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Should I Buy My Ten Year Old Child An Ipod Touch?

Updated on March 17, 2012

Ipod Touch for a 10 year old? This was my deliberation, less than a couple of months ago. My son really, really wanted one of these things for his tenth birthday. 'Oh, but so and so has got one, they are so cool,' was all he could say, before going on to reiterate that there was nothing else he wanted.

Well, my son is always wanting something or other. One day it's this, the next day it's that. One day he's saving up for an X Box, the next he's spent the money he's been saving on something completely different. You just never know. The trouble is, there's so much aggressive marketing around these days, not to mention the things friends have.

But he really, really, really wanted an Ipod Touch.

Ipod Touch 4th Generation
Ipod Touch 4th Generation

Getting Into Music

Ipods are all about music - well they were, before they started to come with a whole load of other functions designed to please Apple fans. But even though the Ipod Touch may come with other features, the music element is supposed to be the main point of it all. Whether a child should have an Ipod Touch or not should perhaps come down to one little factor - do they or do they not like music? In fact, does your child like enough music to warrant spending all that money on an Ipod Touch?

Children aged around ten often do start getting into music. My son had gone from not knowing all that much about current bands, to knowing quite a lot in a short space of time. He had started asking to listen to the radio every time we were in the car. He had started watching music videos on TV. He acquired a free Ipod Shuffle, the cheapest sort, when his dad was given one at work. And he really did spend a lot of time listening to it....but he still wanted that Ipod Touch.

In fact, it reminded me of my own youth, when we bought 7" singles at weekends and Sony Walkmans were becoming all the rage. I remembered my sister getting her first Sony Walkman one Christmas, when she was just eight or nine - she really loved it. Was an Ipod Touch really so different? After all, it is just a sign of the times - the times our children are growing up in.

4th Generation Ipod Touch - Must Have Music Player of Today

Since those bygone days with the good old Sony Walkman, times have moved on and technology has reached new heights. As it stands, the Ipod Touch is the must-have personal music player for the current generation. In truth (and perhaps obviously) it is literally worlds away from the old and clunky Walkman, and even from more recent MP3 players (though the concept and enjoyment of listening to a favorite track through personal headphones is still the same). Apple first released the !st, then 2nd Generation Ipod Touch, followed by the 3rd Generation in September 2009. But now the 4th Generation model has hit the streets and the Ipod Touch has never been better.

The Ipod Touch has always been slim and elegant, but now it measures just 7.2 mm. It boasts the highest resolution Ipod Screen so far - an impressive Retina Display with 326 pixels per inch for sharp text and graphics. It also has a built in three-axis gyropscope which, when combined with the accelerometer, provides more motion gesture and a better gaming experience. Because these days, a music player is about so much more than just the music....

But First - Did We Buy One For Our Ten Year Old?

In the end, yes we did - the 8GB version, which is the least expensive. And he was absolutely thrilled with it. He had come up with the idea that if he could have the Ipod Touch then he wasn't bothered about having a party. That was the cost thing sorted out, as the party he has usually costs around $150 or more. Instead of the party we just went out for the day with a couple of friends, and to tell you the truth, he enjoyed it more and it lasted for longer as well.

Today his Ipod Touch is seven months old and it is still his favorite gadget. He has built up a large collection of music, and is also a big fan of the ITunes Apps Store:

ITunes Apps Store

Like most boys, my son loves games, and the ITunes Apps Store has thousands of both games and other apps - to be precise, about 75,000 of them. Some of the games he has purchased have been free, most of them very cheap - between around $1 and $6, I would say. Some of the games might not be suitable for a child, but he usually tells us when he is buying something as this is what we have requested. Anyway, he does not have his own ITunes account - he uses his dad's - which means his dad receives information entailing everything that has been bought.

The games seem to be of good quality, and are certainly a lot cheaper than the DS and Wii games he usually buys! My son's games are all advertised as being suitable for 9+ years, if you are at all concerned about the content. (The newest, 4th Generation Ipod Touch, also has access to the new Game Center.)

It's not all games, though. He has downloaded an app bringing him updated information about his favorite football team (which was free) and several apps regarding popular bands. You can even download books from ibooks. There is a whole lot more as well, detailed under the Ipod Touch product information.

Please note that downloading a lot of games will decrease the Ipod's capacity to store music - you can't have everything, but there is plenty of room for enough of both.

8GB, 32GB or 64GB?

