To share or not to share that is the question– do we let our little ones get their hands on our new iPad. As you might guess from my previous, Screen-based media (10/28), post I do believe that there is a responsible way to explore almost anything that a baby can get their eyes, ears, nose, or hands on. Tools and devices such as the iPad will be an increasingly important part of our child’s world so why not let them get a jump start if they show an interest. And my daughter Whitney definitely showed an interest in what daddy was doing with that electronic thing in his hands and wanted to get her hands on it. So I downloaded a few Apps targeted at her age & stage and let her have at it. Wow, was I impressed with how quickly Whitney mastered the interface and figured it out. Computers, iPads, mobile devices, DVDs/VOD boxes are truly our children’s machines and I think we need to rethink our ideas about No Use policies with an open mind and creatively figure out the best uses of these machines at each age and stage of development:
The problem solving required to figure out the machine and the Apps on these machines is wonderful. As demonstrated in the video, Whitney quickly figured out the on/off button, the way you finger scroll to get to different Apps, how to stop the scroll and then touch the desired App to launch it. She then quickly mastered the featrues of each App, even how to make it bigger and smaller on the screen (which BTW took me a lot longer to figure out). Our infants and toddlers are not intimidated in the least. They want to jump right in and give it a try. If we provide the minimum support our babies need and scaffold them appropriately for their age and stage, there are no limits to their discovery.