Computer Time for Preschoolers
Question: My 3-year-old son is exceptionally bright. He loves everything electronic. He can use the computer by himself and turn on the television. I’m excited that he’s so bright, but worry about how much time he spends playing on the computer. Is an hour every day too much time? He also watches television for at least another hour.
Answer: Using a computer at such an early age has good and bad points. Your son will definitely learn computer skills faster and may improve his small motor skills. He also will have access to lots of educational material. On the other hand, if your child is using the computer primarily for activities with little educational benefit, it is a waste of his time.
Preschoolers need real-life experiences manipulating objects and interacting with other children and adults. Your son won’t get this vital educational building block if he spends too much time with computers or TV. Furthermore, the flashing and constantly moving images on computer and television screens make it more difficult for children to develop the longer attention spans they’ll need in school.
Two hours a day spent with a computer or TV is definitely too much electronic time for a preschooler. You need to limit it to an hour or less a day and include more real-world activities.
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