Recently, my 6th grade History teacher messaged me on Facebook asking if I had any advice on what device she should purchase for her three year old daughter to watch youtube videos and play simple apps with. Now that I think of it, more and more kids are getting their hands on tablets for educational purposes. How educational, you decide. Even my own nine-year-old sister has an iPad mini where she watches Disney Channel on, so perhaps this is an actual dilemma for parents. Thus, I thought it was about time I reviewed my top gadgets for the youngin’s. However, I’m not going to be talking about any LeapPads or Lexibooks, because I personally don’t believe in using them for 2 years and trashing it with the rest of the toys.
1. Kindle Fire HD
Although I’ve always been an Apple kind of guy, I remember how impressed I was by the interface when I first got my hands on a Kindle Fire. the tablet is incredibly easy to use and very child friendly. The amount of apps offered is also very much up to par, so I’d say it’s a great choice. One thing I’d like to point out is Kindle FreeTime, where parents can limit the amount of time allocated for different types of content. One hour of Youtube, two hours of Reading–not too bad.
2. iPad Mini
Sure, it’s a little pricey, but with the right case, an iPad can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. This is a popular device since many parents are well-versed with apple’s interface already. Apple’s App Store is notorious for the best selection of kids’ and educational content, and the mini is priced and sized for smaller hands. In iOS 6, “Guided Access” locks down your device, allowing your kids to play without deleting important docs. “Single-app mode,” for example, will let your kid play Angry Birds and only Angry Birds.
3. Nexus 7
My favorite part of the Nexus 7 is how Android will allow multiple users for one device, meaning you can set up a kid profile. Just how computers can allow multiple accounts, Android lets you do so, without having to worry about losing information. You can download parental control apps from the Google Play market to complete the experience; when your child goes to bed, switch it back to grown-up mode to enjoy all Android has to offer.
4. Coby MID7065
Last but not least, for those on the thriftier side, the Coby MID7065 offers an Android interface, Google Play, and a product you won’t feel bad about when your kid drops it seven times in one day. I’ll admit there’s nothing too great about it, but the price your paying will be quite comforting when you hand over this 7-inch tablet to your child.