Day 4: Tales of a recovering tablet addict

We have had the iPad for almost two years now and to say that Shantanu can use it well is an understatement. He is addicted. He can spend almost an entire day playing games and watching videos on Youtube on it. How did it come to this and who’s responsible? ME ME ME!

It started we me showing him around the workings of the tablet. I downloaded a few educational apps on it, drawing, colouring, tracing alphabets and numbers and puzzles. I was trying to be the über cool mom who taught through technology. Being an instructional designer, I have to promote learning through technology, don’t I?

Within a couple of days, he got the knack for using it. Soon he started mastering most of the apps, drawing, tracing, colouring, he did it all. Memory and puzzle games – he cracked it all and I realised I had a very intelligent kid. Soon, he started needing the iPad the moment he got up, during his breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even the bed time stories were read, heard or seen on the iPad.

After a few months, he figured out how to search for games in app store and came up to me to download them. Thankfully, I had made the downloads password protected and he couldn’t just download anything with a tap on the screen.

Now, almost two years since we have the iPad, he hasn’t played most of the games on iPad. The day starts with Youtube and ends with Youtube. Octonauts, cbeebies, mickeymouse clubhouse, chip and dale, tom and jerry runs on it throughout the day. And I realised that he hasn’t picked up a paper yet, not touched a pen or pencil. Real puzzles and books are a thing of the past. Books and blocks are gathering dust and I have turned my four-year old into a couch potato just like me. Horror!

A couple of months ago, the iPad stopped working miraculously. It was another wake up call. We didn’t get it fixed for many days to break the habit. Der aaye durust aaye. Post summer, we started going to the library regularly. I now get him a lot of real hard copy books where he can touch the pages, smell them (if at all) and feel them. It’s already late but he has finally taken a liking to listening to stories (thanks Donaldson for her awesome books). Going to the library is a fun activity and we like to stay there for a couple of hours and read out some books there.


After some frantic search on the internet I found out many interesting sites for kid activities. has loads of activities that you can try out at home – arts, crafts, writings, tracing, numbers – you name it. You can see the step by step procedure to complete any particular craft or artwork. I use it regularly now for creative inspiration. has dozens of worksheets. Capital small alphabets, numbers, math, reading, writing, shapes. All you need to do is print out the sheets. The schools here don’t stress much on writing. It’s much more laid back compared to the schools in India and I use this one to try to keep up with the extensive curriculum we have back home. and are paid sites but they do offer some free stuff and it’s absolutely brilliant. Readingeggs is a great source if you want to teach your kid how to read and Shantanu is always excited to “start reading” now. It has some nice animations and repetitive exercises for memorizing phonics and word patterns. uk.ixl focuses on maths – counting, comparing, long and short, inside outside, sizes, positions etc.

We had some great activity time at home and am happy to have broken that tablet addiction.
















12 thoughts on “Day 4: Tales of a recovering tablet addict

  1. Oh, most of us are totally in control of technology. Our friend’s 2 year daughter knows to operate every app on her dad’s smart phone and tab. Though she is yet to go to school, but knows which video if for alphabets and which one is for twinkle twinkle… She can sit quietly for hours with a tablet. Smart kids we have now-a-days. But glad that you changed it all and got your son interested in so many wonderful activities!! Cool 🙂

    1. Everyone is smart nowadays. The grasping power of these kids is just amazing. Sitting quietly for some time is what I wanted from my son but then the sannata started killing me 🙂

  2. A great post. I too have this issue with my 10 yo son. But the real issue is that I should be leading by example, and I’m a poor one! Fortunately, Jonny plays a lot of sport and we live on a farm, so there are lots of activities that don’t revolve around the computer. But it is still a dominant presence.

    1. I know! You know it all started around the time we had our pre-edcmooc activities. I was “always on” and so was he. It disrupted many more things in real life than just staggering loads of laundry you know. How’s the DE preparation coming up? Hope you catch you sometime on gtalk!

  3. Tab addiction is hard to break. My 2 year old son has to just see my phone/tablet to turn into an uncontrollable monster. True, he doesn’t surf youtube videos and we mostly use it for reading time, but still I try my hardest to hide it away from him.

    1. I can well imagine. It’s my own undoing. I should have set an example, but am addicted to the laptop. Children’s grasping power is amazing, we need to control their use.

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