Have you been wondering what the most appropriate age would be to provide electronic devices for kids? You’re not alone, with most parents asking themselves exactly this! Should you wait until they start school, or give them a head start while they are a toddler? Today we discuss the pros and cons of electronic devices for kids, plus the best ages to introduce them.
Pros & Cons of Providing Electronic Devices for Kids
It seems that every few months a new device specifically targeted at kids pops onto the market. From iPads to tablets, Leap Pads to Xbox, there seems to be one for every age group, right from around one year of age. Even soft toys are talking and interacting with our little ones! But just because they are available, does it make it okay for our kids to use them?
The positives of introducing devices to your kids are that they:
- Stimulate the senses
- Promote listening and speech
- May encourage cognitive learning and strategic thinking
- Can improve computer literacy, confidence and coordination
On the flip side, the negatives can include that they:
- Can encourage obesity and a sedentary lifestyle
- Could be addictive
- Can lead to aggression
- Reduce physical skills and health levels
Electronic devices for kids really are a double-edged sword. It comes down to your decision as a parent whether you would like them to use one, and if so, what you will let them use and for how long.
Best Ages for Introducing Electronic Devices to Kids
Once you have decided to let your kids use electronic devices, you’ll need to choose the type of device. Obviously, this will depend on the age of your child, your budget and your child’s interests and skills. It’s also important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines as to age appropriateness too. Here are a few electronic devices which would may be appropriate for your child at different ages:
- 6-36 months – electronic activity tables, baby phones, talking soft toys
- 2-4 years – LeapFrog, digital easels, iPad, tablet
- 4-8 years – LeapReader, kid’s smartwatch
- 8-12 years – robots, electronics, DVD players
- 13+ - phones
It’s important to remember that just because a device is in the shop and targeted at your child’s age, or that someone else’s child has one, it’s still your decision whether or not you’ll give your child access to one. You can still be an amazing parent just by being there, not by buying the latest toy fad! Before you go, take a read through our blog articles for more great parenting advice and our handmade kid’s clothing store for some gorgeous fashion!