How to encourage children’s play in a digital age

A little boy learn everything from the internet

Dr Kristy Goodwin in Raising Your Child in a Digital World gives parents the strategies to enable your child to safely navigate the digital age.

Here are just some of her ‘At a Glance Techno tips

Encourage balance play – Children need to play with both traditional and technological toys. They need a full range of play experiences that includes a balance between time spent indoors in virtual worlds and time spent in the real world.

Evaluate marketing and advertising claims – especially about products or programs that claim to be educational.

Make unstructured play a priority every day – unstructured play is not wasted time. It’s critical to our child’s development.

Focus on the child, not the toy – whether it is digital or a traditional toy, the child needs to dominate and control the play experience.

Provide a variety of play experiences – Children need opportunities for imaginative and physical play

Prioritise green hours (even on wet days) – provide and timetable opportunities for outdoor play.

Let children experience boredom – It’s one of the greatest experiences we can give them. Empty spaces in time enable children to explore and learn in creative ways.

Be careful about what information you (and your child) disclose online – internet-enabled toys pose serious risks to children’s privacy. Think carefully about using these toys with children and about what personal information you disclose online.

Find out more in her book Raising Your Child in a Digital World