Please stop using the iPad as a TV!

We’ve all been there, you sit down at a restaurant and see a 3 year old staring at an iPad screen. I of course casually glance at the screen hoping to see one of my favorite CREATION apps in use but no. The 3 year old is watching a cartoon or a movie. I’ve seen this so many times I want to scream.

Is it time to take movies off ipads?

Let’s all say it together….. YES!!!

As a parent I know how difficult it is to have a peaceful dinner but I am tired of seeing children given a device as a TV. Kids have plenty of time in front of the tube, lets do something amazing with this device.

I have a crazy idea, let’s start learning from our device. Has anyone been on Youtube lately? My daughter struggled to make her first bracelet using all of the million colorful bands laying around the house. I attempted to help her but I to lost patience. At this point I encouraged her to use her device to help solve this problem. After multiple how to videos, failures, and more attempts guess what….. we have now mastered making bracelets. And the cool thing about Youtube, she will never run out of bracelet designs to conquer, its a never ending resource for her.

Since I brought up Youtube lets continue with that resource. How many students/children do you know that feel confident presenting in front of their peers? Unfortunately that is a skill that is lacking in children due to many factors in our society. Let’s us Youtube to give each child a voice and practice those presentation skills. You would be surprised how long it takes to make a perfect 30 second video but the impact that video has on their confidence once it is viewed is immeasurable. Encourage your kids/students to make a how to video, tell about their day, or just share how they feel. I have personally seen the impact of making videos in my own child, she stands a little taller in each video, spends time looking at camera angles, plans her script, and then edits the video for appropriate content. And guess what, their are free apps that help kids do this safely and securely.

I think this is a obvious one but their are apps for student to learn how to read. Who knew? Kids are sponges, download those free alphabet apps and let them learn their letters and sounds. In my opinion you can’t start this process too early. If they can manipulate a device on their own, they can click on a letter and hear its sound. While you are working on those letters and sounds why not throw in a counting app or app that reads stories to your child. Exposure is everything, give that opportunity in a fun platform.

Lastly, have your child CREATE something with their iPad. Creativity is a skill that drops drastically from age 5 to adulthood. It almost completely goes away if not used on a regular basis. I consistently hear adults say that they are not creative. We are all creative you just have to practice the skill occasionally, kind of like riding a bike. Let that 3 year old take pictures with all the different camera settings, use a drawing app to draw (digital drawings take up way less space than the paper ones), use the whiteboard apps to “play teacher”, create a video, just make something!!

I will warn you that creating equals noise, questions, and a million items on your camera roll. I think that is a small price to pay for the positive outcomes.

Here are some of the positives attributes a child can acquire through proper iPad use:

  • Problem solving
  • Accepting that failure is normal and how to overcome it
  • Presentation skills
  • Effectively communicating with others
  • Research skills
  • Self confidence
  • Creativity
  • A really, really great brain

Let’s make a difference in kids lives, delete those movie watching apps and encourage deeper skills in our kids. Tell you child this is a creation device and show me what you can make. I think you will be surprised what they can do.

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