Should parents worry if pre-school children love fiddling with their smart phone? Recent research suggests touch screens suit the way children interact with the world and could benefit learning.
Children under five years old have an uncanny knack of knowing how to master new technology.
From smart phones to tablet computers and game consoles, it is not unusual to see toddlers intuitively swiping screens and confidently pressing buttons.
Even if parents enjoy the momentary peace that comes with handing a small child a gadget to play with, parents secretly worry that this screen time is damaging their brains.
But it appears that screens can be beneficial to learning - and the more interactive the experience the better.
Research from the University of Wisconsin, presented at a meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development this week, found that children aged between two and three were more likely to respond to video screens that prompted children to touch them than to a video screen that demanded no interaction.
The more interactive the screen, the more real it was, and the more familiar it felt from a two-year-old's perspective, the study suggested.
Heather Kirkorian, assistant professor in human development and family studies, carried out the research and says touch screens could hold educational potential for toddlers.
When she did another test on word learning, the results were repeated.
"Kids who are interacting with the screen get better much faster, make fewer mistakes and learn faster.
"But we're not turning them into geniuses, just helping them get a little more information."