the IT city, the I.T. Baby


My three year old is becoming less of a watcher and more of a player

Amazon Fire Kids EditionFor the longest time Maggie wanted the iPad so she could watch any one of hundreds of thousands of weird kid videos on YouTube Kids.

Quick note – I posted this four days before I saw a national campaign for some movie that has the tagline “are you a watcher or a player”. this has nothing to do with whatever that movie is about unless it’s about toddlers interacting rather than just watching.

We limited her time on this suggesting instead that she play with the Pink iPad (Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet in a pink case,) as at least the things we’ve installed through the Amazon Freetime program with it are somewhat educational. Up until recently she wasn’t particularly interested in jumping ecosystems and stayed on the larger Apple product.

About three or four weeks ago that started to change. She got an interest suddenly in the interactive apps where she has to solve puzzles, figure out rhyming words, and generally do something as opposed to simply watch something.

Considering how she’s watching a lot of somethings at her daycare as she can now sing the PJ Mask theme song, knows what the Paw Patrol is (we didn’t introduce it,) and is always watching a movie when we pick her up, it’s a nice transition from passive watcher to active actor.

What’s become interesting to watch is the transition from the tablet to playing with her toys is becoming seamless. It used to be a fight but now it’s just “oh, I’m going to go do that now.” Sometimes it takes a little coaxing but there haven’t been meltdowns like we used to see when taking a screen away.

I’m not particularly certain what conclusion to draw from this – that given enough screen time a kid will eventually walk away to play dysfunctional dystopian Barbie wars, or if this is a natural progression of a threenager.

Trying to come at this without the preconceived notion of good or bad when it comes to a screen which is problematic when you’re not really sure what the results you’re looking at are.

Ah well. Interesting times.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.