Make "tech time" an engaging, language-rich experience. Learn how apps can promote early learning
Make sure you two are doing the talking, not the app. Ask questions, have conversations and ask your child to recount the action of the app later, when the device is turned off. Children learn oral language when you talk with them. Studies have shown that oral language cannot be learned from prerecorded voices or screens.
Learn new songs or enjoy well-loved classics as you use singing apps, then keep singing together long after the device is turned off. Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words, and it teaches children phonics, vocabulary and general knowledge about the world.
Enjoy eBook apps together as you would print books. Let your child take the lead and talk about what's happening in the story. Always read eBook apps aloud, disabling prerecorded options to promote interaction. Reading together is the number-one way you can get your child ready to read and ready for school.
Look for apps that ask your child to do more than simply tap the screen. Using fingers to draw, scribble, pinch and expand helps develop small-motor control, an essential skill for learning to write. Writing with a finger is a great way for children who haven't yet mastered holding a crayon or pencil to start down the path to learning to write.
Look for play apps that allow children to pretend, create, investigate and problem-solve, and ask them to describe what's happening. Play gives children a chance to use words and explore concepts that may not come up otherwise. They learn about their world through play, and they learn best when they play with you.