Impact of iPad on Kuwaiti children's play: mother prospectives

Open Access
Alazemi, Nadeyah
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • James Ewald Johnson, Thesis Advisor
  • Early Childhood Education
  • play
  • iPad
  • digital play
Play is an essential component of children’s lives. Through play, children learn and acquire the skills that they need for the future. Researchers primarily have focused on the importance of play for children from a developmental perspective. Likewise, educators use play to deliver new information and to help students acquire skills. In recent decades, technology has changed how people interact with each other and the environment. Modern technological devices ranging from personal computers to smartphones have changed how young children play. Many children now use electronic devices such as PlayStations and iPads as toys and spend hours playing in virtual worlds. Many scholars have investigated the effects of these new technological devices on young children’s development mainly from educational and health perspectives. Many researchers have found significant changes in children’s educational performance and lifestyle and have attributed these changes to long-term engagement with digital toys in virtual worlds. Apple’s tablet, the iPad, is the most common electronic device owned by Kuwaiti children. Since its introduction to the market 4 years ago, playing the iPad has become a favorite pastime for many children in Kuwait. In this research, I investigate the reported estimates of use and perceived effects of children’s digital (iPad) play on traditional play among young children in Kuwait. I identify and discuss changes in children’s play preferences since the introduction of the iPad and how Kuwaiti mothers perceive these changes. The results show that Kuwaiti mothers believe that the iPad has had a significant impact on their children’s play preferences. Moreover the study shows that Kuwaiti mothers see the iPad as a device that can be used to enhance their children’s cognitive development. Furthermore, Kuwaiti children spend many hours playing iPad games on weekdays, weekends, and summer vacations.