It is more than likely that our under 7s are spending a significant amount of their life online. The latest Ofcom statistics show that: 52% of 3-4 year olds go online for nearly 9 hours a week and 82% of 5-7s go online for around 9 ½ hours week.
So how are they spending this time online?
They are streaming video content, with close to half of 3-4s and 70% of 5-7s having used YouTube. Time spent watching TV continues to decrease as children turn to streaming services that provide greater variety and personalisation based on what they view. Children are seeing YouTubers not only as a source of content but increasingly as a source of inspiration, with many being inspired to create their own content on YouTube or other live streaming platforms. Many are also gaming, with 37% of 3-4s and three-quarters of 5-15s playing games online, and often they will also be using the chat features within the game to talk to others.
Engaging in these online activities provides children with hours of enjoyment, opportunities for learning and developing interests and social connections. From this young age, it is important that we start exploring the benefits of these online activities as well as supporting children to understand the risks and how to stay safe. Thinkuknow have brought together resources designed to help you develop an effective approach to helping your 4-7s on how to navigate their online world safely. These resources can be accessed at https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/professionals/resources/jessie-and-friends/