Toddler technology

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Toys, That's Entertainment

Every time Riley sees me get out my laptop, he clamors for the "AFFABET GAME, MOMMY!" The Affabet Game is this website, which he loves beyond all reason and I am completely and thoroughly sick of since I've seen ALL of the letters and their associated pages about fifty hajillion times now but what can I do, I'm the fool who showed it to him in the first place.

The other thing he greatly enjoys is surfing Flickr for pictures of animals. I like this too, because if you search everyone's photos and filter by "interestingness" you really get an idea for the kind of photography talent that's out there. I mean, people are taking some awesome pictures of cows, you know?

That's about the limit of what I do with my 2-year-old, computer activity-wise, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he'll want to click around on his own and play little-kid-friendly games. I feel weirdly conflicted about the idea of Riley using a computer while he's still very young -- part of me thinks it's great for him to access educational stuff and start learning the tools that will inevitably be a large part of his life in future years; part of me thinks it's depressing that kids are so into Things With Screens when they should clearly be outside fishing, creating tree forts, duping other kids into painting fences for them, etc.

Of course, if I want my kid to ignore digital objects in favor of bucolic childhood activities, in order not to be a total hypocrite I'd have to put down my laptop, and take a pass on the Affabet Game and Flickr'ing and let's be honest, furtive email checking.

What are your thoughts on little kids and computers? Do you let your young child use computers, or computer-like toys (like from Leapfrog)?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.