ParentingToday

Kids and Computers

Many child development experts believe it’s good to give an  introduction to computers as early as we can.  They’re starting computers in the classroom much sooner than they did when we were in school, so if they learn how to properly turn it on and off, how to type word documents and how to save them properly, then that’s just one step up when they enter elementary school. 

When starting out on the computer for the first time, programs that build hand and eye coordination should be considered.  For example, Tonka workshops or Thomas the train.  These games come with apparatus you put on the keyboard and it manipulates the keys underneath.  The child can see that whatever they doing on the keyboard is happening on screen.

If you’re not sure what games your child might like, you can test various games on the internet.  If you can find games your child loves, it may hold their attention longer, and they’ll get more from the game.

Most software is available for both Mac and pc users.  With any new program, don’t forget to help your child the first time they use it.  Your child will get more out of the game with your help the first time through.

Be sure to read the package for recommended age guidelines.   And most importantly, set time limits at the computer.

As your child gets comfortable using a computer, you may want to consider math and reading programs that may give your child a head start in school.  Jumpstart and reader rabbit are popular in these categories.

For additional information consult your pediatrician, or pre-school development expert.

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