Preschooler & Computer Use

Updated on September 26, 2011
B.B. asks from Berkeley, IL
9 answers

Hi Parents!

Would like to know your experience...

I have a preschooler (she's going to be 3 in October) and a part of the program is to introduce the children to computers and educational computer programs. I'm totally in for that! I think its great for them to learn how to navigate the computer.

My daughter is proficient with my iphone and ipad but I haven't had her practice on the computer at home mostly because I thought it would be confusing. (we have a Mac at home and its set up differently than a PC)

Do you work with your preschooler on the computer at home? or is most of the instruction done in the classroom?

Thanks for your experiences!
Proud Mama of a preschooler

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answers from Huntsville on

My daughter started learning when she was about 3 or 4 (she's 5 now). She is a pro with Nick Jr.'s site and PBS Kids site. I would get her started on what she wanted & she would go from there. Then I bookmarked the 2 pages and taught her how to go to click on them. I had put them in a folder with her name in all caps so she would recognize it!

Then I ended up teaching her how to open Firefox by herself. They catch on quick!

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answers from Los Angeles on

We did it by steps, but kids catch on pretty quick. First the sites you don't mind her using (PBS, Nick Jr, and set her up with the games, then as she starts exploring show her how to navigate in the website itself. Once she's familiar with that, show her how to get to that website, ect ect.

We eventually started using Kidzui ( which is a kid friendly browser. Its really worth looking into for the younger age group like yours because it blocks pretty much everything you don't want your child to visit. Its free.

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answers from Chicago on

We used educational computer programs - Reader Rabbit and eventually Treasure Mountain. I asked my preschool what programs that they were using for children.
When carefully supervised, computers are great!

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answers from Chicago on

When my older kids were in pre-k--4 yrs old, they learned on Macs at school but we had a PC at home. I cannot tell you how far behind the times I felt since they did so well on them. I helped out at school so I saw how they did. Once I started them at home, you had trouble getting them off. I used Reader Rabbit program CDs and they loved playing the games. I think the Reader Rabbit programs are now available on a website instead of having to buy CDs. I am thinking of introducing my 3 yr old to the computer now since she likes to sit at it and hit the keys. Luckily it is off when she does this. They also make keyboards especially for beginning users/tots so I am looking into that as well. You would be surprised how well she will do once you let her on.

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answers from Lincoln on

I think that's great!!! When my son was about 3 I let him start exploring the computer. He knows how to get onto the Nick and Disney sites and he can sit there clicking away! It really helped build his letter id and reading etc. For example, I'd write down commands that he could type. The penmanship was in lower case and a keyboard is all uppercase, so he had to learn to to "translate" and he did awesome! He's 6 now and he does great! I always say I can't wait for his skills to surpass mine (wont' take long) so he can help me :-)

Go for it!

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 4 and she's a pro at getting on to Sprout, PBS, Nick & Disney all by the way of my favorites list. She even knows how to browse and look for other things she wants; however, I have to watch her... I definitely don't want her on sites too advanced and/or not good for her, ya know? Therefore, she's not allowed on the computer, unless her dad or I are there.

I think everything going forward will be done on the computer in regard to school; therefore, I also think the more they navigate and learn at this age, the better they'll be when it's mandatory, ya know?

Good luck and best wishes! :)

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answers from Chicago on

Personally I think it's more imporant for little ones at this age to play with toys, run around outside, play sports and interact with other kids to develop socially and build motor skills instead of focusing on computer use at home. There is no question that our kids will be experts when it comes to using computers and the latest programs- they will be more skilled than we will be (my 5 year old already tells my husband how to program his i-phone). I am far from being anti-computer but my fear is that a child's creative and social skills may suffer if given too much access too early. My son's pre-school classroom had 4 i-pads and the kids enjoyed using them during "stations" time but the most popular stations were the ones where kids could interact together like in the play kitchen, block area or science tables for example.



answers from Chicago on

I started letting my daughter use the computer at 4 yo. I would let her do the PBSKids website and gave her a short tutorial then let her experiment to see what she came up with. Limited time, of course.



answers from Boston on

Our 4 year old loves the games on iPad, here favorites are Dress up, Cooking, Slice it, Fruit Ninja etc.

She also loves this this perfect learning game Preschool Monster Island from It teaches her Continents, United States and landmarks, Numbers, Counting, Alphabets, Shapes and Matching. .......where it is Play + Learn = :)

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