Technology mixed with a preschooler's growing independence is often a recipe for a parenting struggle. But, there are some things you can try to keep your child active and engaged.
What Parents Can Do
When it comes to media use, it is important for parents to set limits and then stick to them. In our family the kids earn tokens that they can "cash in" for a half hour of screen time. They earn tokens by being good citizens in our family – helping out, and going above and beyond the baseline expectations. This makes screen time a privilege, not a right.
Here are some other ideas
Some families make a "media plan." See How to Make a Family Media Use Plan.
Remember to regulate the content your child is watching. For example, look for some fun and educational games for the iPad; this way she is leaning while she plays.
Make sure that there are "screen free zones" in the house (e.g., no screens in the bedroom, at the dinner table, etc.).
Think of creative alternatives to using the iPad. For instance, preschoolers tend to love games like eye spy, counting, singing the ABC's, guess what animal I am, etc. Anything that allows your child to interact with a person, instead of a screen, is a good choice.
Also, avoid placing a television set in your child's bedroom and recognize that your own media use can have a negative effect on children.