It is estimated 80 percent of children age 0 to 5 in the United States are using the Internet; most of them are logging on at least once a week. Although the number of little ones connected sounds a bit alarming, the majority of children are merely watching videos online or Skyping with long-distance relatives. Technology is a significant part of our every-day lives and as it becomes more prevalent in daily functions it is important children learn to adopt technology into their lives as well. Although, unmonitored and unlimited computer access can be more detrimental than beneficial, regulated exposure to computers and the Internet is positive and necessary in order to adequately prepare offspring for the world. Toshiba’s First Spark laptop for children, available for purchase at Best Buy, is a full-size laptop with a wipeable keyboard for those infamous sticky hands. The laptop comes pre-installed with NetNanny to monitor and enforce boundaries on the internet as well as KidZui, a kid-friendly browser. The computer comes loaded with educational games, too. This is a great tool for children to learn the basics of computer operating systems and get a feel for technology at an early age. If a child-geared laptop is too much of a technological integration in your toddler’s life, there are always websites specifically created for children and learning. Fisher-Price and Nick, Jr. Preschool have great interactive sites full of games and learning devices to aid in the development of young children. Technology consumption, like any media consumption, should be in moderation with children and toddlers. Laptops and the Internet are great resources for stimulation and brain development but not a definitive answer to education and growth.
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