Things have changed a little in our house lately.
We’ve always used the iPad daily – I check my emails and am on and off it throughout the day. But then the other day i started noticing how my 4 year old was getting a little bit obsessed with it herself. It has Netflix, and she likes YouTube episodes of pepper pig. It has a few games for her, and music. A little bit I don’t mind, but I put it away the other day, and every few minutes she started looking for it, or asking where the iPad was. It worried me a bit – I think that technology is great for kids in lots of ways – we’ve looked up songs about planets, letters and numbers for example. But, i think that we’ve overused it lately – it’s been easier for me while I’m sorting my baby out, and it’s kind of become a habit.
So I thought about it, and made a new rule. No iPad in the day. That’s for me and for my daughter. I can’t tell her she can’t use it if I use it through the day, that doesn’t feel fair to me. There are exceptions – if we are learning something specific that the iPad will help with, we can get it out. And I’ve agreed to have some ‘iPad time’ for my daughter each day – probably around 4ish for half an hour so I can start getting tea ready. But – for both of us we need to change our habits, and use our imaginations, have more fun.
It’s working too. It’s felt strange, but it’s meant we have had to find our own entertainment. It’s only been 3 days, but already we’ve played more.
The other day we got out the colinder, and the sieve, pretended they were our space helmets (and Rosie had a bowl!) – the rug was the space rocket, and we went into space. We explored the moon, saw some planets and had lots of fun. And this morning we pretended the room was a park – we pretended to go on the seesaw, the chair was a slide, and we had a picnic of grapes while we were there.
We’ve read lots of books, we’ve drawn and painted more pictures, and we’ve just done more.
It’s difficult for me – I have to think more carefully of ways to entertain my children more imaginatively, and especially in the afternoon this can be difficult. But it’s worth it. I also miss checking any new blog posts, checking twitter and Instagram. I can’t do these things now, but they wait. Can save it all up and do this in the evenings when my girls are asleep. That’s my ‘iPad time.’ It probably means I have less time to blog, and less time to comment on other blogs etc. but sometimes, something has to give, and for me this is one of those things.
My daughter is at her granddads right now, and so I feel that it’s okay to write this post and have a bit of quiet time. But generally, my new general rule will be that if she can’t go on it, I won’t go on it either. I’m putting it out of sight – if we can’t see it then hopefully we will stop thinking about it so much!
In other news, we’ve had a ‘theme’ over half term of the moon, planets and sun. Amelia has learnt loads – I will post all about it next time I get chance. We’ve painted the moon in a night sky, painted a rocket using tissue paper and glitter to decorate it, we’ve read stories, pretended to be astronauts and we have looked up songs about planets on YouTube (these have really helped Amelia to relate to them.) it’s been a lot of fun, and we have both learnt quite a lot this week.