Tots and Tablets: Is Your Tablet PC Safe in the Hands of Your Child?
Is your tablet PC safe in the hands of your little one?
Whether you have an iPad, an iPhone, or an iPod touch, or any other expensive piece of technological equipment, you've made a significant investment. These devices are very interesting, and downright fun to work with, and have taken the world by storm. Kids are just as intrigued as their parents, and why not? These, more than many technological pieces of equipment tap into an important learning style, the hands on learning style, also known as tactile, or kinesthetic.
Small children, if you observe, learn significantly through hands on activity. Touching, manipulating, and even tasting, toys is the major activity of early childhood! However, by the time we move into formal schooling, this is often significantly cut short, in lieu of watching, writing, and performing in a more visual, and auditory environment. The tablet pc, and touchscreen phone, iPod, computer, and gaming system is a great way to move back into the tactile modality.
iPad-like Touchscreen Tablet Toy by LeapFrog - LeapPad Explorer
Available for pre-order at Amazon, the LeapPad Explorer is designed for children from ages 4-9, and functions in similar manner to tablet PC's, but tailored to the interests and needs of preschool and elementary aged youngsters. Compatible with Leapster Explorer cartridges, there are additional apps available for download.
As you see, pictured above, small children can enjoy the manipulative activity of working on an iPad, or tablet, and there are fun games and apps available, which are geared toward early learning. The potential as a learning tool is amazing, and many programs are focused on the educational benefit of working with iPads and other tablets. The most important thing, in working with your small children on a tablet PC, is supervision. While small children use their fingers and hands extensively, their dexterity can have some limitations, and it's easy to see that when it comes to toys, they are often dropped, or manhandled...what should you expect with a tablet?
If you are going to work with your youngster, especially your toddler or pre-schooler, this should be an activity done together. I wouldn't advise leaving a tablet pc in the hands of a small child, and I would advise that the devices be stored safely out of their reach when not in use.
Pre-schoolers can be a bit mischievous, and I learned the hard way, with a much less expensive piece of equipment, that it's wise to provide something as an alternative. My older children had handheld gaming systems, and the pre-schoolers were envious of these "toys". The systems disappeared several times, mysteriously, and eventually, one of the toddlers dunked a system in water. End of problem...no more game system. In spite of efforts to manage the storage and use of these coveted little treasures, a couple of strong-willed youngsters did their damage.
While you are interested in giving your kids a hand up, by virtue of the great learning games and applications of tablet pc's, be aware of the tendencies of your children to obey rules, or to do their own thing, and take significant precautions. Further, make sure that if possible, you use a protective case that will cushion your tablet, in case of a fall.
Otterbox for iPad
After some serious brushes with disaster with my iPhone, I invested in an Otterbox Defender case, which I have found to be a great choice. The Otterbox has two layers of protection, the first being a hard case, which surrounds the device and covers the screen, and the second being a silicone outer covering, which absorbs impact. I've had some drops, but no damage to my device.
Electronic Learning Systems for Kids
A good alternative for toddlers, pre-schoolers, and early elementary students, is an electronic learning system designed specifically for their skills and abilities. There are many great companies and systems available, and stylus and touchscreen technology have already been incorporated into them. The iXL by Fisher Price, the V.Reader and Mobigo by V.Tech, and the Leapster Explorer by LeapFrog, have led the way in providing relevant learning toys for young children, which incorporate the latest technology at their level.
In the coming months, there will be a Summer 2011 release of the LeapPad Explorer, a tablet learning toy for early learning, with touchscreen technology, combined with a rugged design for the rough handling of small hands. The LeapPad Explorer will be compatible with the current Leapster Explorer learning games. In the fall months of 2011, V.Tech will release the InnoPad, a similar iPad type learning toy for early learners. The LeapPad will retail at $99.99, and the InnoPad at $79.99.
Electronic Learning Systems for Kids
Read more about some of the latest, top electronic learning systems for your youngsters.
- Pre Ereaders for Kids
A review of several electronic learning systems designed for early learners, with relevant activities.
Find the Top Electronic Learning Systems for Early Learners
Ereaders for tots? Or early video games? Much of the benefit of these systems depends on the games and software, and all of these companies are experienced at providing relevant learning activities for kids.
What are your thoughts on allowing a toddler to work with a tablet PC?
Is an iPad Safe in the Hands of a Tot?