The 8GB Ipod Touch that my son has can hold over 2000 songs and 10 hours of video. Of course, the 32GB and 64GB can hold a whole lot more, but whether that is really necessary for a ten year old is a matter of opinion. Though my son is indeed becoming interested in music, he would not be able to find even a quarter of that number of songs to download. Rest assured, 8GB is perfectly adequate for a child.

The newest 32GB model can hold 8000 songs, or up to 40 hours of video or film. The 64GB can hold 16,000 songs, or 80 hours of video or film. These models are obviously more expensive, however, so whichever model you purchase for your child will probably depend on your budget - both what you can afford and what you feel you are happy to spend.

With the Ipod Touch, it is possible to download music videos and even films. My son downloads videos sometimes, but not films. Films are not particularly cheap when compared to a typical dvd, and I have managed to persuade him that watching a film on the small 3" screen of the Ipod Touch will not be quite the same as watching it on TV.

So Should I Buy My Child An Ipod Touch?

If you think this is something your child would really like, then I would say yes, go for it. In fact, perhaps that should be edited to Is this something your child would really love?, because for a ten year old, the Ipod Touch is, indeed, a special gift.My son really loves his, he has already said it is the best present he has ever received. His friends love it too, and several of them want their own now! The only other point that you might want to consider is that the front of the Ipod is glass, so a child will need to take care if they don't want to have a broken Ipod. My son is not exactly the sensible type, but I will say that he acts very sensibly when it comes to his Ipod Touch.

He also received some money for his birthday, from other relatives, and with it he bought himself an Ipod docking station, so that he can listen to his music in his bedroom without headphones. Sometimes I think I have a teenager up there - but then I remember my sister and I, with our Sony Walkmans and old fashioned record decks, and can't help thinking that youth hasn't changed that much after all - it's only the technology which has moved on and left the cumbersome Walkman buried in the dust.


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    • profile image

      Emma 4 months ago

      Interesting :) I'm almost 14, and am hoping for an iPod touch for my birthday.

    • profile image

      fuzzy 2 years ago

      I want an iPod... What do i do

    • Motherbynature profile image

      Motherbynature 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      It's a personal decision but if you were my best friend I would say "Don't do it!" You would be giving him complete access to the Internet. It opens the door for him to create secret email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'm not saying he's a bad kid but that is way too much temptation for a child, and even for a lot of adults. There are porn apps available for download and some of them are completely FREE. I understand you wanting to reward him and give him a way to enjoy music but consider the cost. You may be opening a door that cannot be closed. I bought my son a Sansa Sandisk mp3 player. Anything that plays music is good enough... that is, if it truly is about the music.

    • profile image

      Ami 5 years ago

      I have a ten year old son and we got him an iPOD touch for his birthday - actually we made him buy it using his birthday, tooth fairy money etc. By spending his own money he's been much more responsible about taking care of it. It has been great to watch him grow with this gadget! His interest in music, games, photography, technology, news, weather etc have grown tremendously through this device. It is well worth the $200 price tag. 8GB is plenty! And he uses my itunes account so I know everything he is buying. He also now uses it to facetime with his grandmother who lives 3000 miles away - she is thrilled to get more quality time with him.

    • profile image

      Violet 5 years ago


    • profile image

      Dan 5 years ago

      You should have had your son save up.

      Thats what I did when i was seven. I paid 300 for the 32 gb one.

    • profile image

      anonyMOUSE 5 years ago

      I got an iPod touch for my 10th birthday and I love it. If you get your child one, just make sure you keep it away from children under the age of 3. my almost-3 year old sisters got a hold on mine and it completely stuffed up. luckily we were able to fix it with the help of the wonderful internet.

    • profile image

      micheleang 5 years ago

      I really think it was a bad idea from the word go..She has lost it many times, usually in the couch or the house, but this time I think it's gone. I think it fell out of the car in D.C. because I can't find it in my friend's car at all. And the icloud feature to "find my ipod" only works if it is connected to the internet, which it won't be if you have it in the car..

    • profile image

      unknown person 5 years ago

      I really want those for my birthday this year. I've tried everything to persuade my parents to buy my one. What should I do? Please help me!

