The Touch-Screen Generation
Young children—even toddlers—are spending more and more time with digital technology. What will it mean for their development?
Erin Patrice O’Brien
On a chilly day last spring, a few dozen developers of children’s apps for phones and tablets gathered at an old beach resort in Monterey, California, to show off their games. One developer, a self-described “visionary for puzzles” who looked like a skateboarder-recently-turned-dad, displayed a jacked-up, interactive game called Puzzingo, intended for toddlers and inspired by his own son’s desire to build and smash. Two 30‑something women were eagerly seeking feedback for an app called Knock Knock Family, aimed at 1-to-4-year-olds. “We want to make sure it’s easy enough for babies to understand,” one explained.
The gathering was organized by Warren Buckleitner, a longtime reviewer of interactive children’s media who likes to bring together developers, researchers, and interest groups—and often plenty of kids, some still in diapers. [...]