Tue 19 September 2017
Dr Kate Highfield from Swinburne University explains how some screen time can be positive, and gives us her favourite apps for infants.
Kate believes that when picking apps for little ones there are three key areas to focus on; quality media, content that is meaningful to your child, and co-playing or co-viewing. For Kate that means using Australian content where possible and using tools that the child can relate to.
Some activities Kate recommends include;
- looking at photos or videos and revisiting past activities to extend language and memory
- compiling digital books (that can be printed if you like) of photos or videos about specific events and writing stories where you child is one of the characters. Apps such as Book Creator are great for this accessible via iTunes and Google Play
- Some apps that link to popular culture or television shows may also be appropriate, especially those that extend language. For example ABC Playschool’s Artmaker (if you are Playschool viewers), or Kinderling's own free app with stories and music at iTunes and Google Play
Ideally we would avoid apps that are digital babysitters, but some are fun for all the family and may encourage older siblings to co-play with their younger siblings;
- Busy Shapes, Busy Shapes 2, and Crazy Gears. These tools by Edoki Academy have some nice problem solving and are often great for older siblings to play with your child. The focus on these three is problem solving.
- Toca Tea Party is an older iTunes only app that gives little kids a great chance to begin to pretend
- Toca Hair Salon Me (for both iTunes and Google Play). This one lets kids play around with cutting their own hair, but Kate adds that it's important to remember that this needs to be co-played and is a good chance to talk about not doing this in the real world! (unless you want a new avante garde style hair do on your little rugrat)
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