K.C. asks from Henderson, NV on September 20, 2008
Toddler Interested in Using Keyboard and mouse-What to Do?
Hello Moms-My toddler is so excited every time the computer lights up and wants to have the hands-on experience. Are there any websites you use to help educate your toddler on using a mouse, seeing colors, singing songs, alphabet etc? Or even pre-school age websites that I can use in the future. Also, any toys that help give them the computer experience (so he doesn't delete something important on the real computer). Thanks for any input.
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you to all you moms who took a moment to give advice. I am going to make sure there is balance in his screen time and amd so thankful for all the fun websites for now and future.
C.O. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
A.L. answers from San Diego on September 22, 2008
Sears has a "laptop" for little ones. Runs about $20...it is a guess because I got it last year for Christmas. Anyway, it is really good for their learning and just playing. It has an attached mouse and a handle. All plastic too. So, it isn't something you have to worry about him breaking. My friends son LOVES it. Anyway, it is a great toy with some learning activities right for his age.
When he is three, I would suggest the Leapster L-Max. My older daughter really learned a lot with it and it kept her busy while I was trying to get stuff done around the house.
J.O. answers from San Diego on September 21, 2008
I bought my daughter a child's computer. I got it at walmart for about $20-$30. It is blue and orange and it looks like a laptop and has a mouse that is attached and doesnt come off. It has a bunch of kids games on it. My toddler is only two and isnt ready for the games, but she loves having her very own computer, and she just plays with the buttons and the mouse and makes noises. This way, when I sit down at my computer, she sits down at hers. It was the tote and go laptop plus by vtech. Good luck. It has saved my computer!
R.E. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
Though a lot of mom's are letting their kids play with technology early, evidence in neuroscience and psychology reveals that it is better to keep your child away from or strictly limit TV, computer use or video games until after 3 years old, and even some agree that it is better to wait until after 5 or 6 years before exposing their brains to it. Since our primary relationship with the world comes through relating - to PEOPLE - we learn to be much smarter about the REAL world through real life. Anything else is going to lead to problems one way or another. THis is not just my opinion, but many other 'experts' as well. Though all kids love it, the harmful effects of TV and Video games too much and too early in life are well documented. (Candy is fun, too, but you have to control it with kids, or it will turn them into monsters and give no real nutritional value). Sorry moms out there who love the TV. Look up "harmful effects of TV on young children" on google.
1 mom found this helpful
C.O. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
J.P. answers from Las Vegas on September 21, 2008
I downloaded a free game called Baby Smash. It locks your keyboard so your child can't mess up your computer, but when keys are pressed or the mouse is moved, shapes and colors appear. There are vocals, too, saying the letters and such. The child can't accidently unlock it, the instructions how to unlock it for you are always shown. You can download it at www.babysmash.com. My 2 YO daughter loves it.
T.F. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
K., I agree with Ruth E. The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a strong recommendation to parents to AVOID all screen time before age 2 (age 3+ would be better!)
You can do your own reading to make up your own mind. But you owe it to yourself and your child's developing brain to learn more... not just follow what computer/TV marketers are trying to sell you.
EINSTEIN NEVER USED FLASHCARDS: How Our Children Really Learn --and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Roberta Michnik Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, and Diane Eyer
THE SCIENTIST IN THE CRIB: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind by Allison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, and Patricia K. Kuhl
ENDANGERED MINDS: Why Children Don't Think and What We Can do About it by Jane Healy
Healy's book opened my eyes and really made me rethink the whole TV/Computer issue. She has a whole chapter on WHY Sesame Street (yes Sesame Street) is bad for the developing brain (fast moving images and segments that are not connected to each other, prime the brain to expect action and entertainment during learning, among other things).
Is it really good for the brain? Is it really good for the child? That's what you have to ask yourself.
Many brain researchers and child development researchers say no. Children need to explore and experience the real multi-dimensional world (seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, smelling, bumping, deep pressure, moving in all directions, swinging, playing, exploring, singing, pretending, etc...) Even adults get eye fatigue when staring at a computer screen. How can that be good for toddlers to stare at a screen?
(And if you don't have a LCD/flat screen and still have an old clunky computer monitor, there is lead and radiation coming from the screen. Most parents don't realize that.)
My toddler may get excited when she sees traffic, buses and trains and may want to make a dash for it, but it's my responsibility to hold her back in certain regards.
I have an 8 yr old son and 4 year old daughter. I don't have "educational" software at home because it's a slippery slope. (My 4 year old knows colors, her letters, can write her last name, can spell her first... simply by experiencing and learning through other means, me, books, just being exposed to things....) My son uses these things at school (and that is a whole topic...) Healy has a book on that
FAILURE TO CONNECT: How Computers Affect our Children's Minds -- and what We can Do about it
I'm reading a great book now called BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY! By Michael Gurian (His partner will be speaking in Thousand Oaks in a few weeks if you are interested.)
The authors argue that boys typically get addicted to computer/video games and it triggers their "fight or flight" response in the brain. When that happens, they are more likely to focus on the "here and now" and avoid planning for the future. That is what the brain is being molded to and that is scary.
L.M. answers from Reno on September 21, 2008
It's so great that you have a little one so interested. My daughters (9 and 5 years)have always been interested in computers, too (hubby is an I.T. manager and computer expert). We had them on NickJr.com and Noggin.com. Also, there are great games on disc to buy like Mickey Mouse Toddler. Ones like that teach colors, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.. with the familiar characters to keep them engaged. I personally have stayed away from those made-for- toddler-keyboards/baby-computers because there are just so many programs and websites to utilize. My daughter is 5 and knows so much more than many of her friends because of the sites and games we have used.
Have fun and let him discover at his own pace. He will amaze you, I am sure.
A.R. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
There is a wonderful website called uptoten.com! My daughter has been exposed to it since she was one and now at two and a half she will sit at the computer and go through the website herself using the mouse. The is a free section that we started with and she loved it so much we joined which just exposes more songs and games to use. Every month there is a new subject uploaded for them to discover. I HIGHLY recommend it!
T.S. answers from Los Angeles on September 21, 2008
Both of my kids started playing on the computer before they were 2 years old...it can get a little frustrating in the beginning when they are learning how to use the mouse but mine picked it up so quickly and we have always gone on Noggin.com or sproutonline.com they love these two sites. Mine are 3 & 4 and now they get on there and no how to go to the favorites and open noggin or sprout all by themselves it's pretty amazing how fast they learn...Good Luck
ps I never had any problems with them deleting anything.
S.O. answers from San Diego on September 21, 2008
My son was the same way at that age. My hubby had an old keyboard so we just let our son play with that one and pretended that it was hooked up to the computer. Then when he turned 2 we got him a kids laptop/game made by Chicco for like $15 at Target.
We like to go to the Disney channel site for free games, video clips, coloring print outs.