I have two kids, ages 7 and 2. My eldest is given access to the iPad on car trips and once in a while at home. My younger son likes to sit by his brother while he plays and of late, has been pointing to it and asking for it.
The content each child is using should be developmentally optimal for each child—and that means having different content for each. Here are some tips to manage time and content:
Choose content with each child in mind. You can use parent reviews fromCommon Sense Media to decide which apps, books, and games to try out, choosing a variety of activities such as finger painting, making music, and, for your 7-year-old, activities and games with reading, math, and science.
Use it with them sometimes. The way that kids best use technology to learn and grow is with adult interaction and guidance, bonding with them and “scaffolding” their explorations.
Use the tablet as part of their rich experience, rather than a babysitter.Continue to foster the same expectations for tablet time with your 2-year-old as you have done with your 7-year-old. While it is okay employ the tablet to smooth car rides or even to grab a few moments to work, I would recommend against using it at mealtimes for a host of physical and mental health reasons. It is important that the iPad doesn’t become an expected (or demanded) part of the daily routine and remains a special, once-in-a-while activity.