What Kind of Tech Gadget Should I Buy For My Toddler?

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Don’t want to commit to a tablet for your toddler? Consider this advice:

A parent recently asked me if I would purchase a “kid-friendly” tablet such as the Vinci and my answer was no. I have always been a big proponent of using the actual device. The reason is simple.  If it is deemed “kid-friendly,” chances are kids view it as a toy.

Kids, especially toddlers need to begin to understand when something is a toy and when it is not. Sure my iPad has been dropped a couple of times (including on cement) but it is an experience that my son remembers. The look of horror on his face is enough to make me believe he understands the value of the device. It isn’t a stuffy or a remote control car, it’s a computer.

For us, the tablet is an investment and as a result, we have rules and boundaries around it. I have seen many young children receive and quickly discard made-for-toddler devices. In my opinion, these types of devices lessen the importance of technology and as a parent; I always want to make sure that technology isn’t taken for granted.

That said, if you feel your family isn’t ready for a tablet, think about these three purchasing tips when considering a “kid-friendly” tablet device:

1. How long do you expect your toddler to use the device – 6 months or 12 months? Are you making a short term or long term purchase?

2. How easy is it to provide your toddler with new educational games once they have mastered the games it came with? How much are you willing to spend on a weekly or monthly basis for new games?

3. Are you going to fix or replace it, should it get broken?

Once you have thought about these questions, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether a “kid-friendly” tablet is right for your family.

So what did you decide – the real tablet or a “kid-friendly” one? Would love to know your thoughts… tweet me @weebootMom.

Andrea Benton is a passionate techie Mom, who has two young children, both of which love tablet technology. She blogs about tablet technology for parents and childcare providers. Follow Andrea on Twitter @weebootMom or sign up for her eNewsletter called the weeport at www.weeboot.ca.

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