Supporting the Development of the Preschool Brain

  • Supporting the Development of the Preschool Brain

    1. Children are natural manipulators. They learn by manipulating objects in their environment. They need opportunities to act on things and study the outcome of their attempts to control items - dolls, toys, their own bodies. Interactive computer programs can serve this purpose.

    2. Preschoolers are engaged in significant cognitive growth and think differently than adults. Their brains are not yet fully developed.

    3. Children need a well-balanced set of experiences to support their brain development. Interactive experiences with real people is crucial. Technology is best used to enhance interactive learning experiences, not replace them. Preschoolers need exposure to and interaction with members of their social circle to develop their intellectual and social /emotional skills.

    4. Rich and complex back and forth conversation that is responsive to the child’s expressions are a critical component of brain development.

    5. Although technology can help us teach children, they learn from their interactions with us. Utilizing technology together where teachers or parents act as facilitators can be a rich interactive experience.

    6. If children use technology within a nurturing and enriching environment, their brain development will be supported. Technology that isolates or encourages them to seek an artificial world is not best for children’s brain development.

    7. Technology that is best for children is age appropriate and enhances interactions with others. 


    Do’s and Don’ts of Preschool Technology

  • The Do's

    1. Teach children to care for devices.

    2. Limit screen time.

    3. Utilize apps or games that are interactive, age appropriate and encourages participation with caregivers.

    4. Use technology strategically. Technology should support or enhance learning through interactions with others and the environment.

    5. Rich, responsive interactions with language are an important support for a preschooler's brain development.

    6. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting exposure to less than two hours per day for children older than two.
  • The Don'ts

    1. Utilize technology that encourages isolation.

    2. Replace personal interaction with technology.

    3. Utilize technology with children two or younger.

    4. Don’t use technology learning experiences as a reward.