Tablets For Toddlers: A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Best Tablets for Kids in 2023
Parents of young children may be wondering if it is too soon to give their kids tablets and smartphones. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2018 toy guide for young children, age-appropriate use for these devices starts at 8 years old.
This blog post will provide guidance on how parents can choose the best tablet for toddlers; set up and manage a tablet in a safe way; guardian against cyberbullying & addiction and other considerations when introducing tech to their little ones.
If your child wants a tablet, it’s important to set limits and monitor their usage. This technology wonderland can be a great resource for learning and entertainment, but it’s important to make sure your child is using it in a safe and healthy way.
- Tablets can be a great resource for parents and toddlers, but it is important to consider the risks associated with excessive use. These include poorer motor/problem solving skills, addiction, cyberbullying & obesity.
- When selecting a tablet for your toddler, look for age – appropriate content & features; parental control options; and safety features such as protective cases or interactive elements that track usage habits easily via parental control tools.
- To ensure a safe experience on tablets for toddlers, set up Android’s built-in parental controls using Family Link; create child accounts which monitor access to apps they install ; tailor specific app levels in the Google Play Store, and add accessories like blue-light glasses too!
Benefits and Risks of Tablets for Toddlers
It is important for parents to weigh the potential benefits and risks of giving a tablet to their toddlers, as overuse can have serious consequences.
Benefits of educational apps
Educational apps offer toddlers potentially invaluable experiences that can help them develop academic skills. Research has shown that certain apps can improve a toddler’s vocabulary and math abilities, plus increase their interest in learning.
Some apps that have been shown to be effective in helping toddlers improve their vocabulary and math skills include:
- Toca Boca apps: These apps are designed to be fun and engaging for toddlers, and they also teach them a variety of skills, such as vocabulary, math, and problem-solving.
- Khan Academy Kids: This app provides a variety of educational games and activities for toddlers, including games that focus on vocabulary, math, and reading.
- ABC Mouse: This app is designed to help toddlers learn their ABCs and 123s, and it also includes games and activities that focus on other skills, such as problem-solving and creativity.
- Duolingo Kids: This app teaches toddlers a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, French, and German. It is a fun and engaging way for toddlers to learn a new language.
- Starfall: This app teaches toddlers basic reading skills, such as sight words and letter sounds. It is a fun and interactive way for toddlers to learn to read.
Moreover, a kid-friendly tablet offers access to a treasure trove of resources, including age-appropriate content, websites, interactive activities and videos presented in an entertaining way for young minds.
Using educational programs on kid tablets, toddlers get the chance to explore the world around them at their own pace while building up essential language development and cognitive skills such as problem solving.
Risks of excessive screen time
Excessive screen time for toddlers can have a long-term negative impact on physical and cognitive development. According to the National Institute of Health, research has shown that prolonged use of screens in infancy or early childhood may be linked to poorer motor, problem solving, language and cognitive skills in later years.
The same research has also found an association between excessive screen time and increased obesity rates in children as young as two years old – likely due to the sedentary nature of spending too much time on digital devices instead of engaging with active play.
Furthermore, toddlers tend to learn social cues by reading faces and playing games. If children are not given ample opportunity for this type of learning, they may lack important emotional intelligence skills such as empathy, which can affect their ability to interact with others throughout life.
Risk of addiction
Tablets for toddlers has grown increasingly popular as a tool to enhance the learning experience of young children. However, parents must be mindful that these devices can pose potential risks to their child’s health and development.
One such risk is the possibility of addiction, which stems from excessive use of mobile devices in general – especially in toddlers who are exposed to more immediate gratification than older users.
With strict parenting restrictions or with low self-control and self-esteem, children may start using tablets as an escape from reality and unknowingly become addicted. This issue must be taken seriously since there have been cases where children have displayed problematic behavior caused by too much screen time or intensity regarding smartphone usage such as aggressive tendencies or restlessness without access to phones.
As with any other dangerous substance such as cigarettes or alcohol, greater awareness by both parents and healthcare should exist so that improper use of technology does not adversely affect our youth’s growth and overall development.
It is important for families to balance digital media use against activities like outdoor playtime and imaginative game time. Otherwise, it could lead to inappropriate changes in brain chemistry.
Risk of cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a growing concern among children and adolescents, especially when it comes to the use of digital devices. Cyberbullying can occur on smartphones, computers, tablets, and gaming systems.
It involves using technology with an intent to harm or harass another living being and can have serious consequences for both the bully and target. Victims may suffer from psychological harm such as depression and anxiety along with physical health issues.
