Have you ever watched a three-year-old play with an iPad? It’s actually quite shocking. The way those chubby fingers fly round the screen, leaving smeery fingerprints as they go, and the way the machine is handed back to you with 2% battery power.
While nobody was looking, something has happened to today’s tots. They’ve become ‘screen-agers’, who intuitively know that an iPad isn’t a toy, it’s a toy chest of apps and games.
Here at Circles, I’m continually nagged, harassed and cajoled until I give in and pass the iPad over to the children. LB can find and play a whole raft of kids’ apps (check iGameMom.com for some great ideas) and his six-year-old brother is just a click away from downloading hundreds more from the Apple Store.
And, I’m the first to admit, it’s the most wonderful electronic babysitter – especially during those times when you need to get things done, like make dinner, or drive.
I’d go so far as to suggest that iPads might even have been designed with young children in mind. They’re small and compact, with no power cords to trip on or chew, and they’re instantly on, cutting down on whinge time. What’s more, they’re made to be touched, with no keys to get jammed up with juice or bashed.
I worked out today that by the time my children reach middle school, they’ll have been using an iPad almost every day for eight years.
But just as noteworthy is the way modern technology has crept into every part of our children’s lives. Kids can learn to read and count on iPads, they can colour in virtual colouring books, bake electronic pies and video the ceiling. They can watch cartoons and movies on iPads and play games galore. And that’s not all: modern technology can even infiltrate prayer time.
My good friend and mother of BB’s girlfriend told me yesterday that after saying a prayer for her five-year-old daughter that evening, she was asked: “Mommy, say ‘send’.
So cute, it was worth a whole blog post!