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The Best iPod for Kids

Updated on December 11, 2011

How to shuffle through the iPod family to find one that fits your kid

My daughter is going to be 11 next month and is just really getting into music. She needs an iPod. The trick is, which one?

The Shuffle, Nano, Classic or Touch - I want to get her just the right one, but I am also a very shrewd shopper, and want the best value for my dollar. So I've done the research for you, and I hope you will find this helpful in determining which iPod is best for your young one.

Music portability has really changed over the years, but ironically, for the upgrades in technology, it hasn't gotten much more expensive, depending on what you want it to do. iPods are the new Walkman. I remember spending close to $100 on one once to get one that didn't skip when I jogged - and it skipped anyway.

Here you'll find recommendations for the right iPod for the right use, if you are a jogger, like to chill and listen to tunes, want to dock it in your boom box, or maybe you won't be spending tons on iTunes and want to get the radio from time to time - there is an iPod t suit every need, and every age.

I hope you find what you need here, please leave a comment on the guestbook if I've helped you!


iPod Shuffle

Good Starter Model

The iPod shuffle, in my research, is not liked much by the techie bloggers or some reviewers. However, the chief complaint I found was that it's terrible for working out, jogging, or intense activity.

Unless you kiddo specifically wants to listen to tunes while working out, for a first time iPodder, they wouldn't do badly at all to start here. You can still get new models and some older ones, just about anywhere. In fact, the older models have a higher rating, but again, if your child doesn't want it for running, the new model should be perfect. The best deals I found were on Amazon, they always are it seems. They come in 2GB or 4GB (retail $50-$80), which just means they will hold 500 or 1000 songs respectively (compare below).

As will all iPods, iTunes are purchased separately and downloaded from the computer to the iPod. Don't panic and log out here - YOU don't have to know how to do it, just your kids, and trust me, they do.

I think for the price, you can't go wrong here for a first time iPod or for they younger kids. You don't want them losing a $150-$200 gadget, so this one is the right place to start (forget what the techies and the joggers say). Except they do think this model (and even the Classic) may be phased out soon, so this is the year!


iPod Nano

My Pick

The iPod Nano is my pick for my soon-to-be 11-year old daughter. Starting at $150 new, the 8GB version (comes in 16GB also) holds 2,000 songs and is full of cool stuff that kids just her age would really appreciate.

Apple has added Genius with this model, which let's the user pick a favorite song, and then asks Genius to search through the rest of the songs stored to create a unique play list that compliments the one selected. It may not sound like much, but kids have a distinct taste, and this will pull all the songs that go well together, well, together! This is a must have for kids just learning what they like.

It now has video, no, it's not a phone, but it does take up to 8 hours of video (the 16GB is double all these specs), which I know she will love because I can't get her away from the webcam on my laptop! She and her friends love to make skits and plays and what a fun way to capture them.

Now there are some things on it grown-ups are just gonna wanna have too! I like the "Cover Flow." This is where you can look up your songs - they show the album cover art - remember album covers? I mean, I know they still do them for CDs, but how many of us from the vinyl days thing that's really the same thing? Okay good point, a computer image isn't the same thing either, but it is really cool to see the cover, and you can flip it over for song info.

FM Radio with PAUSE! So when she's tired of her play list (or begging for more iTunes, she can listen to the radio instead. And a cool feature I wish the radio in my car had, she can pause it live, rewind it to hear the song over, and even tag the song so that it can be found later on iTunes if she earns her allowance that week! Seriously, I love this feature.

It also works as a Pedometer, and she loves to count her steps, so this is cool. It can even be expanded with an optional iPod Sports Pack and special Nike shoes to track much, much, more which can be downloaded onto the computer to track fitness.

But at the end of the day, it carries her songs and does WAY more than my walkman ever did, and by comparison, it's not all that much more to spend, even 20 years later.

I would still by an older generation Nano over the new model Shuffle, simply for the size and portability, if you child is over 10. Here is a sample of what's out there now. If this article has helped you, and you're ready, check out Amazon now!


iPod Touch & Classic

For the teens and older

I grouped iPod Touch with the Classic not because they are at all in the same class, but for simplicity.

Each iPod is better than the next, more upgrades, more features.

The Classis is different from the Nano only because of capacity - it is HUGE at 160GB, even bigger than the Touch. But that means it has a specific purpose, and that is to store movies, TV shows, audio books, even lectures from colleges. I don't see how even the most studious of college students would need this much capacity when the Touch is SO much better, and no matter what you have on your iPod, you can put in on your PC or Mac for long-term storage.

So skip the Classic. Go straight to the Touch if you're ready.

The Touch is the top of the line in iPods, but not yet for a pre-teen or even a kid in middle school, at least not mine. It has everything the Nano has, plus of course, you have access to the internet and it stores much more. In fact, the 8G Touch is not all that much more than the Nano, retailing at $200, but it holds fewer songs, just a little less at 1750 instead of 2000, so it's simply for much more than music and video.

The Touch is available in 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB. If your child has any need to access the internet, store pictures and videos, and of course, just be the coolest kid on the block, then the 8GB is perfect for them.

But if they still care what color it comes in, like my daughter, she can wait a few years to upgrade to the Touch. Hmm, but then again, I do have a 23-year old daughter also, and she prefers black, so, gee... I hope she doesn't read this. :-)

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      Johng703 2 years ago

      I have to agree with your statement with this issue and dbcdefkfeegf

    • jethrosas profile image

      Jethro 5 years ago from Philippines

      This one gives me idea on what ipod to choose from. I am thinking to get ipod shuffle but after reading this page of yours, it seems that I am starting to like ipod nano. :)

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      chris-mcnear 5 years ago

      I typed in my ?, your website was 1st, then read article, and done!!! I know exactly what to get her, a either used or refusbushed iPod touch Gen III All she will be doing on it is playing Games, so if I don't have the right one please email me to for ex:8Gb plenty or 32Gb?!?? Thank you again and I bookmarded your page so I wouldn't have to "hunt" for it next time! thank you in a timeley fashion if you would as well. She was born 2 days after Christmas so she feels like they run together so her party is next wknd. and would like to know the best bank for my buck!

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      AbbieM 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for an easy to read overview of the different IPOD models. It helped make up my mind on which model to purchase for my son and your review helped me understand something that I did not realize about my IPOD too!