Growing Up in a Digital Environment – Finding Balance
The staff of the Children’s Place support families in their own decisions and practice around media use. We pay attention to the expanding digital landscape with its challenges and opportunities for learning. We have access to and want to share recommendations for and research on children’s media use. We want to talk with you – to engage and interact with this media. The Children’s Place staff wants to be good role models as we read, explore, and take advantage of training programs to develop our own skills as Media Mentors.
Use Our Collection
Here are a few books in our collection that may be helpful to you.
Find our red 3-ring binder full of helpful articles about apps and media use printed for convenient reading in the Children’s Place, located in the Family Literacy and Parenting section.
Visit Online Resources
Find lots of valuable digital tools and apps organized for Early Learning (ages 3-5) through High School and beyond at
Contact the Children's Place Desk at 419-352-8253 or firstname.lastname@example.org for username and password information for INFOhio.
Here are a few online sites that may also be helpful.
- Little ELit – Young Children, New Media & Libraries
- Joan Ganz Cooney Center
- NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Fred Rogers Center
Tips for selecting/sharing media with your child:
- Treat it like a book & together, take a look. Young children learn best through interactions! Cuddle up-the same way you share a book.
- Ask your child to tell you about what’s going on in the app. Your child will build important narrative skills – a critical building block when learning to read.
- Let your child lead. Observe how they explore and pace themselves. Getting stuck frequently may mean the app is above their level or it is a poorly designed app.
- Let apps inspire “real world play.” Does the app have a robot character? Do a robot dance together…build a robot from recycled stuff.
- Choose apps that build relationships. Does the app inspire conversation and the exploration of new topics or challenges?
- Choose apps that engage higher-thinking skills. If children are just poking the screen to make something happen, they’re not really learning.
- Be a Media Model. Children learn best by example.
- Teach your child a variety of calming techniques. When children get upset, it’s easy to reach for a screen for a quick fix. Remember to balance that response with additional strategies and techniques…such as slow breaths, talking about feelings, going outdoors, punching a pillow, playing with/or in water, a warm hug.
- Find your family’s balance. Some children respond to specific time limits; others are suited to more flexible, project-based parameters. You know your child best. A conscious media usage plan can be agreed upon. Building healthy media habits now will serve your children well for the rest of their lives.
Where do you find high-quality apps for your child?
These sites review apps:
- Common Sense Media
- School Library Journal
- Horn Book
- American Association of School Librarians' Best Apps of 2018
- 2018 Notable Children's Digital Media.
Here are a few apps that we are particularly pleased with:
- SPRK+ Lightning Lab (for iPad or Android) app that connects to our Sphero robots used in our weekly CODING CLUB (Biweekly Mondays 4-5PM.)
- Sprout Maker Station apps: Pianotime, Origami Apprentice, Craft Studio, Anatomy 4D, Stop Motion, Video Capture, and more.
Have you downloaded the Hoopla, Libby, and Tumblebooks apps to your devices?
Your family can borrow or stream eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, comics, magazines, or television shows using the library’s Hoopla, Ohio Digital Library, and Tumblebooks digital collections. All three have apps to make using them on your mobile device more convenient. You may download these apps from your device’s app store.
The Hoopla app has an easy way to browse for kid-friendly content: Kids Mode! To try it, go to the Settings menu of the Hoopla app on your mobile device. Then flip the toggle to turn Kids Mode on or off.
On your mobile device, the Ohio Digital Library is powered by the Libby app. Once it’s installed, you can easily see the kids’ collection by selecting the “Kids” from the pull-down menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
Tumblebooks offers an online collection of audio/visual picture books, chapter books, read alongs, graphic novels, math stories, and nonfiction which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music, and narration to existing books in order to produce an electronic book which you can read, or have read to you. There are also videos to watch and language learning stories in Spanish and French to listen to and read. There are games and puzzles to play as well, and a brand new app developed for users like you!
More information and help using these collections and their apps is available below, or we’d love to help you in person in the library!
- OnGuard Online - On-line safety tips and advice for parents
- Living Life Online - On-line safety tips and advice for students
- Connect Safely - Find online safety tips and advice.
- Family TLC - Search for age-relevant activities and articles on child development.