Kids and technology: How Maize school strikes the balance

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MAIZE, Kan. (KSNW) – A new study concluded excess screen time in young children without interaction with an adult, leads to less developed brains.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says no baby under 18 months old should have access to screen time (with the exception of video chatting friends or family), and children three to five years old can benefit from limited, high-quality screen time.

Today’s children are growing up with technology, leading educators to use it in limited, smart ways.

“We work hard to use technology in a way that it’s intentional, it’s planned its in short little bits. When a teacher is using technology, they’re interacting with the kids,” Maize Early Childhood Center principal June Rempel said.

In a classroom on Wednesday, Emily Lucille Millspaugh’s pre-Kindergarten class demonstrated the “dip and flip,” a skill that taught the three and four-year-olds how to put on their own coat by placing it on the ground and slipping one arm in before flipping it over their bodies and getting it into place.

Millspaugh’s classroom activities center around sensory involvement, motor skills and face-to-face time with peers.

They learned the dip and flip from a video.

“Really what we’re trying to do is teach them to interact with each other, teach them to interact with other people so our technology is used more as an accent piece to enhance the information we’re presenting,” Millspaugh said.

Millspaugh’s key takeaway from the recent study was the importance of the parental interaction piece along with using technology.

Recommended ways to foster brain development beyond screens, even so-called educational programming, include any singing, rhyming, reading, any kind of creativity or time outdoors.

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