Tots are taking to computers

WHIZ KIDS: Dakota Blackley is one of the many Generation Z kids using iPads as an educational tool. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
WHIZ KIDS: Dakota Blackley is one of the many Generation Z kids using iPads as an educational tool. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

GONE are the days when a toddler with a phone was a recipe for a broken screen or accidental phone call.

Generation Z is taking playtime and education to a new level with iPhones and iPads now commonly used by children as young as a few months old.

Bundaberg mum Terri-Lee Blackley said her two-year-old daughter Dakota could already teach those much older than her a thing or two about technology.

"She's a lot better with the iPad than grandma," Mrs Blackley said.

"She started using it (the iPad) about six months ago when she was 18 months old."

Mrs Blackley said the iPad was helping Dakota in many areas.

"It's helping her with her talking because it talks to her and sounds things out," she said.

"She's talking a lot more now."

Mrs Blackley said the learning apps were endless.

"She likes counting games and learning the different colours," she said.

"She likes Elmo which helps her with her counting and alphabet and learning the animals.

"She likes the mysteries with the Dora app helping her to find her backpack."

When the NewsMail posed the question about kids using iPads on Facebook, some people were quick to slam the idea, saying they preferred their kids to play outside.

"Our house is a gadget-free home," one woman wrote.

"We have a computer for school/work, that's it. My kids are outside kids, not sit-on-backside kids."

But Mrs Blackley said Dakota still spent plenty of time outside and would be out there all day if she could.

"You still have outdoor playtime," she said.

"We are a growing society where technology is part of everyday. And using it for educational purposes, I honestly don't see a problem."

Mrs Blackley said she knew people who bought iPhones and iPads solely for their children's use.

"We have a family iPad that is shared," she said.

"It's like a third education."



Some of the top-selling apps for kids in the Apple App Store:

  • Playtime with Dora the Explorer - 99c - Playtime with Dora the Explorer is a chance for kids to play fun games while developing their memory and observation skills. Put together puzzles, test your memory matching up pictures and spot Dora and her friends.
  • Toddler Counting 123 - 99c - Watch your toddler discover the simple joy of learning as they tap and count along. Designed for young minds and tiny fingers, the gameplay is simple and fuss free.
  • Bubble Guppies Animal School Day - $1.99 - This app teaches kids about animals through interactive games. Kids will learn about animal diets, habitats and attributes.
  • Eggy Words 250 - $2.99 - Designed to help children learn 250 sight words using a fun and motivational game to keep kids learning.
  • Toca Doctor - $2.99 - Introduces kids to the medical profession and the human body.

Do you let your kids use devices like tablets laptops and smart phones for learning?

This poll ended on 17 April 2013.

Current Results

Yes, they learn so much from them


No, they don't need computers too young


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.