Development and Distractions – Alternatives to Technology for Entertaining your Child
Technology is indeed fascinating for children and is a quick and easy distraction to cheer up your agitated toddler. The bright lights, the tapping of the keypad, and the symphony of ringtones could easily engage baby until you finish a quick task; however, looking at a screen for too long will do more harm than good to your little one. Pediatricians suggest that exposure to hand held electronic screens such as mobile phones and tablets for long durations can affect baby’s brain development.
Babies need to explore the world around them and learn from experiences; there should be enough activity to stimulate baby’s budding, inquisitive mind. Too much screen time can lead to the development of a sedentary lifestyle. Babies need to be active crawling, climbing, and running around. Over-exposing babies under two years of age to technology can have an adverse impact on their attention span, appetite, and could lead to disturbed sleep patterns. Here are five creative ways to engage babies without technology.
A Walk in the Park
Your little one will surely enjoy the breeze on her face from the gentle sways of a baby bucket style swing. You could also hold baby halfway on the slide, standing at the side and slowly glide her down. Park time helps babies develop gross motor skills and sensory experiences by encouraging them to push, pull, hang, and jump.
Admire Chirping Birds and Blooming Flowers
Because of technology, babies spend more time inside than outside. Interacting with nature creates a sense of wonder in kids that promotes creativity. Watching birds fly and leaves shed stimulates an inquiring mind and prompts children to ask questions about how everything functions.
Catch Some Color
Babies love to explore by feeling with their hands. The best way for baby to learn something new is through hands-on experiences, so let your baby experiment with colors. By smearing paint and sprinkling glitter, kids learn to express themselves. Art fosters creativity and new ways of thinking.
Tea Parties and Play Dates
Your little one needs to catch up with her friends too. Tea parties and play dates allow young children to socialize and interact with others, helping the development of social and communication skills. Alternatively, you could also introduce your baby to pets such as cats and dogs to develop her caring side.
Bedtime Stories of Faraway Lands
Grandma’s bedtime stories become one of the fondest childhood memories. These tales, while stimulating your child’s imagination, also improve his language ability, expand vocabulary, enhance logic skills, and also help baby develop a deep emotional bond with you.
The initial years with your baby are when the most precious memories are made. Don’t let this beautiful experience fade away in the convenience and excitement that technology offers. While occasional exposure to digital media won’t harm your toddler, remember to let your child experience the wonders of the real world.