iPads for children......

Discussion in 'iPad' started by marc55, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    For the past few days, each of the financial channels I watch in the morning have been talking that one of the hottest gifts for children this holiday season is the ipad.

    What is the youngest age that an ipad really becomes a learning tool?

    How many of you guys have already given one, or plan to give one to your children/grandchildren?
  2. HERO XXL macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    My son recently turned 3 years of age and has been using the iPad on his own for quite some time now--in addition to knowing how to navigate it on his own (YouTube videos of "Caillou", Netflix, etc.), he also uses a slew of educational apps & a lot of the children's books. My wife and I passed down or 1st gens to our little ones and they use them (as much as they can) for learning as well as leisure.
  3. R1PPER macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2008
    My 4 year old boy...loves the ipad. He has at least 3 pages of apps/stories/games.

    Be warned though it's like crack cocaine to a 4 year old. I only bring it out on occasion as trying to get him off it can be problematic and 50% chance of it ending in a tantrum.

    Make sure you get a Gel case as a child doesn't have any idea of the value of the ipad. and it will get thrown around and i swear jammy fingers have made my home button temperamental.
  4. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    I gave a reverb iPad 1 to my grandkids (7 and 3). Both use it a lot. They were able to learn to navigate around more quickly than my daughter-in-law. I did, however, have it completely wrapped in Ghost Armor because of sticky fingers. And I put it in a gel case too. But it has held up well and they have learned a valuable lesson on how to take care of things. They know to always sit while holding it, etc.

    There and many nice apps for learning and many are free. One thing, be sure to add restrictions for in-app purchases. Many of the kids apps have in-app purchases and you will quickly go broke if you don't.
  5. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    My son is 2 years and 3 months and we have been using apps to help with learning his letters and animals. He loves it. I still have to help him occasionally with new apps. He knows how to turn it on, swipe to his folder and load whichever app he likes.
  6. Jefferyd32 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2009
    Portland, Or
    Wow this is a scary thread. I can't imagine letting any kid of mine use an ipad as young as some of you. Though some apps may be very educational, I fear this is just the start of a slippery slope to a lack of outdoor time and little to no reading. Good luck to you all.
  7. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    Good point. I'm glad you mention this because I probably need to be careful myself of letting him not have too much technology time.
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    As with everything for kids this age, parental supervision is key. I have three children ages 8, 6, and 3 and all have their own iPod Touches and frequently use my or my wife's iPad but none have free reign over their use. They are great learning tools and serve as great rewards for time spent doing other activities (homework, household chores, good behavior). In fact, my kids love to read and both the numerous educational apps and the ability to take library books out for reading on the iPad contribute a great deal to their reading behaviors.
  9. MacSketcher macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2011
    I don't know if it's my age (24) but I cannot imagine giving a $500+ device to a child below the age of 7 or even 10.

    Like someone mentioned above, I agree that this is a very slippery slope that could lead into some potential issues. It also makes me wonder where we're heading as a society, not just in America but other countries as well. Living in S.Korea currently, and I see tons of kids (age 1+) with iPads that their parents give them so they're distracted enough to let the parents go about their business.

    What happend to the tactile feel of books or stuffed animals that we used to have as children? Will future generations go to sleep with an iPad tucked in next to them instead of their favorite stuffed animal?

    ^maybe that's a little extreme, and once again maybe it's just my age, but I cringe whenever I see a child with an iPad...

    ...hahaha or maybe i'm just an old fuddy-duddy at heart =p
  10. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    I let my six month old bang at it, and when he's older I'm sure he'll play actual games on it, but I would not give a kud under maybe 12 (maybe older) their own. I actually just made a blog post on giving iPads as gifts, and I recommended against them for kids. If they want to play games, an iPod touch, DS, or PSP is a lot cheaper. If they want to read, an actual ereader. Heck, you could give them one of each for less than the cost of an iPad. I just cannot imagine trusting a little kid with a $500 device. What happens when he trades it to his buddy for a couple of XBox games?
  11. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    Anyone of any age suffers from this. I have to make sure i don't get too caught up with my technology and make sure I read lots (and actual paper books) and get out and be social. (Although cold winters here in Canada do make a good case for hibernating in front of a computer for a few months ;) )
  12. SoonerFan303 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2010
    How is this any different from any other device/thing that distracts kids? All come down to parenting and how it is handled.

