Families will spend a lot of time this month playing with their new tech gadgets.  Tablets, smart phones, laptops – chances are, one of them was under your tree. You’ve probably downloaded a few apps, played online games and checked email.  And if there are young children in your house, their curious little hands may have learned how to operate them as well.

According to some scientists, children’s brains are hardwired for touch interfaces; thus they learn how to use current technologies quickly. They don’t have previous experiences that “get in the way,” like many adults do. So it’s no surprise that children’s apps are being created at an incredible rate, or that some schools – even preschools – are using them in the classroom.

How can parents and teachers determine how much screen time is appropriate for preschoolers? While each child is different, there are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Always be present when your preschooler or young child is using a computer, tablet or smart phone. Use the time together to work through problem solving, provide encouragement, and answer any questions your child may have.
  • Make sure that your child is sitting properly and comfortably at the computer.
  • Limit time to one or two educational games per session, and balance it with outdoor play, art time or quiet reading.
  • Decrease television time if your child is using apps. TV counts as screen time, and  it adds up quickly!

For more tips and information, visit education.com. And tell us – how do you handle your preschooler’s screen time?