SPARTA, IL (KFVS) - Reading to your children, playing games, and telling bedtime stories - there's an app for all that. However, experts say don't let those apps do all the work.
"With regard to using technology as an aid in parenting it should only be used as that and used judiciously," Dr. David Van Pelt said.
Dr. Van Pelt said physical contact plays a strong role in growth and development.
"The physical sensation of touch also produces a chemical reaction in the brain that leads increased development of the nervous system," Dr. Van Pelt said. "Touch also seems to affect the digestive metabolism."
Kristina Abercrombie is a mother of four. She said she uses a combination of technology and traditional toys with parent-interaction to help her children learn.
"He's got a PBS app on my iPhone that I let him play maybe two hours out of the day and that's it," Abercrombie said. "We usually do a lot more interactive things."
Abercrombie said things like coloring and play dough promote creativity.
"He seems like he gets more into it because the toys, they move and they make sounds unlike a tablet that just sits there," Abercrombie said.
Dr. Van Pelt said new technology and applications are not all bad. He says they can also help parents stick to a schedule.
"On the positive side these devices can aid greatly in a sense of stability and consistency in parenting. They are great tools for getting information quickly regarding parenting," Dr. Van Pelt said.
Abercrombie said her kids will usually pick the "old-school" toys.
"Color, draw, play with play dough. Play dough is a big thing around here," Abercrombie said.
Dr. Van Pelt also said it's important for parents to monitor their kids' screen time no matter their ages.
"For older children, using this will tend to result in more sedentary activity vs. Interactive activity," Dr. Van Pelt said. "The amount of sedentary is the best predictor of future obesity."