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Media and technology are playing an ever-increasing role in children’s lives. From prescribed media content created by someone else, to sedentary, push-button electronic games and apps, screens and digital activities are having a worrisome impact on active, creative play with all the benefits to social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development that this type of play can provide.

In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on a study by Hilda Kabali and colleagues that found one in seven toddlers uses a device at least one hour per day. Today’s teachers and parents need to understand how media is changing play in order to acquire strategies that can promote quality play and optimal development in the media age.

The Benefits of Play

For generations, scholars of early childhood ...

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