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Educators warn tablets are wrecking kids’ motor skills

Published Apr 16th, 2014 11:45PM EDT
Are Tablets Bad For Toddlers

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Tablets are terrific tools that are also fun to use but there are definitely limits to how much you should let your children interact with them. The Telegraph brings us word that the U.K.-based Association of Teachers and Lecturers is claiming that children who spend too much time using tablets are unable to play with standard blocks or write with pens and paper. What’s more, they say young children who spend all night playing tablet games find it impossible to pay attention in classrooms because they’re seemingly going through withdrawal from being constantly visually stimulated by bright displays.

Colin Kinney, a teacher from Northern Ireland, says in The Telegraph’s report that he has “spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone.”

Worries about children being addicted to technology are nothing new, of course — when those of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s were growing up, for instance, our parents fretted about us watching too much television or playing too many video games.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with telling your kids to shut off their tablets and spend some time outside instead. And the U.K. educators’ recommendations for making sure children don’t become too addicted to their tablets seem sound, especially the recommendation that parents shut off Wi-Fi connectivity at night to make sure children actually get sleep instead of playing around online all night.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.