Children and tablet computers
On Twitter, just before Bunny’s 6th Birthday, I asked whether I should get Bunny a Leap Pad 2 or an Innotab 2. They are childrens tablet computers. I was advised that Bunny was too old for these, despite the age recommendations on the packaging.
I wanted her to have something she could learn on. She’s a bright child who enjoys learning and I wanted to nurture this.
The question sparked quite a debate as a number of people told me that they have given their three or four year old’s ipad’s or tablet computers! Seriously? My daughter never looks after her things. Toys are always either lost or broken. She is even more untidy than me and never plays on the Wii or her children’s laptop.
I was astounded that people bought such expensive products for such young children. And I feared there must be many a security concern with the internet, as well as, “what if they press the wrong button?”.
However, after weeks of looking, it turned out, that many of the options around, seemed “too young” for Bunny, or cost an arm and a leg. Many products were suggested, but we were on a budget. In the end, I came around to a different way of thinking… the only thing I could afford was a tablet! At £90 I bought one, and a pink shell case to go with it. It wasn’t as big or as fast, or as easy to use as our tablet, and I still had concerns about her age.
We installed “Kid mode“, but I have to say, Kid mode is rubbish. There are occasions of her calling out “I’ve pressed the wrong button” or “it’s done something weird”, even in Kid mode. I won’t let her use it for more than twenty minutes at a time in the car, as I don’t want to encourage travel sickness (any activity that causes someone to look down in the car, causes travel sickness). But she does use it at home. She plays games and music, but I’d love to have some learning apps on there for her.
I still think the world has gone slightly mad, and us with it. We do limit her use (and now it won’t charge so that didn’t last long!).
What do you think? Has the world gone technology mad? Should we be giving tablet computers to our 6 year olds?
And for those of you that have – can you recommend any great learning apps?