Toddler computer games: are they an important part of your child’s learning? Toddlers learn quickly how to navigate computers and other electronic devices, and they can have great fun on computer games. It is important that they aren’t given free reign, though, because too much screentime is bad for little people: in fact, recommendations are to keep your under-two away from tvs and computers completely, and to give your over-two toddler just two or three fifteen minute sessions a day, max.
Still, there’s a lot you can do in two or three fifteen minute sessions a day. So what are the best computer games to introduce your child to in this time? You’ll want computer games for kids that are fun, engaging, and educational as well. The good news is that those are not too hard to find.
• Reader Rabbit Toddler is one favorite. This computer game is meant to teach toddlers basic pre-reading skills the letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and some vocabulary. It’s a gentle way of getting your child used to using the mouse, and includes more than a hundred activities and ten fun songs.
• When your toddler has mastered that he can go on to Reader Rabbit Learn to Read with Phonics (preschool and kindergarten). These toddler computer games focus on helping a child identify letter sounds, recognize letter patterns, and put those two skills together to actually read There are also vocabulary-improving games.
• Another popular computer game is Jumpstart Toddler. This game may be a little old school, but it is still a favorite in many families because of the toddler-friendly game design and the way it is accessible to even younger, more novice toddlers. There are games which use the mouse, and others which can be navigated by just the keyboard. The activities and games will help your child learn shapes, colors, numbers, and letters, as well as some new words and, of course, mouse control.
Don’t those list of skills learned look pretty extensive? It’s tempting to let the computer play tutor to your child, and sit him or her down in front of the machine whenever you’ve got other things to do. You get a quiet house, your toddler gets a private tutor.
It’s tempting, but it’s a bad idea. Your toddler learns best from interaction with people, not machines, and it’s important you spend time with him or her working on these preschool concepts, rather then delegating all of it to the computer. Let your little boy or girl have their fifteen minutes a day; three fifteen minutes a day, if that’s what you want, but don’t go longer, and spend time off the computer talking about all those important concepts as well: colors, shapes numbers, letters, and phonics concepts. Bring them into real life with practical examples.
Toddler computer games are a tool, and when use wisely, they’re a good tool. Keep them in their place, and don’t abuse them.