Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tech for Tots

Since marrying my computer genius husband, technology had embedded itself on a much larger scale in my life. Technology is quickly becoming a larger part of Baby Bear's life as well.

While he still loves his crayons, paints, and paintbrushes, he cannot turn down something to play with that has buttons, a screen, or animation. Aside from his favorite Vtech toys, he also enjoys using my laptop, my Nook, and the computer Papa Bear recently built for him. Here are a few of the toddler-friendly activities we let Baby Bear do on these devices.

When I am on my laptop, Baby Bear often asks to hop up in my lap and draw. We use the Paint program that comes standard on most Windows computers. I hold the button down while Baby Bear traces his finger over the touch pad. This activity helps him learn his colors because he has to tell me when he wants a new color and which one he wants so I can change it for him.
My Nook, like most e-readers, has many kid-friendly apps available both for free and for purchase. Baby Bear's favorites are interactive books, counting games, and drawing programs. He seems to like drawing on the Nook more than with the Paint program on my computer because he can do it himself without me holding down a button or changing colors for him. All he has to do is drag his finger across the screen. The very first real face picture he drew (as in it actually looked like a face) was on my Nook!

This is the computer Papa Bear built for Baby Bear. Being a computer geek, he has a few boxes of spare computer parts that he can use to improve or build computers (I think my laptop is the only computer in the house that has an actual make and model). The only site we've found so far that Baby Bear really likes is In this picture, he is helping Curious George paint the wall. Using an actual computer rather than a laptop is teaching him how to operate a computer mouse. And, because all the parts we used are old and worn anyway, this computer can stand up to our toddler.
Baby Bear isn't quite 2 years old, but he is already learning how to properly use technology. Just because kids are little doesn't mean they can't use things like computers and e-readers. We just have to find the right programs to fit their skill levels and needs.

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