Which gadgets actually help toddlers to develop useful skills?
1 expert and 1 parent have answered
All gadgets help toddlers develop useful skills. Everything helps toddlers develop useful skills. Even a stick or a ball or a flight of stairs. I'm not sure gadgets that claim to help toddlers develop useful skills necessarily do so much more than simpler things do. Is having the letters ABC on a toddlers' activity board actually teaching them letters, or is it there to convince parents that the product is 'educational'..? I don't think touchscreen devices are 'necessarily' better at teaching young kids things than other methods like books and jigsaws and Little Einsteins, etc. Although the best apps are at least as good as the best other resources, and potentially better as the tactile nature of them makes them more engaging for kids at an earlier age - for instance it's easier to swipe a screen than turn the page of a book. However, what apps do teach are the conventions of the devices and the apps themselves - buttons, swiping, dragging, tapping, pinching, menus, level packs, scores, achieving thresholds to open new areas, secrets, bonuses, etc. etc. I think this is important stuff - the ability to access information and learn about causes, effects and control. These are new skills for navigating the modern world that shouldn't be underestimated. If apps can attach other kinds of learning to this then really great things start to happen :)
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My kids like puzzle games...and I do too since they don't have the actual "pieces" around to get stepped on...(ouch!). They like the ones that are alphabet based too, listening to the sounds etc.