I know screen time is a tricky subject with parents. The pediatric association or whatever it is called recommends one hour a day or something like that and I know there are people who adhere to these guidelines and more power to you if you do. I am not one of those people. I believe technology is a blessing and a curse, but as long as we monitor what our kids can access online (for example, cutting out the Kermit Commits Suicide videos, see prior blog post about that) that it can be truly beneficial to parents and kids. Now, Charlotte does love her stupid YouTube videos of Ryan’s Toy Review and Ryden & Andy and all that dumb junk, but what she is really getting more into now are the EDUCATIONAL games I have downloaded for her. And I truly see how they help her, honest to God! We have the PBS kids app and there is a game where you make your own cookie recipes and then you follow the recipes to serve cookies to customers. It sounds silly, but it keeps her entertained and it is actually educational. Charlotte has loved this game for a while but I used to have to sit there with her and help her do it. NOW she does it on her own because she knows all of her numbers. She used to have a hard time with the oven time portion of the game, but the more she has played the more she is comfortable with that too. She’s almost four and she can recognize larger numbers, which I think is good! In this app there is also a game in which you learn about the properties of things, i.e. what material soaks up water, what material is waterproof, etc. When I’m washing dishes in the kitchen now she’ll say, “sponges soak up water!”
She also really loves the Daniel Tiger apps and the lessons in that show are really good for kids. When she gets mad or upset she sings “when you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four!” The app lets her interact with the different characters and play games that help with life skills like not being an ass. Daniel Tiger is the best if you ask me.
I mean, have there been times where I let her sit on the iPad for hours so I could watch the entire series of Russian Doll on Netflix in one day? Yes, yes there have been. But for the most part I think we have a good balance of technology use and actual play time. And I’ve also stopped making myself feel guilty for letting her use the iPad because I don’t care what anyone thinks. You do you and all that. But Charlotte can count to the number 55 because of a cookie game on the iPad at four years old, so I think we’re fine.