Today’s article titled Infants ‘unable to use toy building blocks’ due to iPad addiction from the London Telegraph on April 15th almost does not seem real, but it is real and very sad. Graeme Paton, education editor, tell us that a “rising numbers of infants lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks because of an ‘addiction’ to tablet computers and smartphones.”
“Many children aged just three or four can ‘swipe a screen’ but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads.”
“Some older children are unable to complete traditional pen and paper exams because their memory had been eroded by overexposure to screen-based technology.”
“Experts have warned that the growth (in iPad usage) is having a serious effect on children’s social and physical development.”
“Mark Montgomery, a teacher from Northern Ireland, said overexposure to technology had been linked to weight gain, aggressive behaviour, tiredness and repetitive strain injury. He called on parents to turn home wi-fi off overnight to stop children staying awake to play online games on iPads.”
What to do…
Probably exactly what you are already doing, being careful not to let your young children spend the predominance of their time using these devices. You know that hands-on interactive experiences provide the true pathways for learning. You know that all learning takes place throughout the five senses. You also know that the iPad is not a hands-on tool and that using it allows only sight and sound to be stimulated.
As summer draws near, please remember that the very best place for play is the outdoors. The minute you enter almost any play area, you and your child will be reminded about the five senses and how they all work together for learning. Once you see, hear, taste, touch and smell the difference, you are likely to find yourselves running, jumping, discovering, singing, talking, meeting new people and enjoying life a whole lot more!
You can’t beat that!
~ Dr. Sally
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“May every moment be a happy memory.”
— Debra Crozier