In Defense of Buying Your Toddler an iPad

Being a Mom 100

toddler ipadHappy holidays! It's that time of year when we buy too many things for our kids and wind up feeling guilty anyway when we go on a playdate and discover Tiffany has a hand-built dollhouse made by Grandpa. Still, we try.

Some parents try too hard, as witnessed by a recent post on Facebook. My FB friend basically said if you're buying your 4-year-old an iPad for Christmas, well, forget you. If I didn't 'Like' on the page, I certainly liked in real life. I mean, spending hundreds of dollars on a gadget for a kid that you can't even afford to buy for yourself? You know kids ruin everything, right?

And then I found out my kids were getting iPads for Christmas. Suddenly it seems like an amazing idea.

My children are incredibly lucky to have an uncle with disposable income who also works for Apple. Said uncle recently attended a meeting where the educational apps for iPads were discussed and he promptly decided that my kids could be made into little geniuses and would most likely take care of him when he was old with all of their genius money, since he decided not to have kids. Or something like that. The end result was, my 2- and 5-year-olds are getting iPads. Okay, they're almost 3 and 6, but still.

Of course with the iPad comes great responsibility. My brother has already emailed me links where I can get the apps and I've promised not to upload Angry Birds instead. I've already found some great math apps that I know my kids will love. We have strict "screen time" rules that will now include the iPad, even if they're in the middle of long division. I'll also be putting those parental controls on so no one will be on Facebook or Twitter when I'm not looking. And then I'll just sit back and watch their little brains grow into super brains.

In truth, I do hope these iPads capture their attention and replace the requests for Team Umizoomi (although, hey, there's math there too!). If the way they clamor for my iPhone is any indication, it surely will. So if you've got the extra cash, and you're ready and able to stick to the rules, why not get an iPad for a toddler? You can get Netflix on that and it's called "Mommy's iPad" after 8 p.m.

Would you get your toddler an iPad?

Image via novemberwolf/Flickr

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Kim3787 Kim3787

Does your brother want to by me, I mean my kids, iPads this year too?

kelti... kelticmom

I cannot tell you how many times my ipad has been a life saver when it comes to keeping my 3 year old entertained at the doctor's office, restaraunt, dmv, etc.  I also work at a doctor's office and see other parents using it to keep boredom at bay with their children as well.  I mean, how long can a 5 year old copy of Highlights and a wooden bead maze keep their attention anyway? lol

Mandago Mandago

Nope. They're too fragile and expensive. My toddler is getting an Innotab.

white... whitebreads

Sorry I think it's completely asinine. Call me old fashioned but hands on parenting, pbs, baby einstein,and leapfrog products are just a few things that are drastically more appropriate by way of child development skills. Whats next cell phones for toddlers? Some people are really out to lunch.

butte... butterflymkm

My dad sent me an ipad that he bought for a girlfriend that he broke up with. It is more or less my 2 year olds ipad. We put a super strong otterbox case on it (it is SUPER worth the cost-makes the thing impenatrable) anyway she loves it. We put her show on it an she watches them in the car on trips and stuff and plays the piano app, ect. I think it does help kid learn and is a great tool. My two yea old can unlock the ipad, brig up YouTube, and put on Mickey mouse all by herself. Plus all the learning apps. Love it.

Kari Fuller

Heck, my 8 year old is getting an Innotab! (she has learning disabilities and the educational games for it will be helpful) and would never, ever be given an Ipad, present from someone else or not. I have four children, the oldest being 16 and for Christmas my mom has gotten the two older ones netbooks and the youngest the Innotab (the middle daughter has a netbook) for Christmas this year and that will be the extent of it until they can buy their own Mac products. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple and it was a sad, sad day when my youngest spilled water on my Macbook (another reason she will not be getting an Ipad) BUT I don't buy things for my children that I myself cannot afford to have and I discourage others from doing the same. Of course, my younger kids are also not allowed to play with my cell phone, mess with the e-readers or other things. Why? Because they are kids and those things are expensive to replace. There are similar products designed for children and it would have made more sense to suggest to your Uncle that he look into those items unless he plans on replacing Ipads every few months.

Jazzi... JazzieFBaby

I'd totally get my kid an iPad. I bought one for myself when school started in August, so 90% of the apps I have are education related any way. When my 3 year old sister figured out how to work it, I added more ed-apps to it. She's learning sight words, how to spell her family member's names, and simple addition and subtraction. At nighttime when her parents are watching tv in their room and her other sisters are watching tv in the family room, she'll grab the iPad and watch a movie on Netflix or read a storybook until bedtime. It's a lifesave because she loves to read and sometimes we just don't have time to drop everything and sit down with a book. and to @Whitebreads, PBS, leapfrog, and Baby Einstein are just as good or bad as an iPad. You can even find iPad apps that correlate with said products. Technology is good for little kids IMO- just make sure that you don't forget to do some hands-on activities with them as well.

Young... YoungHold

We got one when son was 2 yrs old.  It was for us, but of course he was fascinated with it.  It was amazing to watch him learn, very quickly, how to navigate.  There really are some fantastic apps on available and when we started out, we played with them together.  So :P to those who think you can't use something like this to interact with your child.

It's also been essential for long road trips to grandparent houses, and better than watching DVDs that would rot his brain.  BTW, I highly recommend They Might Be Giants video podcasts for kids.  My son loves them and they teach anything from ABC's to gravity and astronomy in a fun way.

marsh... marshsmom

Whitebreads, apparently you've never seen the educational apps available on the iPad.  My son is 4 and WE have an iPad.  It's truely mine, but since my son was about 2.5 I have shared it and he gets more use from it than I do.  He has all sorts of games that teach him all sorts of things, counting, abc's, shapes, colors, spelling.  What I love about it is the games are so inexpensive (way less than a leap frog learning game) and they are easily changed as the child's skill level grows.  The iPad is not all that delicate either, in fact they are pretty sturdy.  I'm actually thinking of getting an iPad2 for myself and letting my son keep the one we have now for himself.

Deweymom Deweymom

We have 3 iPod touches in the house...and when grandma bought herself an 3yo schooled her on how to use it. So yeah, if we had the extra cash...we'd totally buy an iPad for the family.

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