pool articleAlternatives to the iPad

By Shara Lawrence-Weiss of Mommy Perks

In a recent article, The Telegraph stated: Infants ‘unable to use toy building blocks’ due to iPad addiction

This has been a concern of many educators and teachers and findings are now pointing to what many of us assumed would come about: children losing motor development due to iPad (and electronic device) addiction. Will we eventually lose the use of our fingers? Is that the natural progression if we carry along as-is? Imagine the side effects of this, should it come about…no more piano playing, no more guitar playing, no more hand writing, and more.

On May 3, 2014, one Montessori teacher shared with me: “So many of my students are having a harder time doing so many of the sensorial and practical life activities that used to be mastered well before the age of 4.” – Andrea, NY

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There are countless ways in which to stop this from carrying on. Below, we’ll explore a few ways that parents can help their children by offering alternatives to the iPad.

Outdoor Play: Go outside with your kids! Visit the park, go swimming, play in the back yard, set up a trampoline, run through sprinklers, climb trees, ride bikes, watch birds, go for walks around the block, roll down hills, jump in leaves, collect sticks and rocks, draw words in the dirt, make sandcastles, or run around in circles. Anything will do. Here’s a plus: there’s a free anti-depressant in the sunshine called Vitamin D. Bonus! We all need to view things from a distance, too, so that our eyes are not continually looking at close-up images. Save your child’s eyesight by going outside to view things from a distance.

Sing and Dance: Put music on inside your house and sing and dance with your kids. Spin around, giggle, and enjoy the company of one another.

Musical Instruments: Make home made instruments out of pots and pans. Bang the pots and pans with wooden spoons and create your own marching band.

Create Art: Set up a section in your home for coloring pages, blank paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, and tape. Give your kids old magazines to cut out. Make collages or home made cards. Kids can use all ten fingers!

Play-Dough: You can make your own with a few simple ingredients (look it up online) or purchase play-doh from the store. Mold, squish, squash, and smash…again, all ten fingers will be used and engaged.

Reading Center: Set up a reading center in your home. Put a bookshelf in your child’s room or in a family area. Children benefit from flipping real pages, turning covers, and engaging their fingers. Snuggle up and allow your child to turn each page, as you read together.

These are simple ways in which you can keep your kiddos healthy, happy, thriving, and functional.

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” C. S. Lewis