HOW TO BALANCE TECHNOLOGY & PLAY
Create a structure around both off and onscreen learning
The key factor isn’t the means through which your child is learning: it’s the structure around it. For example, giving your child free reign to do whatever he or she pleases on an iPad may be somewhat less effective than scheduling a block of time for them to engage in highly-acclaimed learning apps.
This holds true for offscreen play as well. You don’t need to dictate every activity your child engages in, but it’s good to be cognizant of how they spend the blocks of time where no screen is involved.
Remain a part of the process
Whether you’re helping your child build something from blocks or asking questions about the learning app they’re playing with, your participation matters.
While it can be tempting to let your child “figure it out on their own”, it’s important to remain invested in the process. Ask questions, show your interest, and let your child know that you want to be involved, regardless of what the activity may be.
Cut through the onscreen noise and choose apps that work
One of the most intimidating parts of onscreen learning is simply cutting through the noise. There are thousands upon thousands of educational apps, and they are not all created equal. This is why it’s so important to evaluate which learning tools you choose to give your child.
What makes an onscreen learning tool worthy of your child’s time? It should be backed by science while also being adaptive and engaging for your child.
Make your offscreen time count
Technology is helpful, but offscreen play is just as important – perhaps more important. When it comes to helping your child navigate his or her world, play is a crucial element . Many of the critical thinking skills your child develops occur during playtime. Technology can certainly help, but if misused, it can rob your family of previous bonding time and your child of opportunities to learn in their physical environment.
Not sure how to best help your child when there isn’t a screen involved? I’ve put together a list of my top offscreen games for families.
These games are meant to help your child learn while also encouraging that family bonding experience we all crave. I’ve grouped them by the four learning styles, so you can rest assured your child is getting the exact learning experience best suited to their needs.
Help your child take control of their onscreen and offscreen learning
Instead of engaging in a battle over which is better – onscreen or offscreen learning – let’s commit to reaping the rewards of both, approaching them in the way that best benefits our children.