedom. With their boundless limits for creativity, technology can truly help them put their thoughts into tangible visual expressions. Apps that allow them to draw and animate will let their imagination run wild.
  • Technology can help children with social connections. Social media and video games are now a part of children’s lives and these can be great things for children to bond over. Later on, children can learn how to build their own apps or learn how to code in a classroom or in group learning.
  • Technology can help children feel more independent and empowered. They no longer have to depend on an adult to give them all the information they require, as they can quickly do the research themselves using the internet. If they have a project in mind, they can use this resource to find out how to do it and then execute it all by themselves.

Benefits of technology for kids

  • Technology and children’s education go hand in hand and will help children learn better. Years ago, we learnt with books and in libraries. In today’s age, children are taught using different technological tools like Virtual Reality in order to make the lessons stick longer.
  • Tech jobs are in high demand and learning to be comfortable with technology and developing an interest in it will ensure that they have good and stable jobs in the future. Their interest can be taken to the next level by participating in coding classes and more. Even if they do not choose a life in tech, the ease of using technology will help them in all fields.

The Right Technological Products/Services for Children According to Their Age

You are now familiar with the benefits of kids using technology and are probably raring to introduce your child to its many capabilities. However, you must introduce your child to technology that is specifically friendly for their age.

1. Age 0 to 1 Year

At this age, you can introduce your child to electronic toys which teach them about cause and effect. For example, a simple digital toy can light up and play music when your child pushes a particular button. In this case, the reward of learning the effect of pushing the button teaches your child to press the button. You can also give him toys where he will need your help which will allow you to spend quality time with him. However, be sure that these two types of toys are well balanced, as the former type encourages the child to learn by himself and to be more independent. Most experts agree that this is not the age to let your child use mobile phones as it could be harmful to his health and development.

Toy phone for babies

Age-appropriate technological products/services for this category include:

  • Electronic toys
  • Mobile phones on aeroplane mode for short periods of time
  • Digital toys with bright displays

2. Age 1 to 2 Years

This is the perfect age to introduce your child to good educational TV shows such as ‘Dora The Explorer’, ‘Blue’s Clues’, and so on. These shows are entertaining but are also a good way to learn, especially for young children. However, you must be careful to limit your child’s TV time up to only two hours a day. Most experts agree that two hours of TV time is ideal for children without it affecting their health.

Baby watching TV

Age-appropriate technological products/services for this category include:

  • Educational TV shows like ‘Dora The Explorer’, ‘Super Why!’, ‘Blue’s Clues’
  • Cause and effect apps on a smartphone

3. Age 2 to 3 Years

At this age, your child should be exposed to children’s books of all varieties. A good way to incorporate reading in your child’s life is to buy an e-book reader which can hold thousands of books. Some e-readers even come with the capability of reading the book out loud which allows for your child to ‘read’ the book independent of your schedule. Make sure that the content on your phone is child-safe and download apps that allow him to test their ability to recognise shapes and objects.

E-reader for kids

Age-appropriate technological products/services for this category include:

  • Reading stories on an e-Book reader
  • Apps to find hidden objects or identify shapes
  • Electronic toys to help him learn new words and numbers

4. Age 3 to 4 Years

This is a good age to introduce a tablet to your child for very basic usage. Learning how to swipe to unlock will improve his hand-eye coordination. With time, he will be able to unlock the tablet without thinking about it. Download apps on the tablet that will challenge his skills. These apps can be educational and fun and will give him a reason to want to learn how to use the tablet. Of course, make sure you set a time limit of tablet-time as well, as he shouldn’t get addicted to using the gadget.

Games on tablets

  • Using a tablet
  • Apps which involve matching games or solving simple puzzles

5. Age 4 to 5 Years

Here, you can introduce slightly more complex apps on the tablet to your child and let him focus on using the stylus of the tablet to draw and express himself. Using a good stylus is similar to using a pencil or crayon which he must be doing already. There are plenty of apps available which will allow your child to draw and colour and create drawings.

Child drawing on tablet

  • Using a stylus
  • Apps for drawing and basic editing

Technology can be extremely useful in the development of your child and can be an important tool as he grows. Used carefully and responsibly, technology can open doors for your child and teach him how to express himself in previously unimaginable ways. However, it is your responsibility as the parent to set boundaries and to expose him to technology that is useful and empowering. Make sure that all tablets and mobile phones are free of any adult content. It is also imperative that you regulate his internet usage. At a very young age, he should not be accessing the internet without your presence. Set boundaries and make sure that your child understands these boundaries.

You must also be consistent in enforcing these boundaries. It might be hugely tempting to let your child play on the tablet when he is supposed to be studying, especially after a hard day at work. However, be sure to enlist the help of your partner and get your child to follow the rules.

Talk to your child about the dangers of using too much technology and help him understand why using too much of it can be harmful to his health and development. Make sure that he understands that technology is a privilege that he can enjoy, and not a right.

Also Read:

List of Top 10 Maths Apps for Children
12 Safe Search Engines for Children
When is Your Child Ready to Use Cell Phone
Educational Cartoons Your Child Should Be Watching