How do touchscreens affect toddlers’ play?

How do touchscreens affect toddlers’ play?

Local toddlers are being sought for a new research project looking into how touchscreens affect young children’s play, learning, and social skills.

Dr Elena Hoicka, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Bristol, is inviting parents to bring their two or three-year-olds into the University to take part in a one-hour study.

She said: “With technology changing and becoming more interactive, we believe it is important to find out how new technologies affect children early on.”

This study seeks to determine if playing with an app increases or inhibits play in the physical world.

During the session, parents will play with their child for 10 minutes, either with an app on a tablet, or with some toys. Then a researcher will play a game with the child for five minutes and see how their response differs after playing with apps or toys.

Parents can find more details and sign up for an appointment at: https://pase-earlyyears.youcanbook.me/

Despite creativity and play being key characteristics of effective Early Years teaching and learning, there is little quantitative research on creativity in children’s early cognitive development, and sparse research on how touchscreens affect children’s development.

Dr Hoicka is hoping to fill this gap in knowledge. She said: “Until recently, the American Association for Paediatrics (AAP) has recommended zero screen time until two years.

“However, with the help of new research the AAP has changed some of its recommendations.

“For instance, we now know that children can learn words through Skype, and that television can be beneficial with children over 18 months, as long as their parents watch with them.”

This research is funded by the British Academy.

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