It's pretty normal in families I meet to shun screen time as a dirty word. Obviously there are dangers involved with exposing kids to too much too soon. Their brains need healthy interactions with real world objects.Its a core part of their neurological processing. They need these connections in order to be able to learn confidentially as they grow.
I really respect parents who chose a screen free upbringing for their kids. But our lifestyle means we use our own tablets/iPhone to keep in touch with our work without being at work. It's a trade off - we are contactable and aware of the business but we raise our kids without having to send them to a nursery.
There's many advantages to the one on one (or one on two) time they get with us, however it sets a precedent that If it's okay for us to use screens. We'd feel hypocritical to block their interest in tech when we so obviously use tech around them..
I think the key thing is showing our kids that tech is only appropriate in moderation- Frog will happily sit in the arm chair all day if you give him a tablet in the morning. We found an appropriate time was quiet time, about 3pm, when his sister takes a nap. It gives him a good chance to zone out and gives me a good chance to get on with some housework, book keeping or blogging.
When it came to choice at first we bought an iPod touch- which was great until he lost it and we were £130 worse off! We then thought about buying a dedicated kids devices- but they seem pretty expensive for something a kid will inenviatably break- we instead chose to hand him down my old Amazon Fire tablet. At a price of free (they cost just £49 from Amazon- Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Black) - Includes Special Offers ) it was pretty inexpensive- it's quite easy to set up kid friendly controls so they can't purchase content or download anything. The other plus is the education apps are actually free through amazons under ground App Store meaning Froggy can't buy anything and the downloaded games work.
The Amazon Prime Video on deman service is also packed full of independent video content from educational videos to the unboxing videos he is weirdly obsessed with at the moment. Can anyone tell me what the deal is with those?
It's been a couple of months now and the Kindle has handled pretty well given the amount of toddler abuse- Although I hear if you buy the dedicated kids version they replace it for free no matter what!
Sounds like a deal to me..