Technology is all around us and is a part of our daily lives. Your child will encounter technology at an early age, so building a healthy relationship needs to start now. Our Tech Tips for Kids series will help you set up your child for success.
Today’s Tech Tip for Kids is: Have Child-led Screen Play
To begin with, you might ask yourself what child-led screen play even means. Simply put, child-led screen play is an app or bit of technology that encourages the child to lead the action of the app. The child is able to interact with the app and not just be led down a linear path to a foregone conclusion. Instead, the child is presented with open-ended options and the app responds to the choices your child makes.
There are several educational benefits to this type of app. Child-led screen play gives your child a more creative and, as we mentioned, interactive experience. They learn that what they choose has an effect and, through their actions, they may or may not have a successful conclusion. They also learn that their choices can sometimes have consequences and they may need to try again and perhaps make a different choice to achieve the result they’re looking for. This type of problem-solving is great for their future learning.
Another benefit is that child-led screen play will keep your child more engaged in the learning activity. This goes for apps and for free play as well. Your child will embrace the challenge that a child-led app presents and will therefore stay involved longer. However, sometimes, in the case of older children and more complex apps, your child may not achieve the result they are looking for right away, they may become frustrated and it will be up to you to encourage them and help get them back on the right track. Usually a simple hint will do the trick.
When presented with an app that offers linear play and a foregone conclusion versus an app that let’s children make their own choices and discover their own results; you may want to give them the option to choose their own path. The results are usually much more rewarding.