Kids and technology! Everyone has an opinion, and maybe you've noticed I haven't really talked too much about it here...I just feel like parents know and do what's best for their kids, so I always felt like interjecting with what I felt, especially on this topic, was unnecessary. However, I will tell you that Hank and I have always kept technology to a minimum in our house. We bring coloring books and reading books out to dinner for the kids to use if they must be "entertained," although I still think it's most important to talk and be present for little ones of all ages in social situations. We would rarely let Henry use Hank's iPad and even more rarely allow him use of our iPhones, but as he has gotten older I've been realizing that it's important to find a balance of some sort. Technology is everywhere. Social media, apps, digital play, none of it is going away, and I think by not allowing Henry to explore the world of technology, we'd be holding him back a little bit. So now that he is five we finally feel comfortable with allowing 30 minutes or so of screen time via the iPad each day.
But with that said, we've been so choosy with what apps Henry has been able to use. I'm always a bit wary- so many apps geared at kids Henry's age fall outside of what we think is age-appropriate, so it's been a bit of a learning process to figure out what we want to allow him to use.
A couple weeks ago Toca Blocks, a new app (releasing TODAY!), contacted me about setting up a post here on their launch day. I was hesitant, of course, but once I downloaded it and played with it myself I realized how much Henry would like it- and how much I would like him playing it too.
Toca Blocks is awesome- it's a world building app that aimed for kids ages 5-9 full of bright colors and eye catching graphics. Kids are encouraged to build new things and explore the "world' they create. Shapes, sounds, neat little "builder guys" as Henry calls them...all of it comes together in this really interesting, imaginative construction app that makes a ton of "real world" connections too for my building block fan. It's been neat watching him figure out the app as well- we didn't watch any how-tos but he picked it up very quickly. He really enjoys that the blocks themselves are transformative, each with their own characteristics made of various colors and textures. It's so interesting to watch him play too- the blocks are ever evolving that will reveal themselves to turn into new shapes with new properties- and seeing how Henry uses them to fill "his world" is very cool.
I know we will always be choosy and very conservative when it comes to our kids and screen time, but it makes me happy to know their are indeed good choices out there in the app world, from alphabet practice to reading apps, to a world of construction building and problem solving like Toca Blocks.
And yay, good news! Today Toca Boca, maker of Toca Blocks and other awesome age-appropriate, fun digital toys is giving away one $100 iTunes gift card to a lucky winner. Just follow the instructions below to enter to win! You can also download Toca Blocks here.
This post was shared in partnership with Toca Boca. Thanks for reading! xoxo