    My 6 year old daughters classroom has 3 iPads as does every classroom at the school. They are tremendous devices to help kids learn math, reading, etc, etc ,etc. My 2 year old son is very good on the iPad and I think it is great. Technology isn't going away and the earlier they get used to it the better. Technology is just another area of learning and hiding it from the kids isn't doing them any favors imo.

    Allowing them to use the iPad with proper applications has helped them grow much faster than they would have before. No doubt in my mind.
  13. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    We recently had a visit from an 18-month old and his mother. Granted that this was a kid who would have impressed you under any circumstances, but he was launching angry birds at sheltered pigs on my iPad. I downloaded another app that lets the child use its fingers to elongate cartoons of kids, geometrics, houses and clocks, and this was a big hit that this baby had no difficulty learning in literally seconds. I just manipulated a few objects and stepped back.

    I certainly understand the point of view of those concerned with the excesses and abuse that an iPad might encourage, but my short experience convinced me that under appropriate parental supervision and guidance the developing mind of even a very young child can be stimulated and challenged by an iPad.

    Google "ipad apps for kids" and you'll be impressed by what is available.
  14. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    I understand the issue of the 'slippery slope' and would worry about it in some cases. Maybe it's just my grandkids but to be honest their attention spans are so short that I haven't seen an issue. They love their iPad (especially in the car) but after playing for 15-20 mins they are usually on to something else. Still something to keep an eye on.
  15. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Sweet in-law dig! :D

    If you've ever watched a child play with an iPad for any amount of time, you'd understand how amazing a device it is for them. It's a tool like any other in a parents arsenal. What tools do you use for your children?
  16. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    I agree with MacSketcher, I like the idea of kids learning about things like tech, I want to raise a geek like me, but I wouldn't give a several hundred dollar device to them, I will startmy kids on an old EEEPC or something small and easily replaced, or even a 16GB iPad wifi or something, but I think maybe 3-4 is a good age to start learning, but certainly about more than how to use an iDevice.
  17. splproductions macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2011
    My wife will be giving birth to twins on Monday, and I'm already planning on buying them both an iPad once they hit 1 years old (or even sooner). By that time the iPad 3 will be out, and I'll buy two used "original" iPads off of Craigslist for cheap and put them in an OtterBox case or something so I won't have to worry about something expensive being broken.

    I've seen how my friends kids (most around 1 yrs old) interact with their parents iDevices, and by age 1 they can definitely work it and interact with different apps. I've seen quite a few apps that seem pretty good at education and teaching kids some hand-eye coordination.

    We don't have a TV (and won't ever own one - I prefer the internet for my content), and I'd much prefer my kids be interacting with a device than sitting passively in front of a screen staring at it.

    My two cents...
  18. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    I wonder how many of the detractors in this thread actually have children?

    I have 4 year old twins, and they both use my iPad, and have been using it since I got it last year. They have great apps that help with learning the alphabet, simple math, spelling, and reading.

    They definitely don't spend hours daily on it. As a previous poster said, they'll spend 20 minutes tops on it and then go find something else to entertain them. Like any other 4 year olds they play with dolls and trains and ride their bikes and scooters outside.

    Sometimes, though, it's amazing to watch. They can navigate through different apps faster than many adults I've seen on it. And they've also managed to figure out how to take pictures and videos on my iPhone.

    As with anything else, moderation is the key. I wouldn't want my child spending hours doing the same thing, whatever it was. But the time they spend on the iPad is certainly more helpful than harmful.
  19. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    I suppose if you have $499- $699 easily disposable then any age 6 and up is ok. Because children throw temper tantrums and break things that have glass easily, I could see a child throwing an iPad on the hard floor, or banging it hard on a table when they get angry maybe. I think around 8- 10 children have an appreciation for expensive electronics and that may be a good age to get them their own.

