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iPad dependent children struggle to hold a pencil

A generation of children are growing up at ease with digital technology but struggling with basic tasks such as using a pencil – according to a new report.

Nurseries are reporting growing instances of children being presented to their care without the fine motor skills necessary to draw and write, necessitating the use of technology such as touch-screen smartboards.

The change has arisen as children become exposed to technology such as tablets and mobile phones both in the home and in class as various government initiatives prioritise the teaching of new technology, limiting time spent with the basics.

Literacy expert Sue Palmer said: “I think what children really need up to the age of seven is real life in real space and real time, which means three-dimensional experiences.

“We already have problems with children not being able to hold a pen or pencil. But we are giving our kids instant gratification all the time with ICT and it makes it harder for them to persevere with something that takes a while to learn.

“There is a real fear that too much engagement with this quick-fix technology is making it more difficult for some children to learn how to read and write.”

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