Every child loves to play with toys that move or are interactive. Whilst we parents have fond memories of playing with stuffed toys and spent hours kicking the ball around the garden, our preschool child often knows more about how to operate our smart phone than we do. By the time our children reach school age, many of them seem more computer literate than their grandparents.
Positive Skill Development
Those of us with children in our lives know that buying gifts for children who are technologically savvy is becoming increasingly difficult. Electronic gadgets and games are usually at the top of our children’s gift wish lists and as adults, we are often concerned about the negative consequences on a child’s social development.
For most of us, it is therefore reassuring to learn that childhood experts are quick to reassure the public that children can learn important life skills through play with video and other interactive games. Rather than stifling a child’s development, they can actually gain important life skills by playing these games. Carefully choosing the types of games and gadgets that our children are playing can actually promote the development of literacy and numeracy and other important life skills such as strategic planning, logic and innovative thinking.
The range of skills a child needs to learn when they are young to enable them to contribute and succeed in society has grown rapidly in the past twenty years. Whilst they still need to learn basic social values, children also need to develop skills that will enable them to compete and prosper in a world that is increasingly reliant on technology.
As parents, we should not be fearful of buying electric and electronic games and gadgets for the children in our lives. We should however ensure that the things we do buy for them are suitable for children and age appropriate. It is also important that as adults, whether parents, teachers or youth workers, we don’t allow our children’s use of technology to displace the quality time all children need to interact personally with significant adults in their lives.
Children want to play games on hand held devices, smart phones and tablets. Thousands of apps are available free or maybe purchased at great prices. Wisely selecting what games and apps we provide for our children or allow them to access is good parenting. Choices should focus on educational appeal rather than those that are primarily created to provide entertainment.
Appropriate Parental Controls
Many of the popular games available in today’s market are violent in nature and much of the concern that society has on the effect of electronic games and other electrical gadgets have on children is primarily caused by these games. Controlling access to these games is made easier by using the parental controls that most games and gadgets have inbuilt into them.
Electronic toys and gadgets play a very important role in a child’s world. As adults, we must embrace this reality and ensure that our children are exposed to this technology responsibly and in moderation. We may even find ourselves learning a few new skills ourselves.
Electricity has come a long way since we were children and the range of electronic toys and gadgets only goes to show this. Who knows what the future may hold.