    I think it's interesting that children are able to use it as a learning tool, and I agree that it does have some benefits as children in the future will probably have to be more and more tech savy. As for reading, all the book stores are disappearing and books may all be digital someday, not to mention that's a parenting issue, regulating your kids play time.

    However many studies have shown that children are developing differently then they have been and believe that some attention problems may be due to focusing on computer video games and all kinds of other things no one here would really want to admit. As well as children even ages 4 and up lack certain fine motor skills from not using crayons and pencils unlike children that use utensils and pencils have had for over a few thousand years.

    My main concern would be a child breaking it, and being out a few hundred dollars.
  20. sweeties macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    yes, i read most of all's post. However, it is kind of hard to decide whether our kid should play on the iPad or not, it is true that the kid learnt a lot from many education apps on ipad, but would it the problem for their sitting and the eyes, since they are growing as they are still very little. I really would like to share what would be the best for our kids.
  21. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    You don't just give a toddler a naked iPad. There are ways to alleviate the breakage issue. As an example, I purchased this case from Amazon which makes the iPad virtually indestructible in the hands of a young child:

    Muvn Case

    Plus, the case can be attached to your car headrest for use on long car trips.
  22. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    We all want what's best for our kids. Besides using the iPad, my kids actively color, draw pictures, do puzzles, participate in imaginary play (superhero action figures, wear costumes, etc.), play outdoors, etc. The iPad is used as a supplement (not the primary tool) in their development. Sure, a child can sit with an iPad and go from app to app for hours on end. However, as parents, it's our job to prevent them from doing that. As for a single educational and developmental tool for young children, the iPad is truly second to none. Of course, this assumes that your child is using the multitude of educational apps and not only playing Angry Birds.
  23. Ponderous macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    New Jersey
    Four year old son and two year old daughter. Two iPads and three iPhones in the house. They both use the apps for everything from angry birds to netflix to educational apps. My four year old does math and spelling that amazes me thanks to these wonderful devices.

    Be sure to get some good protection. Phones are all Otterbox'ed up and the pads have smart covers with screen protectors and plastic back covers.

    We love em!
  24. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I was looking at those LeapFrog and VTech 'tablets" and in the end I'm feeling that the iPad may be a better choice despite the substantially higher initial price. Here's my breakdown between the LeapPad and an iPad 1.

    LeapPad - $100
    iPad 1 - $300 (Used/Refurb/Clearance)

    [​IMG] vs [​IMG]

    Cost: The LeapPad is cheaper initially, but with games costing $25/ea then over time the iPad and it's ever growing 99cent library may pay off.

    Durability: The LeapPad is built for kids but based on experience with a few kids the iPad is a pretty durable product also. Toss that into an otterbox and its as kid-proof'd as anything else.

    Long-term Interest: One thing I've noticed with past VTech/LeapFrog educational toys is that kids get bored incredibly fast. Ive seen many educational toys get shelved within weeks but I dont think Ive ever seen a kid get bored of using an iPad and as they grow then things like the internet, games, ebooks or email will become useful. And heck, if they dont want it then I'm sure you can find a use for it.

    Ease of Use: This is the part where I feel Apple really should step in. The iPad is a simple device and my kid learned it with ease... BUT its still not kid-friendly. You can't restrict apps or websites, there's no separate login options, its too easy to delete apps and you really can't (shouldn't) just plop your kid with one unsupervised. But if Apple actually put kids in mind then it wouldnt be hard to make separate user accounts and parental controls.

    IMO, the iPad is an amazing tool for kids, but not until they give parental controls/kid-friendly mode. Because as it is now then the inability to cater the experience makes the iPad is both an educational AND a dangerous tool.
  25. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    can i just say that ive seen kids in a restaraunt, probably aged 3-4, with ipads, and it doesn't surprise me that kids this young are using such a device, considering apple are also advertising TV ads about little kids using the ipad in infant schools. and to justify how young these kids are using this kind iTechnology, people my age (12-14 yrs old) are now using other iStuff like 27" imacs or 15" MBPS. not to mention that my cousin is getting a 15" MBP soon and atm has a 64GB iphone 4S in white.

    kids grow and learn fast, and so does technology.

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