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When is the appropriate age to let your child start tinkering on the computer?

my kids are 3 and 4 1/2 and we've always had them stay away from the computer. now though i realize all their friends have had educational games on the PC for quite some time now


Asked by hibbingmom at 9:51 PM on Jul. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • Like it or not, kids are going to have to be computer proficient by elementary to get by anymore. My three year old has a computer in his preschool classroom even! I let my 2 and 3 year old use the computer, only if they're with me, and only on the Fisher Price website. They have these online games that help you learn couting, ABC's, etc. The boys *love* them! And its easy because they just press any key and it will go to the next number, letter, etc. I let my older girls (5, 7 and 8) use specific sites, like Webkinz and Neopets, but they have NetNanny Blockers to prohibit them from going to other sites, and they're only allowed certain amounts of time each day. As they age and show more responsibility, they'll earn more freedoms with it.

    Answer by MamaTeja at 10:37 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • my dd was 4 or 5 when i started letting her play on the she is 7 and i let her get on the internet, but she knows how to go to the favorites tab and go to only certain sites so i know she is safe

    Answer by nikkileerue at 9:53 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • My daughter started @ 3 & 1/2....just games that we have downloaded for her or bought for her. Alot of them are actually educational & fun for her & she's learning how to use a mouse & everything. I just limit the amount of time she can use the an hour & then she's got to go outside or play a game with us. My son's two...I wouldn't dare let him touch the computer..but he watches his big sister.

    Answer by jfblaine at 10:08 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • When they are old enough to not damage it.
    I had a "Baby Splat" program that my daughter played with as an infant. She loved banging on the keys and seeing things happen on the screen. But she was still young enough to also pick at the laptop keys and she pulled a couple off.
    By 30 months, she had mastered a mouse and was learning where the different letters are on the keyboard.
    Does she surf the web? No. She likes the alphabet games at and she has some age appropriate software like Reader Rabbit. She enjoys playing it a few times a week and she really likes using a computer just like mommy.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 10:09 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • My son has been playing on the puter since he was too. He has limited access and can only play certain things. He plays learning games liked hooked on phonics, or his blue's clues learning game. He's allowed to go to PBS kids, Noggin, sprout online or starfall. He's allowed to stay online for an hour a day. I think any more than that, at this age (he's 4 now) would be unhealthy for him. He loves it!

    Answer by kymommy72 at 10:14 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • I started to let my oldest play on the computer at age 2 1/2. He was only allowed to play games that I bought for him. Around age 4 or 5 I started to let him play on the internet, but only sites that was on his favorites list. He knew way more than I did about computers than I ever did. Now at age 8 he is a Pro. My daughter started playing on the computer when she was 5, she didn't like to play when she was younger, she liked to watch her brother better.

    Answer by momof4greatkidz at 10:29 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • My son has been messing around on the computer since around 2 1/2 .. soon as he started showing interest and actually understood what to do I let him. He has a few computer games that I allow him to play and I will also pull up pogo and let him play a few of the games on there. Also go on noggin and nickjr and some learning websites. He loves it so I use it as his reward when he's good. Most of the elementary schools around here are starting to issue laptops for kids in 1st grade and up to carry around with them.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 10:59 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • about 3-4 years old

    Answer by luvmygrlz at 11:53 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • Connor was sitting with his dad "playing" computer games once he was old enough to sit up :0) My husband is a big computer geek. We got the kids Giggles for Babies. My husband even built Connor his own computer when he was 2 so he didn't damage either of ours.

    Answer by jms124 at 1:01 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • My 2.5 year old is pro. Knows how to minimize, close, and navigate his way through (appropriate) sites or games.

    We started at Sesame Street counting eggs with elmo and have moved onto purchasing softwares.

    I very much recommend a trackball mouse.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Jul. 11, 2009