Some people say that we should let our kids be kids, but with the digital age upon us, it is hard to encourage them to engage in pretend play.
I believe firmly that each child should engage in pretend play daily, but we should also allow them the opportunity to get comfortable with technology. My kids enjoy at least an hour or two of pretend play a day, more than they watch television, or anything else. However, we also allow them a little bit of time on the computer each day. Yes, even at 4 and 2 years old, they are allowed on the computer. That is what this post is about.
In July of this year, I saw a commercial for a website called ABCMouse.com. I decided to check it out, and let my daughter try it out as well. Shortly after, I purchased a 1 year subscription to the website for 3 payments of 19.50. So, it was just under $60 for the year.
Normally, I wouldn't purchase a subscription to a website for a kid. However, my daughter LOVED the trial, and was asking to play on it daily. This thrilled me. Why? Because it is a learning website.
As a parent, you are allowed to control so many aspects of the website for your child. And, you are allowed to have up to 3 child profiles under your parent account. Having only 2 children, this is perfect, and I do not need to purchase a second subscription for my 2 year old.
There is a separate section for parents and children. The parent's section is password protected, so that the child cannot go in and change things. Another feature I enjoy is that you can make the website full screen, so children cannot click on things they shouldn't.
You also control their learning paths. You can choose from a preset path, or you have the option of building your own lessons. I started my 4 year old at level 1, and she has progressed to level 2. My 2 year old is at level "Toddler Time" which just helps her to get comfortable with the computer. The children are allowed to play learning games, such as setting the time on a clock or finding items in a grocery store from a list. They earn tickets for playing these games, which they can later turn in for digital prizes. Alternatively, if you do not like a certain activity, you can block your child from playing it.
You can also set a time limit for the website, which is something a lot of other sites do not offer. My oldest usually plays for about an hour, and is finished. My two year old has a much shorter attention span, lasting only 10 minutes or so.
I highly recommend this website, simply because it helps reinforce the lessons my oldest is learning in school. Her speech, grammar, and letter recognition has greatly improved since we started using this site.
Also, as a side note, I am not in any way affiliated with ABCMouse.com, nor am I receiving any compensation for this review. I am just a satisfied parent, sharing my own personal opinion.