Technology is pretty amazing these days. The other day on the train, I sat behind a mom and her young daughter (about 3.5) listening to music on the mom’s phone (the mom and daughter each had one earphone in their ear) and the little girl was dancing and singing to the music. Another day, there was a father with his young son on the train and the little boy was playing a puzzle game on his father’s iphone. On a plane I sat next to mother and daughter (her husband and son were in the seats behind us) and she showed me the various games and online books that her Kindergartener likes to play on her iphone as she discussed why she doesn’t allow her children to watch TV. Kids, even really little ones, are using these new technologies and parents are letting them. There was a very moving article in the New York Time back in October about Toddlers and iPhones.
So if kids love these technologies and parents have them, how can we use some of these technologies in ways that support child development rather than act as distractors or babysitters? SesameWorkshop has a Parents page that offers wonderful video clips and games that you can watch on your computer or smartphone with your child. After watching each video model an at home activity around it!
For example, Sesame Street offers Math is Everywhere
Here, watch this video about patterns “Wiggle Wiggle Hop”. After, see if together you and your child can create other dance move patterns!
Each of the clips on this site can provide an example (both for you and your child) of a lesson, after you watch or play the games, try to come up with your own creative ways to do something similar in your home!
Sesame Street also offers a Get Ready For School Section with videos about sharing, anger management, sleep, etc. Also they offer opportunities to help parents explore these concepts by providing ideas about questions to ask your kids after you watch each video. For example, Care a Lot Share a Lot talks about the importance of sharing. Sesame Street suggests you watch the video and then ask your child about what things they can share at school. They also include activities that you can play with your children related to each topic! Great parenting tips!
Sesame Street offers fun activities and videos to help your children develop their literacy skills: See Words Words Words!
Potty Training? Sesame Street offers videos and parenting advice for that too!
Have a two year old? Here are some videos and activities that you could play with them!
Remember, kids learn by playing and experiencing things first hand. Videos and games online can be a great resource to help give parents ideas about lessons and to give children a bit of information about a new topic, but as a parent you want to expand upon the ideas you get from websites like Sesame Street. If you watch a video showing The Count counting bats outside, next time you are at a park with your child, remind them of the video and ask them to count the birds they see in a tree or how many slides there are to slide down!