The Tech Savvy Toddler


I was always under the impression that giving your toddler an iPad was bad. I mean, the internet really has a plethora of articles citing that if you let your under-2-year-old use an iPad, it might interfere with social, language, and cognitive development.

Yup, color me paranoid. I rarely, if ever, let Olive play with our iPad or phone. To be honest, the only time I ever let her near one is when I need to cut her nails – she will only stay still if she has an iPad to explore. At at best, she plays with it for 3 minutes, every two weeks, tops. I was convinced that if I let Olive play with tablets, she would become unruly and withdrawn.

So imagine my surprise when not one, not two, but almost all of my mom friends told me that they regularly let their little ones (all between the ages of 18-24 months) play with toddler apps on the iPad. And what’s more, they are really good at it. I was watching one of the 2 year olds sort shapes, colors, and letters with such ease, that I started to wonder if my keeping Olive away from technology has put her behind her peers instead.

So today, I downloaded a few toddler apps and tried to watch her have a go at it. Uh, she’s terrible at the iPad. You guys, she’s truly awful. She’s not really grasping the concept of “clicking” or “tapping” to select items, the “dragging” aspect of it is hard to explain. After a while, she was getting really pissed off just trying to GET THE DAMN SQUARE BLOCK INTO THE SQUARE HOLE MA MA MA MA MA MA!!!!! Considering how much people advocate to stay away from the iPad, I guess I always assumed that it would be super easy for toddlers to pick up. Because right now, teaching her how to play these toddler apps is proving to be a pain in the ass.

So, I’m torn on the whole technology-for-toddlers thing. I guess everything in moderation, right? I’m hoping that by letting Olive play a little a day, she’ll be able to pick up some skills and not get addicted to it.

What is your take on this subject?

I know, it’s Monday, but you’ll be ok.



10 thoughts on “The Tech Savvy Toddler

  1. ~ M ~

    If it makes you feel better – many experts would say that no PASSIVE screen time before 2 (TV). But interactive apps, especially educational ones, in moderation are totally fine.

    1. Jody Post author

      M, I think you’re right! I am kind of obsessed with trying to teach Olive this sorting thing on this Toddler App now…I’ll letyou know how it goes. Moderation!

  2. Victoria

    As a former toddler exposed to technology, I have to credit Nintendo with my superior hand-eye-coordination and fantastic attention spa

  3. Wes

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’m glad Olive isn’t into that stuff, at least not yet. Kids need to run around and play and be physical and interact with other humans. She has a lifetime ahead of her that will inevitably be filled with technology, screens, virtual reality and hyper-reality. Maybe she’ll love video games, maybe she won’t (like me). One way or another, she will most certainly have to confront it, and perhaps now just isn’t the time yet. :)

    -proud uncle wes

  4. leanne

    This is most interesting because even though E is not yet a toddler, I always thought that I should keep him away from tablets. I guess the key to everything in life is moderation!

    1. Jody Post author

      Leanne, toddlers see other toddlers play with that stuff and seriously, they are really intrigued by it! But, as another reader commented above, passive screen time is much more detrimental than interactive, educational screen time… So I guess just make sure that when E does get his toddler hands on your tablet, it’s interactive and educational! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Stephanie

    Hello! I was wondering what type of apps you downloaded for Olive? Lil P loves the Ipad and I swear it reinforces what I try to teach him like words (dog, cat, bird, moo, woof) and movements (clap, stomp, etc.) I think a bit of interactive tech isn’t bad for them as long as the majority of the time they still get to run around and play and explore.


Oh hey, leave a message!