Since the first kiddo managed to get their hands on a smartphone, screen time for children has been a highly controversial subject. There have been conflicting reports about the suggested screen time allowances for children and the age they should start being able to start playing mobile apps. Of course these decisions are purely personal and each parent does what they think is right for their family, but general guidelines are helpful when determining how to let children use smartphones or tablets responsibly.
For a while now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has discouraged any screen time at all for children under the age of two, and limiting the daily intake to 2 hours for children older than that. (The AAP definition of screen time includes smartphones, tablets, television, and computers.) The concern had been that children don’t yet have the skills to determine which media messages are negative and which are enrichment-based, and over consumption of the wrong media could be detrimental to early development.
In a surprising about-face, the AAP has rewritten these guidelines
to state that screen time for infants is fine, with one important caution: the quality of what they are consuming during on-screen activities matters. “Media is just another environment,” according to the AAP. “Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.” In other words, parents need to closely monitor on-screen content to ensure that it offers true educational value.
The AAP also emphasizes that “family participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. Parents should play a video game with their kids, and always co-view with infants and toddlers.” In other words, parents should always be involved with selecting their child’s activities and to help their children to get the most out of it by playing and explaining the apps together.
At Eggroll Games, we dedicate ourselves to creating interactive toys that are easy for young children to pick up and play, along with developing important early childhood skills. We are parents ourselves and work with teachers on a regular basis to ensure that our apps make learning fun for kids of all ages, and several of our games also adhere to Common Core Standards. We invite you to explore more here