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Family Files

Tech time for young children

child with headphones on watching a tablet

We use technology in many ways during everyday routines, and young children don’t want to be left out. The University of Illinois Early Learning Project has a great tip sheet, Tech Time for Young Children, that shares some ways families and caregivers can find a healthy balance with technology and electronic media in their daily lives

Use technology together

Talk and interact while using technology. Conversations help your child understand what she sees and how technology works. Talk about what you see to help your child understand it.

Choose wisely

Young children have trouble telling the difference between reality and fantasy. Choose age-appropriate, nonviolent media for young children.

Be a good role model

Your child is watching your technology use, which can often interfere with sleep and mealtimes. Find a healthy balance between when you use technology and when you take a break from it.

Encourage learning

Choose educational games and programming that help children learn. Show them that technology can also help them find important, useful information.

Balance your time

Young children need hands-on play with real objects. They benefit most from their interactions with people through play and conversations. Use technology to enrich and build upon other experiences. Develop a family plan for media and decide ahead of time when and what to watch.

Source: Illinois Early Learning Project