Parent Asks:

We recently set up a computer for the family at home. Is it all right for our preschooler to use it?

Educator Answers:

Young children are fascinated with computers. They want to use them in the same way they see others in the family use computers. This technology tool should be used appropriately for a preschooler, under your supervision, and for brief periods of time (20 to 30 minutes per session). Preschool children need a satisfying balance of active movement, social interaction, imaginative play and this new "electronic play".

Computers can provide many exciting learning experiences for everyone in the family, including your three-to-five year old. An excellent way to introduce the computer and age-suitable software is to have your child sit on your lap, as you share moving the mouse, talking about what you see, and clicking objects on the screen. Look for software and Web sites where your child can actively explore, create, and discover the kinds of pastimes and thinking puzzles that will be interesting to your child. Click the Crayola Kids tab at the top of the page and see what on-line and off-line age-appropriate activities crayola.com provides to stimulate your child's imagination and creativity.