At Christmas time this year, we were asked what we were getting our three year old for his main present. Our reply was that he was getting a bike, and he'd also get some toys from Santa.
Whilst happy with our gift selections, we were quizzed on whether we were getting him an iPad too? I was happy to reply that he wasn't getting an iPad for Christmas, as he's only three and quite frankly, at a cost of over $350 I think I should be first in line myself to get an iPad before my toddler. However, since Christmas I have noticed that a number of my son's friends were in fact gifted with iPads for Christmas and it's left me wondering at what age iPads are provided for kids.
I have no doubt that they offer some great learning for kids with the number of apps available, but I'm concerned with starting a reliance on technology too young. I also love kids being kids and playing with toys and getting outside in the fresh air. I'm sure it's a case of everything in moderation, but what is an appropriate age for kids to have their own tablet or ipad?
My kids got a tablet each from their grandparents last year. They were $70 ones from Kmart and boy am I glad we didn't get them ipads. There were awesome apps from the Android store to be had, but within weeks they were both ruined. The 5 year old's was dropped and had a cracked screen, then would no longer turn on. The 6 year old's had the wrong recharge cord plugged in which wrecked the point, rendering it useless. I'm going to wait a few years before getting them again.
My eldest is only 3 and whilst a lot of his friends have iPads, or share one with siblings, I'm quite happy with him currently preferring toys and the great outdoors. When the time comes for him to have a tablet, I'd like to put some time and use limits on it so it doesn't take over. I do think some of the apps available for kids are very good.
There are special tablet made particularly for children.
I think the question you should ask yourself is at what age would you buy them a game console? They are about as expensive - or more so - and you can play games on both. With a tablet, however, the games are cheaper, and you can do more than just play on them.
I think a child of 4-5 can have a iPad.
Having said that they must only be allowed to use it say in the afternoon, after having time outside playing and doing what is important....for kids.
1-2 hours per afternoon, and parents need to be quite firm on that.
It's also a wonderful bargaining tool, when they move onto school, say a incentive to do school homework.
An iPad is a school requirement for children in high school and middle school in the school my kids attend, I have given my primary schooler an iPad to get familiarise for he too will eventually end up using an iPad for his school work.
I'd say around 10, mainly because a childhood should be spent getting dirty and not worrying about whether a glass screen will crack and waste your parents' money. Kids don't even worry about that stuff anyway!
At what point do parents say not to kids now days?
Kids do not need to be hunched over, monosyllabic, attached to a screen 24/7. I think it's just lazy parenting to give your child a tablet and ignore them. How about teaching them a game of cards, chess, backgammon or reading with them or even letting them outside to play in the fresh air in the garden. I would not buy my child a game console either! We will end up with a generation who can not write with a pen. All this technology is going to come back and slap us in the face some time really soon
My grandsons aged 6 and almost 4 have had tgeir ipads for a couple of years. It amazes me what they can learn from them. They have appropriate apps downloaded to help them learn as well as some teaching games and songs. They do have a time limit on their useage and play outdoors or indoor games so each to his own.