Additionally, cyberbullying has been linked to academic problems for some kids, such as missing classes due to fear of being bullied or having difficulty focusing on schoolwork while online.
Parents should be aware that giving a toddler access to a tablet increases their risk for potential cyberbullying by others who are able to access their content via social media sites or other Internet-connected apps and games available today.
In addition, leaving young children unsupervised with laptops or kid tablets at home can increase their risk of being exposed to cyberbullying. Children under the age of six may not be able to identify cyberbullying or know how to respond to it. They may also be more likely to share personal information online, which can make them targets for bullies.
How to Choose the Best Tablet for Toddlers
With so many options to choose from, parents need to carefully consider what kind of tablet is most suitable for their toddler. Read on to get more insights on choosing the best tablet!
Consider age-appropriate content and features
When choosing a tablet for your toddler, it is important to consider age-appropriate content and features that are tailored for their development. There are many facets during the process of selecting the best device for your child – from selecting kid-friendly content to interactive games, video streaming, and photo-taking capabilities.
Look for parental control options
When choosing a tablet for toddlers, it is important to consider parental control options. To ensure that your child has a safe and age-appropriate internet experience, look for tablets with the following features:
Consider durability and safety features
When selecting a tablet for your toddler, it’s important to consider characteristics that will ensure durability and safety. Durability features might include an accident-resistant design, long battery life, and drop proof construction. Additionally, safety features such as parental control options are essential in ensuring the child only has access to age appropriate content. It can also be beneficial to examine specific tablets designed for children which often come with additional child-friendly features such as protective cases or extended playtime options. Researching customer reviews is also helpful in finding the best tablet option for your individual needs and budget.
Setting Up and Managing a Tablet for Toddlers
Knowing which parental controls to set, what kind of apps and games are appropriate, and how much time your child should be spending on the tablet can help you ensure that they get the best out of their device.
Setting up parental controls
Whether you are providing a tablet as an educational tool or as a fun source of entertainment, it is important that parents set up and manage parental controls on these devices. This helps to limit exposure to age-inappropriate content, reduce the risk of addiction or cyberbullying, and control how much time kids spend on their tablets.
- Make sure you have your Google Play credentials handy before starting the process of setting up Parental Controls using Family Link.
- Enable Android’s built-in parental control settings in the device’s Settings menu via Google Play Settings -> Parental Controls -> Turn On Restrictions.
- Create child accounts so that you can monitor and restrict what apps they can access and install in the device by downloading/updating family link app from the Google Play Store based on your operating system iOS /Android) used with the device . You will need to provide your own Google account credentials when clicking “Get Started” button inside this app – make sure it is different from the parent account! This sets restrictions like monitoring usage time, restricting downloads & activity reports etc for better control over a child’s usage habits within safe limitations .
- Further tailor specific apps access levels by going into “Google Play Store” – Apps section – where you get to see all recommended apps (if any). Here you can choose which customer rating level is appropriate plus if there are any age related restrictions available for specific apps (e..g G/PG rated games ). Next, enable those given choices which could help customize the user experience accordingly.
- Finally add accessories like blue light glasses etc to further enhance protection against eye strain caused by excessive screen use. It is also a good idea to monitor software updates regularly as they could affect your child’s user experience.
Selecting appropriate apps and games
When it comes to tablets for toddlers, parents need to consider the age-appropriateness of apps and games. Age-appropriate content should address language development, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and other important skillsets that are vital for a toddler’s growth.
Managing screen time
Parents should create a digital usage plan and set limits to their child’s screen time that fits with the recommended guidelines from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization. It is important for parents to practice healthy habits when using digital devices themselves, in order to manage appropriately how much screen time their children have.
- Establishing parental control apps: Use apps such as Family Link for Android or Restrictions settings on iOS devices, which will help parents manage which apps their toddlers can use and how much screen time they have each day.
- Selecting age appropriate content and features: Apps can range from educational activities, such as counting games or letters and numbers activities, to interactive stories that develop language comprehension skills. When selecting apps for your child, make sure you check the age recommendation for each app before downloading it.
- Balancing screen time with other activities: Monitor how often your child is engaging in activities away from screens, such as play-based learning activities. Ensure that your child has enough physical activity so that he/she does not spend all of its energy playing tablet games instead of running around.
- Setting up reminders after use: Set lists of reminders beside the tablet (or any other digital device) that encourage an active lifestyle by going outside to play even when you have free time. Try enriching experiences such as “read five books every week” or “paint an outdoor scene on Tuesdays” as part of additional activities throughout the day rather than focusing purely on “technology only” play periods each day.
