Friday, March 11, 2011

iPad: Coolest Gift for Kids – Five Reasons to Buy an iPad

If you don’t mind spending a truckload of money, iPad is the best toy, of all time, for kids. Well, that honor might be reserved for something silly like a Flickin’ Chicken because a rubber chicken can be used to bop a younger sibling when mom isn’t looking. Anyway, a Nielsen survey polled a bunch of little pre-programmed kids to find out what they wanted and the tech toy with the most votes was iPad.
Kids love iPads.

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Your Child an iPad

Well, maybe I think the iPad is a great toy because I want one for myself. However, I want to discuss the article “Top 10 Reasons to Buy Your Child an iPad” from, because I have read every child-rearing book in existence. The "Top 10" article talks about these reasons for giving an iPad to a toddler or preschooler:
Reason 1: An iPad teaches hand-eye coordination. This is a dumb reason. Kids can learn hand-eye coordination from two spoons and a bucket of sand. However, an iPad teaches little kids that magic is real. Can you imagine the eyes of a two-year-old as he or she “paints” for the first time on a tablet screen?
Reason 2: “It teaches art without the mess.” That writer is not an artist. You can’t make art without mess. Letting your child learn creativity is more important than keeping everything pristine. However, a child can have an iPad and also learn to fingerpaint with non-toxic pigments.
Reason 3: Long Battery Life. An iPad would keep your child occupied on long trips.
Reason 4: Kids can “keep in contact with loved ones.” The article talks about using this tablet PC for email, videos, and photos, so that the “whole family will grow closer.” Sounds like a Hallmark Card. This is dumb. Use the phone and ignore reason number 4.
Reason 5: An iPad lets the child learn at his own level. Oh please…a child always learns at his own level. At what other level could a child learn?
Reason 6: Your child will get a “jump start on using computers.” I’m sure your kid will learn about computers with or without an iPad. Your munchkin should be running around skinning his knees or banging on bongos for most of the day.
Reason 7: An iPad can help your child “explore and develop new interests.” Yes, it’s cool that there are lots of free apps for things like “virtual tours” of distant lands, but your toddler will learn more by going to a petting zoo.
Reason 8: “Games.” The App Store has cool games for kids. And, though I think children should play board games from Sorry! to chess, computer games offer a different type of play. The logic involved is more intense.
Reason 9: Your child won’t outgrow it. The author makes a good point, here. We all have bought toys that our children found boring after a year (or less). And, while the iPad is “expensive upfront”, it can grow along with your child by adding new apps. Even teenagers want iPads.
Reason 10: The iPad fosters a love of reading. An iPad will help, however, the thing that truly “fosters a love of reading” more than anything else is having a mom or dad who reads to his or her child. (I used to be able to “read” Horton Hatches the Egg without looking at the book. That’s what makes a child want to read.)

Five Good Reasons to Buy an iPad

Here are the real reasons to get your kid one of these ridiculously expensive toys.
  1. It teaches your child that the world is magical.
  2. It helps your child (and you) survive long car or plane trips.
  3. It has cool games.
  4. It will grow along with your kid.
  5. You can use the iPad for bribery. If you are the parent and you are in charge of the tablet, you can say things like, “As soon as you put all your Legos in the bucket, you can play with your iPad,” or, “I’ll get the iPad if you promise to play your iPad game quietly without waking the baby.” The parent to controls the iPad controls the magic.
As long as you exert a little control over iPad usage, so your child doesn't become an iPad veggie, I think that this tablet, or a similar tablet PC, is the rocking-coolest gift for any child under the age of 60. Just make sure to let your munchkin (or teenager) play with three-dimensional toys, as well, and limit his or her TV time, and you will end up with one hella smart kid.

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