    • profile image

      Greg S. 5 years ago

      Here is my advice, I'm 10 my advice is buy him the ipod touch because i already have one it is rlly worth it u can play Angry Birds and other games up on go on internet and watch videos my advice is buy it it will make him happy and he might scream and get exited and squirly ur rong it doesn't do that, liar :P

    • profile image

      squirley 5 years ago

      an ipod touch is a waste of money, gets in the way of social and family interaction and i have seen kids who are obsessed with them. most of my kids friends got them for xmas and i am totally sick of hearing about and seeing the kids looking over their friend's shoulders when they would prefer to be interacting. nobody needs them or ds or any othe screen except a pc. kids can cope with long car trips and going to restuarants without having a screen to entertain them. i have 3 kids aged 11, 8 and 5 and we have never had anything but books, radio or ourselves. just because they want something or their friends have it doesn't mean they have to have it. save your money and your kids brains, ears and eyes and interact.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      im 11 and ive used an ipod touch before

      it keeps me occupied for a long period of time and is very safe if you get good apps

    • profile image

      Rachel 6 years ago

      Thank-you for this well-written insightful article! I'm debating an iPod touch for Christmas for our 9-year old. It's all he wants! I figure that it combines the need for a camera, DS and iPod all in one.

    • profile image

      ita 6 years ago

      Um, hi, thanks for reading this. I'm 9 going onto 10 next week, and I REALLY want an iPod touch for my birthday. And kate...I would NEVER do things like that. He sounds immature really. So what do you think I should do? Cause my birthday's coming up in one week and I don't know what to do!

    • profile image

      Kate 6 years ago

      My son has an Ipod touch an he is 10 years old. BAD IDEA! I am pretty clueless to all this new technology so I should have known better. I did tell him about internet safety etc.. He got pretty obbsessed with it over the last few months so I started getting very concerned. I found out he was going to Youtube, created a you tube account (which I told him this was not allowed numerous times), twitter account was making videos and had his own channel etc...So many inappropriate things I found that he posted and saw. Then I think of all the weirdos out there that were probably following him. But it was my fault for giving in and buying him this thing. I took it away today. I deleted ALL of his accounts. He is too young. I am so disgusted. I want to throw it in the trash actually.You think oh they will behave and only pay the cute little games.. well I think it it very tempting especially when kids at school (where he claims he got all these ideas) basically tell him where to go etc...I learned my lesson.

    • profile image

      Coco 6 years ago

      Who are you people and what are you doing spoiling kids like that in this economy!

    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 6 years ago from New England

      Be prepared to have to limit his time on it. Also don't let him take it to school or leave it behind on an airplane like one of my son's friends. Also don't let him "jail break" it.

      Babygrandp - "10 is a little too young to start listening to music" what? There is all kinds of music that is not crud. That's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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      iopoiugtrwhooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooooo 6 years ago

      i would defontly let aten year old have an ipod touch beat that sarah

    • profile image

      mickey 6 years ago

      my son is 4 and he has had his ipod touch almost 1 and a half years now he watches all his kids educational videos on it and learnt how to write words and spell also does maths and plays games on it

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent hub. Love all the comments people are making as well. I want an IPOD touch too :). My 18 year old always is wanting this and that and everything under the sun and one day is saving for this and the next day saving for that. I am just happy that he is old enough now he can save and buy for his own wants and desires.

    • hopefulmom profile image

      hopefulmom 7 years ago

      Thankyou for this article...I am thankful for your perspective. Children do want so much, they want to fit in with what they see their friends have. In the end we are just trying to raise children with good values, respect for others, and a down to earth perspective on life.

    • LADYGIRL profile image

      LADYGIRL 7 years ago

      I understand exactly wanted your talking about with children. They want this and they want that. However at the end they are good kids.

    • profile image

      Baby Grandpa 7 years ago

      I think 10 is a little too young to start listening to music due to the decline of moral values in the music industry...

    • Eleanor's Words profile image

      Eleanor's Words 7 years ago from Far and Wide

      Hi Hatfield - thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments and opinion. My son's ipod is in no way an 'electronic babysitter' - in fact, he is only allowed a limited amount of screen time each day, and that is split between the Ipod, TV or computer - whatever he wants to spend the time on. He is allowed no longer than 1 - 1.5 hours altogether, although I will allow him time to listen to music on his ipod if he is not playing games. After all, children of a certain age do begin to be interested in music, that is no different to past generations. The only difference is that now the gadgets used for this are much more technologically advanced.

      The truth of the matter is, at least from my own experience, that children of around 10 are far less interested in toys. My son has many toys but no longer plays with most of them. If he is not using an electronic gadget - which for large parts of the time he is not - then he would rather read a book (which is great, obviously). He can get through four books in a week. He also loves to go to the ball court with his friends which is at the end of the road and safe for him to walk to.

