Tips for Choosing Digital Toys for Your Children

Imagine two dozen football fields packed with stuffed animals, dolls, games, puzzles, craft kits, art supplies, wooden toys, sporting goods, trains, cars, an ocean of plastic, and, yes, lots of tech-enabled toys. I attended the world’s largest toy and hobby show to speak at its Toys 3.0 Business Forum on “Interactive Media as Family Connectors.” I was confident in my examples...

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How Some Digital Media May Actually Help Children Learn to Focus

Teachers are quite worried that digital media are harming children’s learning, according to two 2012 studies on teachers’ views on digital media—one by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the other by Common Sense Media. Matt Richtel of the New York Times summarizes their concerns: There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital...

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Beyond Screen Time

Content, context, and the needs of the individual child.  This triad of considerations – drawn from journalist Lisa Guernsey’s 2007 book, “Into the Minds of Babes” – forms the core of the Fred Rogers Center’s Framework for Quality in Children’s Digital Media. Under this rubric, the generic term “screen time” ceases to be a useful measuring stick for young children’s media...

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In Pittsburgh, Early Learning Matters

Support for children in early childhood is still a priority in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In fact, the Pittsburgh area has become a center for those who care deeply about supporting learning for very young children and exploring the potential for early learning with technology and digital media. In Melissa Butler’s kindergarten classroom at Pittsburgh Allegany, an elementary school on the city’s...

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Advice for Parents on Appropriate Media Use in Early Childhood

Ellen Wartella believes media do have learning potential in early childhood.  And she should know. Wartella has been a senior fellow here at the Fred Rogers Center since 2006. She is professor of communication and human development and social policy at Northwestern University and has been studying the impact of media on children for more than 30 years. Wartella says that...

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Reading in the Digital Wild West: What Still Matters Most

As touchscreen tablets became the breakaway holiday gift this past year for children—even for tots still learning to walk and talk—many parents are still feeling a little confused and skeptical about this new trend. Is the digital deluge good or bad for kids? And, critically, do the educational apps on the iPad and Android-enabled devices that claim to help children...

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Welcome to the Fred Rogers Center Blog

Fred Rogers had a unique understanding of young children’s sensitivities and needs as well as the challenges families and educators face.  He knew that caring adults make the difference in a child’s life.  He set the highest possible standards for his work—standards grounded in research on how children grow and develop, his own years of observing and learning from young...

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