Parent Tips for Digital Smarts

Criteria for Choosing Apps or Book Apps for Babies and Toddlers

For infants and children under age 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

Interacting with people through board books, picture books, toys, and other activities are recommended.

Since apps or book apps should be avoided for children under the age of 2, we recommend doing these activities for 6 to 12 months and 12 to 24 months:

For 6 to 12 months:

What you can do:

– Cuddle, sing, talk, play, read.
– Talk back and forth with your baby.  Be sure to make eye contact.

– Point and name things.

– Follow baby’s cues for “more” or “stop.”

– Play games such as “peek-a-boo” or “pat-a-cake”

What to read:

– Board and cloth books.

– Books with baby faces.
– Nursery Rhymes.

For 12 to 24 months:

What you can do:
– Smile and answer when your child speaks or points.
– Let your child help turn the pages and keep naming things.
– Use books in family routines: naptime, playtime, bedtime; on the potty; in the car, bus.
– Use books to calm or distract your child while waiting.

What to read:
– Board books
– Rhyming books
– Picture books
– Books that name things

After your little one has turned two and can recognize how printed books work then you can consider adding an app or a book app as a supplement to print or a basic concept.

App Criteria for Preschoolers


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