Tuesday, March 12, 2013
iPad for Toddlers
It may come as a surprise to many of my readers, particularly those who know that we don't even have 'normal telly' in this house (we do sometimes watch things on catch-up via the internet though), but I have bought an iPad for BB and I to use.
It has been something I have thought about for a while. We'd like to be able to skype DD, and friends and family far away. After the cup of tea in the laptop incident I am just not prepared to use my computer (my livelihood!) for this. Plus BB is so fascinated with it he would just bang the keys constantly and not concentrate on the people we are talking to. He does manage it quite well using DD's iPad though.
He is also able to interact with technology. He can now unlock my phone, which is a little scary. I started to realise a couple of months ago that he would be able to 'use' an iPad and 'make things happen' already. I've considered wether this might be a good or bad thing. Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages. I am wary of too much 'screen time' and the need to encourage physical activity in children. I am also aware that future that is dependent on technology is inevitable. Plus I have seen some interesting apps when I have observed other kids. It is a tool for learning. Right?
Part of my own rehabilitation recently after burning the candle at both ends and making myself sick in the process, was to be able to turn off my lap top and phone at night and not be available to clients 24/7. If an email came through to my phone when I was in bed, I couldn't help but read it. I usually responded, sometimes I even got up to look at files or process documents. I realised this had to change.
I also wanted to be able to relax with a podcast or TV show at night and a friend suggested listening to podcasts in bed. All good ideas, but my phone really needs to stay down stairs at night and give me a break. So in the end I splashed out on an iPad for us both.
It is working nicely for us so far. I have set up a whole new Apple ID, so BB can't accidentally text a client or delete anything, and no one can contact me after I decided to stop work for the day. We don't use it every day, but we did have a lovely skype with DD, which made it worthwhile buying already. My most ridiculous use of it was to watch an episode of a TV show in the bath! This was a huge a achievement as I don't often have the time to watch TV or to relax in the bath, so it felt incredibly indulgent.
With BB I am keeping usage to about 10 - 15 mins a day maximum (he hasn't used it every day either). He is often really grumpy when he wakes up from his afternoon nap, and using the iPad at this time is working for us brilliantly. We always use it together of course - I am not shoving an iPad in his hand and walking away. I am not that rich or carefree to start with, but I also believe he needs help to get the most out of it at this stage.
When I started to look for iPad apps suitable for toddlers I was expecting to find a lot more online about this topic than I did. There are lots of apps, and surely its a bit of a controversial issue. There is not much out there though- so I thought I would start creating some reviews myself. I will post them on here. I am guessing we will mostly be downloading FREE apps. but we may splash out occasionally! We have a few already, and I am starting to think about the format of the reviews - they will start soon (you'll be able to find them on the home page and filed under the tab above)
So, hit me with it! What do you think about toddlers using iPads? Do you use an iPad with your toddler? Please share your thoughts and experiences using the comment section below.
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