Local News

Preschoolers & Computers: 'Blue' Offers Clues

Posted September 9, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Most families these day have computers and most children, even the very young, use them in the classroom. Software is the key ingredient and there's much more of it on the market. WRAL OnLine reporterTom Lawrencetakes a look at two popular new programs and just whether your pre-schooler "needs" a computer.

Children at Cary's Lucy Daniels Preschool use computers on a limited basis. Software is chosen very carefully.

"At school we consider it just one tool just like any other tool," says teacher Ann Noland. "Like finger painting or gross motor activities. So many diverse things to develop the whole child."

Humongous Entertainment touts two new programs for preschoolers. "Blue's ABC Time Activities" and Blue's Birthday Activities" are based on the Nickelodeon TV series, "Blue's Clues".

The programs are, admittedly, fun for adults and children. But whether software like this is good for your child, according to Noland, should be based on your child.

"Is is something that a child can interact with?" asks Noland. "Is it something a child has some control over? Is it something that is where that child is developmentally, not just chronologically."

In-young Jo likes using computers and might like the Blue's Clues programs. However, his mother is careful about computer use.

"I'm not sure it's very important," says Ji-yeon Jo. "But it's necessary for nowadays, I think."

Computer use by pre-schoolers should be carefully regulated and so should software selections.

The Blue's Clues software programs are intended for children ages three to six, and should already be available in stores.