Top tips for using technology with 3 to 4-year-olds
We have looked at the current research around technology and young children to share these top tips.
- You are the best person for your child to learn from. Technology works best when you and your child play together using it, just like a book.
- Everything is about balance. Make sure that time your child spends playing with technology is also balanced with other activities, like playing outside or playing ‘offline’ games together.
- When you and your child are playing with technology, make sure you connect it to other things your child is learning. For example, if you enjoy baking together see if there are any games or online recipes you can find together.
You are the best person to decide how much time with technology is enough for your child. But remember: if you are always using technology, they will too!
As they are getting older, your little one will get better at using technology, so they may want to spend longer on devices. You may want to give them a timer to count down how long they have left to use a device, to make sure there are no tantrums when it is taken away.
Make sure any technology they use is age appropriate.
Look out for technology that can support your 3 to 4-year-old to:
- Listen to and repeat stories, songs and rhymes.
- Be creative.
- Make up their own stories or games.
- Link sounds to letters, eventually helping them to read.
- Begin to write letters, words and short sentences.
- Get active
Video chat and messaging services can provide great opportunities for your child to develop their listening, attention and speaking skills, as they keep in touch with friends or family.
When your child is using technology make sure they are close by, so you can support them, and ensure they are only accessing age appropriate apps and websites.
Other useful resources
- The CBBC website has useful information about toddlers and tablets.
- Family Corner offers useful guidance on screens in the early years Screens in the early years | Family Corner
- CEOP offers guidance on Keeping your under-five safe online (thinkuknow.co.uk)
- This handy guide will help you set up parent controls Parental Controls & Privacy Settings Guides | Internet Matters