Kids and Internet

I think the Internet can be an incredible learning tool for kids, provided the parents show some responsibility by monitoring how their children are spending their time and encouraging them to take advantage of all the resources that are out there instead of rotting their brains away on social media.  (Remember when it was all about rotting your brain away with TV?)

My four year old keeps a online journal.  It’s totally anonymous (he goes by a handle), blocked from search engines, and free of geographical information — apart from the fact that he resides in a suburb of North America.  We don’t post photographs of him or anyone else we know.  It’s loads of fun, lets family and friends keep up with what he’s doing, and in the nine months since we began blogging together, his language skills have improved tremendously.  He dictates and I type, though I sometimes have to prompt him with open-ended questions.  Any comments he receives on posts need to be approved before they show up.

We love the games on the Disney Junior and Spout websites, which offer excellent practice in fine-motor planning (he’s dyspraxic, just like his mommy), and we also play a fair amount of Club Penguin.  We watch videos on YouTube (mostly music videos and science programs) and belong to several educational websites, such as PebbleGo and Early World of Learning (which is awesome).  Oh, and then there’s the Neopets.

So yeah, tons of fun and educational things for kids — or to do with your kids — if you know where to look.

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