Early Years More Hands On, Less Screen

Recently I was sent a brilliant picture of how kids injuries have changed from when they grew up years ago until now. Over time from being outdoor accidents to a more technology based. Quite funny, however scary as well!
TECH AGE_vs80s.001
Lately all we hear are the buzz around technology, Technology is the future of education, Technology allows all children to learn individually, Technology is how to teach in modern education.

All the talk is on technology based learning. In a previous post we looked at why  ‘Technology Founders Children Restricted with Technology’

A few countries have restricted or even banned technology in early years.  With the belief this allows children to develop a balance in left brain, right brain function in the early years.

In Denmark they have developed, Kindergartens in the forest. This concept maybe a bit more extreme for some, however it can be adapted to the weather, culture and environment around us.

One couple sent their children to the forest kindergarten so they can appreciate the outdoors, learn from it as all they want at home is technology. They felt kids live too much in a virtual world. Having a more spirited child myself this would definitely suit him, however I would be slightly worried at first when he would be climbing the tallest tree.

Lets look at the concept of allowing as much  learning and developing through unstructured play in a safe and supportive environment. In early years children learn their foundation skills, by utilising a more hands on approach rather than screen time.

The many benefits  to reduce screen time, increasing hands on experiences are as follows;

Develop Foundation Skills IMG_0128in early years
With children building construction, designing and being creative with their natural elements, whilst also having structured activities in the classroom. Hands on approach allows children to explore, develop their decision making, problem solving skills whilst improving their fine and gross motor skills with hands on approach especially getting their muscles in their hands ready for writing.

Taking Risk, Learning Limitations
Allowing children to take risks (within reason and safety of the situation) Climbing a tree, running in the park develop fine, gross motor skills, balance and coordination. Risk management also allowing the child to learn fundamentals of maths, language, science, even engineeringrock climb.

Understanding, Analyse, Depth of Learning 
Allowing children to develop all these skills and more through hands on, by experimenting making decisions seeing what works and what doesn’t work. Taking into account blooms taxonomy model we want our children to be able to progress from remembering, to understand, apply learnt knowledge, to analyse knowledge, evaluate it, then to create by teaching them through different mediums and strategies.

 Issues with Technology
Teaching children mainly through technology can restrict many skills from developing in the early years like fine motor skills which are required for writing, gross motor skills decreasing chances of sensory processing disorders (known as SPD) and many more tech age issues that are diagnosed. See the following article for (+/-‘s) Positive or Negative what is the impact of Technology in the Early Years!

Let’s look at how children learn their foundation skills, more by utilising a more hands on approach rather than screen time. Coding in technology is all about sorting, counting, algorithms, problem solving, decision making, creative thinking and many more skills. Can this be taught in a different way, away from the screen, I ask? Of course! Transfer of skills is the key to foundation learning.

Keeping this in mind as educators we need to develop the left and right brain functions for a well rounded education this includes fine /gross motor skill control to maths, English, arts, creativity, imagination, emotional, decision making and problem solving skills the list goes on.  In the early years lets increase their hands on experience and decrease screen time!


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