This autumn, the American Academy of Pediatrics is scheduled to announce what looks to be sweeping updates to its screen time recommendations, reflecting current research. While current recommendations are at one to two hours of quality screen time per day for children above 2, the AAP’s preliminary statement indicated that certain kinds of interactive media may be appropriate for young children. Expect to see a conservative recommendation that still encompasses our modern society’s use of technology. A few key points on media use from the AAP:
- Media is just another environment.
- Role modeling is critical.
- We learn from each other.
- Content matters.
Quality apps are one of the keys to meaningful and mindful screen time. These are my recommendations for engaging, content-rich apps that range multiple ages:
My Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle’s beloved caterpillar comes to play in this simple, engaging app for the very young. Children can pick apples from trees, water seeds and plants, and more.
Labo’s Pebble Art
In Labo Leaves each screen features leaves of various shapes, sizes, and colors that children can drag to an outlined spot to create a figure or creature. Labo’s Pebble Art shows a clothesline row of deconstructed pictures that children reassemble. Helps children develop hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills while working on visual discrimination.
Preschool – Kindergarten
This app lets users experiment with experiment with nucleotide shapes and DNA strands but, since there’s no text, it works for children of a wide range of ages. Children manipulate the gene sequence of a creature to create its body, shape, and features. Notes for parents offer extension possibilities for older students.
Preschool – Gr 3
Another winner for multiple ages, Endless Alphabet engages both pre-readers and beginning readers with the silly antics of animated letters. As children match up the letters to the word, the word comes alive.
PreK- Gr 1
MoMA Art Lab
A favorite for all ages in the WNS studio, MoMA Art Lab lets users experiment with color, line, and shape inspired by artists like Alexander Calder and Elizabeth Murray. Create a shape poem, a group drawing, a mobile and more.
PreK- Gr 5
If you’ve got Choose Your Own Adventure book fans, this app will be a hit. Readers follow along and choose their desired outcomes in this detailed story. Fun extra features make this a good choice for older students.