How Mobile Devices Affect Movement Milestones

By Giggle Magazine

By Nicole Irving

Your child’s movement milestones are building blocks to his success — one can’t work without the other. These milestones that your 4—5-year-old should hit are extremely important for his development, both physically and mentally.

From October to November 2015, The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a study on children and exposure to mobile media. The results were astounding. Out of the 350 children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old that were surveyed, 75 percent of 4 year olds owned their own cellphone.

When children are sitting and playing on a device, they are not moving their bodies. Period. As adults, we know how dangerous it can be to walk and text. Many adults have gotten hurt this way (can you say manholes?). With this being said, extended exposure to mobile media can have a negative effect on a child hitting his movement milestones, not to mention the other side effects it can cause. Certain milestones at this age are keys to future ones, and it is important to make sure your child is hitting them.

So, if you see that your preschooler has gotten into the rut of playing on his or your device more than you would like, take a step back and reevaluate when and how much time he uses it. We’ve all handed our kids the phone to keep quiet in a restaurant, but with a bit of discipline on both sides, hitting these milestones will be easy peasy!

Movement milestones of a 4—5-year-old that CAN’T be achieved while sitting using a device

  • Standing on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Climbing (safely)
  • Beginning stages of skipping
  • Hopping
  • Beginning to master somersaults
  • Dressing and undressing on their own
  • Holding a fork and spoon, and showing signs of using a childappropriate knife. At age 5, children can begin to spread butter or jam with a knife.
  • Catching a bounced ball the majority of the time