Last week, I was drawn in to a Facebook discussion about the value of iPads for small children.
There were some comments made that drew me into a state of defensiveness that I didn’t realize I had about our iPad. I limit Caroline and Katherine’s screen time pretty drastically. We don’t own a Wii or an X-box or a PlayStation. In fact, I’m not even sure if I am using the right words for these things.
But, we do have an iPad. And the girls each have iTouches. And I have an iPhone that the girls have been known to use. There, it’s all out there. We own a lot of i products.
Occasionally, the girls play games on their i products that have no educational value. But very, very rarely.
I think this is why the anti-iPad comments really bothered me. Allowing (or even encouraging) your children to use apps is not at all the same as letting them play most video games. There is so much to learn from using the appropriate apps.
And there is the key word: appropriate. As with tv shows and books, not all apps are created equal. There are some really terrible apps. There are many apps that claim to be educational that just aren’t. So, as with tv shows and books, parents need to be actively involved in researching and purchasing quality apps for their children.
There are tons of great science (Magic School Bus), social studies (Stack the States) and math apps (Math Fact) that have given my girls lots of skills and information they might other wise not yet have. For example, Caroline absolutely hates doing her times table flash cards but if I challenge her to a game of Multiplication Baseball on the iPad she is ready to go.
That said, given that this is a children’s lit blog, I’ll list my current favorite literacy related apps here. Some are audio books, some book apps, some skill building apps. If you are able to check these out, let me know what you think. Also, please feel free to go to the comment section and help me grow my list of great apps with your favorites.
Bob’s Books app,
Sight Word Bingo,
and Tumble Books to Go
I’m sure my favorites will be different by tomorrow so check back often. I’ll be sure to add more…
I’ve been vigilant about not letting my daughter (now 21 months old) watch television. But on a recent long plane trip, I did start experimenting with iPad apps with her. She is completely addicted. I now have to hide the iPad, otherwise she wants it all the time. She likes that she can touch the screen and something happens. Her favorites are the Nosy Crow Three Little Pigs, Random House Princess Baby, and something called Peekaboo in which you see and hear an animal, and then pick it out from 3 choices. My view is that she’s learning from interacting with these apps – a very different thing from being planted in front of a TV – even though both are technically “screen time”. I’m still trying to limit the time (hence hiding the iPad). But I think in small doses it’s a good thing. Thanks for the suggestions!
My girls both love their iPad and on the computer to my chagrin. On the computer they just love to play silly games at Disney Jr. On the iPad they play all the games (educational and non-educational). Any ideas on how to creatively limit their time. It is always a a big whinefest when i let them know time is up. Will check out some of the educational games you mentioned.
[…] few weeks ago, I wrote about many great literacy activities to be found on the iPad. I closed the post saying that I was sure my favorite apps would quickly […]