A Well-Stocked Diaper Bag
Technology Devices for the Youngest Among Us
OK, let’s inventory what’s in the diaper bag. Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Pacifier? Check. Favored stuffed animal? Check. Kids ereader? Uhhh.
Technology devices have made their way into the daily supplies of even the youngest among us. This article completes the four part series on tech devices for individual age groups. We end with preschoolers; age 5 and younger. These devices mix the practical and the fanciful.
When my children were young, they would play with my keys to amuse themselves and gnaw on. While key rings have given way to electronic key fobs (which do not mix well with drool), mobile phones have become more common. They are a favorite with little ones as they imitate their parents. When you get a new phone, keep the old one without its SIM chip or battery to serve as a plaything.
Watching and imitating adults, preschoolers are drawn to computers. They happily press keys, swipe with their fingers, tap, and have mastered the pinch to increase or decrease the size of what’s on the screen. A hand-me-down works well with a preschooler’s rough handling and exploration. There are a wide variety of Web-based software programs and apps designed for children. These imaginative, inventive computer programs allow children to create their own interactive stories, games, music, art and more. The ability to share these creations online so others can see and try out their work is frosting on the cake!
Digital media player
Music and songs are vivid memories of childhood. Today’s children are fortunate to have small, portable digital media players compared to the technologies of the past. A beige Fisher-Price cassette tape player with multiple batteries was in the top five items we always put in the front of the car when going on vacation road trips. Portable video like audio allows preschoolers to watch educational and fun options wherever they are -- in the car while a sibling is being transported to Scouts or while attending another sibling’s T-ball game.
Tech devices aren’t just for passive pursuits or for exploring the tools adults use. Both portable and console interactive game systems are a treat. Active interaction encourages learning. Physical exercise benefits all ages.
In talking with parents for this article, they stressed the importance of providing basic non-electronic toys such as cars and dolls. Balance. And that applies to all age groups and concludes this series well. Technology devices bring new dimensions and diversions and are best enjoyed in moderation.