Technology has given us:
1.Tools to make LIFE easier;
2.Many LIFE-saving treatments; and
3.Tools to make LIFE more convenient
Technology is a good thing! BUT you know the expression: “Too much of good thing….”
The reality, of course, is technology isn’t going away. It is interwoven into our lives. I recognize the many ways I’ve benefited from it and expect to benefit from it in the future.
I’m not advocating for that!
What I am advocating for is for parents to decide:
• What kind and
• How much their children are exposed to technology. And by technology, I’m mainly talking about electronic devices. Our smart phones have become omnipresent. Additionally, with each new version of smart phones they seemingly get closer to being omniscient!
YOUNG BRAINS VULNERABLE
Young children’s brains are growing and developing fast—especially during the early childhood years. This can also leave them vulnerable. A Time article study showed over 1/3 of children, under the age of 1, have used a device like a smartphone or tablet. Does this surprise or shock you as much as it did me?
Why is this troubling to me? Because young children learn from direct rather than virtual experience. They must be active participants instead of passively engaged. If not, they risk missing out on a developmental milestone altogether. Some of which can have long-term ramifications.
ADAPT vs ADJUST
Change will always be a part of LIFE. People grow and adjust to new situations. However, adapting to change takes time. Sometimes a very long time, as in biological evolution. Children are resilient. And that’s especially true, when children get enough PLAY. But don’t fool yourself in thinking they’re adapting when all they may be desperately trying to do is adjust.
Many years ago, I read Jane Healy’s book, Failure to Connect. It convinced me then to evaluate, critically, ‘educational’ software. The book kept me from being swayed by the stampede to have even young, elementary students online. Recall, I was originally an engineer so I am not, by any means, against technology. I want what’s best for children FIRST. And that’s indisputable. It’s (full)hands-on PLAY!
Each Spring families are encouraged to participate in the National Screen Free Week. Below are some inexpensive, easy ideas I’ve come up with anyone can try! There are plenty of others.
Maybe you know someone who can teach your kidlet to knit? If you have musical instruments available, let your kiddo experiment with making music. Do you have access to relative that’s handy with a hammer? Why not build a bat house for your backyard? DOING something good for the environment AND having a screen-free option is a good thing indeed!
Non-Electronic Device Activity Ideas:
AT HOME: OUTSIDE:
1. Set up an obstacle course 1. Climb a tree
2. Go on a scavenger hunt 2. Walk your dog
3. Create a treasure map 3. Take photos & create a scrapbook
4. Build a indoor fort 4. Ride your bike or skateboard
5. Play a board game 5. Fly a kite
6. Make origami 6. Play sports—soccer or basketball
7. Bake! 7. Tend your garden
8. Make a card & send to grandparents 8. Wash a car
IN THE CAR:
1. “I Spy”
2. Play ‘phone’
4. Round-robin Create a Story
5. String games like Cat’s Cradle
6. Read/listen to a book
7. License plate game
8. “Remember When”–share memories when you and/or your kidlet was young
TEMPERAMENT & ACTIVITIES
Think about your child:
What kind of temperament do they have? How do they like to spend their time? Then select a handful of non-electronic-device activities. Activities that will:
●Spark curiosity in your child;
●Encourage more freedom and independence; and
●Invite your child to engage with others beit family members or friends, developing stronger relationships.
Notice: Participating in these activities typically have kiddos doing, being, and communing with others, NOT isolated and removed behind a screen. Make it FUN! Who knows? This week may be the start of a new habit!
Tell me which activities you try or if you have other, easy, affordable ideas PLEASE SHARE in the comments below!!
Yours in Play!