Quiz: is Your Toddler Ready for the Computer?
We all want to give our children the best start in life and learning to use a computer is, in these digital times, an essential part of growing up but how do you know when it’s the right time for your child?
Answer the questions in our little questionnaire to find out if your child is desperate to get their hands on your megabytes, or happier eating worms in the garden.
Bear in mind that children develop different skills at different ages so don't be alarmed if your child is focusing on other things at the moment.
If You Give Your Toddler a Book to Hold What Does He or She Do?a) chew it or bash it on the nearest surface
b) look at it for a short time and then throw it aside in favour of something more exciting
c) sit and look at it for a few minutes before losing interest
In Front of the TV Does Your Childa) stand as near the TV as possible banging on the screen and laughing?
b) sit and watch, entranced for a few minutes
c) sing along or join in with onscreen activities
If You Have a Home Computer already Does Your Toddlera) ignore it, it doesn’t interest them
b) ignore it unless you’re using it in which case they like to bash on the keyboard
c) they’re interested by it and like to sit at the desk pretending to press buttons
How Long Does Your Toddler Generally Pay Attention to a Task (be it playing with a car, a ball, digging a hole, or anything)a) a very short time, they’re usually to excited by everything else around them
b) if it’s something they’re interested in then a few minutes, if not a matter of seconds
c) usually five to ten minutes depending what the activity is and how engaged he/she is
How Ready is Your Tot?If you answered mainly As it sounds like your toddler is physically motivated and enjoys exploring the world in a very tactile way. While this doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in computers it probably does mean they’ll be more interested in bashing the keyboard and mouse than in actually learning how to use the computer. If you are keen to get your toddler using the computer soon keep it to very short sessions and invest in a spare, child proof keyboard.
If you answered mainly B’s your child is obviously able to concentrate on tasks that he/she enjoys but has a shorter attention span for things that aren’t as engaging. To keep their interest as you introduce them to the computer make sure you have the right software to keep their attention and don’t push them too hard. If they aren’t interested move onto a different activity.
If you answered mainly C’s your child sounds like he/she will respond well to you introducing the computer into their play routine. Make sure they still get a good balance of activities though – too much time spent at time spent at the computer is not good for them.