Wonder Boy started on an iPad at 18 months.
lil’ Wonder is still too young, grabbing the screen and swiping from Toca Boca’s tea party app to Netflix in an instant.
With Wonder Boy it felt a little more wierd. He was a novelty- people watched him swipe and drag and tap away with amazement as they struggled with their own smartphones.
But now, he is ever more the norm- and a reality that has definite pros and cons.
Can he be entertained anywhere? Yes, just pull out the tablet or phone and he’s tapping away at whatever game is available.
Did he learn? Heck yes. He learned letters from Elmo before preschool, and he learned problem solving skills, geometry, and cause and effect from games like The Amazing Alex and Angry Birds.
The hardest thing with an early adopter is making sure he gets enough time doing other things. I refuse to let me active son get too much screen time, otherwise he’s crazy by dinner. Luckily, he loves to run, scooter, dig in the dirt and crash together his Hot Wheel cars.
Lil’ Wonder is on the verge of getting to start some of Wonder Boy’s favorite little apps, and I’m looking forward to seeing him step up to the one-finger dexterity challenge and work on motor skills while learning at what is the norm for his generation.
He will be attending school and beyond with an amazing amount of technology available to him – the closest we got was a half hour of computer lab each week with the LOGOS turtle or the first edition of The Oregon Trail.
While I think it’s lovely so many parents want their children unplugged, homeschooled or unschooled, or just out learning in the real world, I think it’ important to speak technology early on for our little ones, and I embrace it fully and support it as much as pssible. I’ve taken Wonder Boy to go try out tablets at Verizon to kill a few minutes time, watching him navigate different user systems. We went to a local business’ open house to let him play on a touch-screen map that was as big as a dinner table.
And then I come home and toss him outside with a bucket of water to play with.
How do you navigate the balance between the virtual and real worlds with your children?