- Engaging with children’s tablet use : Parents should consider another strategy offered by education professionals called “co-viewing”. It consists of engaging in conversations about what children are watching or doing online while modeling positive online behavior yourself — this way, a parent can raise questions about the content viewed and also model respectful behaviors before, during and after viewing content online .
- Setting limits and boundaries : Set specific rules regarding tablet use and ensure those rules are followed during educational hours as well as leisure activities. Establish clear expectations such as when, where, and how long tablets may be used by your children. Enforce daily house rules for all digital device usage.
Adding accessories for safety
When considering the use of a tablet by toddlers, it is important to remember the importance of safety measures. Safety accessories like cases or other protective layers can help reduce impacts in case of accidental drops or spills. Fire HD 8 Kids and Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablets come with compliance information which outlines their safety considerations for toddlers. Parents should read this information and ensure that any extra accessories they purchase also follow security guidelines.
- Cases with extra padding: Get cases with extra padding like foam cushions on the back and sides to better protect against impacts due to falls or contact with sharp objects.
- Screen protectors: Look for screen protectors that are made from durable materials for additional protection from impact. It is also wise to keep fingers away from the device display, reducing dirt particles sticking to the surface.
- Stands and mounts: Consider adjustable stands or wall-mounted holders that allow toddlers to use their tablets without dropping them while they’re standing up or laying down during usage time.
- Headphones designed for toddlers: Opt for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that are designed especially for kids so they can comfortably listen to audio without causing any discomfort to their delicate ears.
- Power banks: For extended playtime outside, plug in power banks and stay connected even in areas where power outlets aren’t available nearby; this works great during long trips!
Other Considerations for Parents
Factors such as balancing screen time with other activities, monitoring and engaging with children’s tablet use, as well as setting limits and boundaries are all essential to consider when using tablets for toddlers.
Discover more handy tips on how to make the most out of your toddler’s tablet experience!
Balancing screen time with other activities
It’s important for parents to find a balance between the time their toddler spends on tablets versus engaging in physically and socially active activities such as outdoor play, creative play and social interactions.
For toddlers up to 24 months old, there should be no screen time at all except for video chatting with family members. For children ages 2-5, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to 1 hour per day or less.
What’s more important than just setting limits is ensuring that appropriate activities are also engaged in both offline and online over the course of every day.
Children benefit from physical exercise, deep thinking through independent things like reading or playing puzzles, getting creative either outdoors or inside with painting, having conversations with adults other than their caregivers, and participating in group games both online or outside—making it essential for parents to provide variety throughout their days away from screens.
Monitoring and engaging with children’s tablet use
Parents play a crucial role in helping their children use technology safely and responsibly. Supervision helps limit screen time, as well as ensure that content is age-appropriate and free of potential cyberbullying.
According to Pew Research Center, the amount of digital devices used by children varies widely among different age groups. Therefore, parents should carefully monitor their child’s tablet usage and take steps to customize parental controls based on the child’s unique needs.
This allows them to block or filter out content deemed inappropriate for young eyes while ensuring they can still choose from educational apps that will benefit their development.
Setting limits and boundaries
Parents should establish boundaries for their toddlers’ tablet use to ensure their safety and healthy development. Without age-appropriate limits, children may be exposed to potential risks from overusing digital media, such as cyberbullying, addiction or too much screen time. Setting clear rules and creating structured plans can help families manage kids’ digital device activities in a healthy way.
Seeking advice and support from experts or other parents
When it comes to using tablets for toddlers, seeking advice and support from experts or other parents is essential in order to use technology responsibly. Experts like pediatricians, special education teachers, child psychologists or doctors can provide valuable insights and guidance on age-appropriate content as well as understanding how to set boundaries and manage screen time effectively.
Even more important, may be the ability to connect with other parent community members to discuss these issues more critically.
Tablets can be a great resource for parents and toddlers alike, providing educational content, entertainment, convenience, and more. However, it is important to remember that tablets should not replace learning activities like playing with toys or reading books.
Parents should carefully consider the limitations of tablets before giving them to young children. Tablets can be a great way for kids to learn and play, but they also come with risks, such as excessive screen time and cyberbullying. It is important to set up tablets properly and manage them responsibly to minimize these risks.
Parents should also get involved in their child’s tablet usage – choose age-appropriate material; create usage limits; monitor what apps they’re using; supervise tablet playtime; join the conversation about tech use in general and seek advice from other families or experts when needed.
When used appropriately with parental guidance, tablets can open up exciting new worlds of discovery for little ones!