Kids have access to ebooks all over the place…parents’ iPads, smartphones, Kindles, tablets made especially for kids, even the library has ebooks on screens.
Is that time a child spends sitting in front of a screen listening to books, screen time or story time? We’ve all been told too much screen time is a bad thing, but what if it is in fact story time? Is that still a bad thing?
A recent NY Times article looked at the both sides of the issue (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/us/is-e-reading-to-your-toddler-story-time-or-simply-screen-time.html?_r=1).
Since all these technologies are too new to have been studied long-term, it makes sense for parents to be cautious of relying too much on digital readers for their kids. What has been studied is that screen time should be limited to two hours for children over the age of two and no screen time for kids under two years old.
Of course, there are many differing opinions on this topic, here’s mine…
Stick to old-fashioned paper books for bedtime and story time at home with your kids. Nothing replaces sitting with your kid, turning pages, answering questions and physically holding a book (no matter how tired you are…or how many times you’ve read the same damn story).
Don’t completely eliminate kids’ access to e-devices. When in a pinch out and about, or as part of your child’s designated “screen time” at home, allow them to use the screens for games, stories, or whatever else you’ve allowed them to access. Kids learn things from ebooks they can’t learn from regular books (think tapping words and having them spoken or defined for you). Just don’t let it go for too long.
Simple enough right?