      I defintely do not support the idea of using gadgets to entertain your children instead of spending time with them. This idea comes from the children! They nag and nag because at the end of the day these things are what they really want. It is a sign of the times and the world we live in, whether that is good or bad. We do have plenty of time together as a family anyway - it cannot be assumed that just because a child has an electronic gadget that a parent does not spend quality time with them. The key is in the balance. And I would just like to add that my child is extremely sociable with many friends, I certainly do not see this as detrimental in any way. Real problems begin when you allow your child to spend far too long using electronic gadgets so that they do not live a balanced life.

      My son now wants an Ipad or a netbook, but he will not be getting one.

    • Eleanor's Words profile image

      Eleanor's Words 7 years ago from Far and Wide

      Hi Mickey, thanks for your input - I'm sure your daughter will love it! We are exactly the same - the Ipod is something that can be confiscated due to bad behavior, and my son also does not take his Ipod out of the house. Have a great xmas :)

    • profile image

      Hatfield 7 years ago

      You know, the message I am hearing right here is "kids stay away from me." I find that most parents today are having their children raised by electronic gadgets more and more. "It keeps them quiet.", "They are not bothering me with silly questions.", "Keeps them from fighting", Keeps them from making a mess with paints, paper and other toys spewed over the house."

      Why not try talking to your children, showing them how to fix something, go for walks (instead of having them turn into the Goodyear blimp."

      Getting something like the i Pod touch serves no real value to the child's social skills or education.

      This will have the same effect on the child's mind as MacDonald s has on their bodies.

    • profile image

      Mickey 7 years ago

      I got one for my 9 year old this xmas. It will end the jealousy over the older kids' iphones, running the same apps, and give her some bragging rights with the retina display. It will not leave the house, except for road trips, and will be checked in at night when we round up the other iphones. Like the phones --- it's another privelege hanging in the balance with behavior/grades/trust. If it's well monitored/regulated and you can easily afford it, do it.

    • Eleanor's Words profile image

      Eleanor's Words 7 years ago from Far and Wide

      Hi Rhobe - thanks for reading, I'm glad it was helpful. If you do decide to buy one for your daughter, I'm sure she will love it - and not just for the camera! There really is a lot you can do on them - as I said, my son loves the apps store and the games as well as the music aspect. The games are so cheap and pretty good quality, my son uses his Ipod to play games more than his DS now. As he has grown older I find that he usually prefers one big thing over lots of little things. Anyway, whatever you decide I hope you have a great Christmas!

    • profile image

      Rhobe 7 years ago

      Wow. My 10 year old daughter is dying for one for Christmas. My budget is $200 for each child and if I buy it for her that will be the only thing she gets. I believe that she wants it just for the camera, though. I will keep probing to see why she really thinks she should have this.

      Thanks for the insight.

    • profile image

      kelly 7 years ago

      both my kids got one for christmas last year ( they were 9 & 7 ) .

      I got tired of them stealing my iphone to play games & fighting over it.

      They play with it all the time, especially on car trips . They each have their own headphones and can quietly play and not fight and I can listen to what I want.

      They were definitely old enough to have one and be responsible for it .

    • profile image

      zisel77 7 years ago

      only an ipod touch,

      I think you can buy an ipod touch and an iFunia ipod video converter for him.

      He will be happy with the two tools.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Absolutely not - is the answer to the question.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 7 years ago

      I have an iPod Touch. I'm 12 and I have the iPod Touch 4th Generation :)

    • Eleanor's Words profile image

      Eleanor's Words 7 years ago from Far and Wide

      Hi Rosie, thanks for reading and for your helpful comment:)

    • Rosie69 profile image

      Rosie69 7 years ago

      Both my sons have Ipods. My 14 year old has an Ipod Touch and my 10 year old has an Ipod Nano. They both love music and they are fab on long car journeys. These gagdets are no different to Walkmans in the 1980`s just more advanced! No harm in these at all!

    • profile image

      YUE 7 years ago

      Not to sound mean,

      but I really cannot see a ten year old using an Ipod Touch. If I were you, I would wait until he is 13+. This is mainly because he's a bit more mature to be trusted in using an Ipod Touch.

    • Eleanor's Words profile image

      Eleanor's Words 7 years ago from Far and Wide

      JanetBJ - Well, he likes it for music and games. That's the trouble these days, all the kids want the latest gadgets! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • JanetBJ profile image

      JanetBJ 7 years ago

      wow. You kid is so fashion. What your baby will use it for?