Have you ever found yourself sitting down on the couch after a long day, pulling out your pricey (and fragile) Apple iPad, only to have your kid climb onto your lap and start poking around on the display? Or maybe you don’t even have the chance to use your iPad because your toddler is playing games on it.
Well, it is time to take back your tablet! But this doesn’t mean your child can’t still have fun though. Many companies nowadays are making tablets especially designed for kids that are both educating and entertaining. I take a look at a couple new tablets that have been making waves for parents and kids.
At the top of the heap for kid tablets is the multi-functional LeapFrog. The tablet brings together adult-tablet technology with loads of educational content (and of course some entertaining media). The LeapFrog has a durable design made specifically for kids that will stand up to wear and tear. Also, the LeapFrog is one of the cheapest - buy it now for $99.99.
Consumer reports rated this one the "most fun overall." Possibly the most interesting feature about LeapPad, is its “Learning Path” website that allows parents to track how kids play on the device—in the world of adult tablets we’ve seen how content is king when it comes to successful sales (eg. Nook Tablet’s Barnes & Noble media, Kindle’s Amazon and Apple’s iTunes store).
To keep your kid’s tablet safe, LeapFrog has even designed its own kids tablet case (not bad for adult tablets too, no?)
A contender to the LeapFrog is Nabi, a full-featured Android tablet made just for kids. This one comes to us from “Toys R Us” and the App developer FUHU. At a more expensive price (buy it now for $393.99), the Android tablet is for both children and adults alike. A little bit bigger than the LeapFrog, this seven-inch tablet has a similar child-friendly interface for the web and videos but seems to be aimed at a little older crowd (8-11 years old). With the Nabi you can read e-books, play games, and find plenty of educational material. For better or worse, there is more ability to watch movies and television shows on the high-resolution display.
It comes with about $150 worth of music, apps, games and books if you want something all ready ready to go—not a bad idea if you don’t have a content website like LeapFrog. If you’re looking for some educational apps, take a look at Fooz Kids University site—here you can browse 22,000 standardized math skills tests and games, ideal for kids in the 4 to 10 year age range. Nabi also has a line of kids tablet cases that range from a soft-shell skin to foam-like animal and monster-shaped shells. Plus, being Android based means your child might easily make his/her way onto other Android technology as they grow up.
Kids tablets, Kids Cases
With these tablets getting into your kid’s hands you’ll want to make sure the tablet has some protection and little bit of fun. Speck has made a funky monster-looking case that will make younger ones smile. Another nice one out there is the M-Edge Super Shell, which is a kid and family-friendly foam frame for iPad that comes in a superhero Atomic Green color.
Using adult tablets for kids
But don’t count out the “adult” tablets—both Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook show off their cheaper price and huge amount of children’s books as viable contenders in this new market of children consumers based on education. With schools increasingly integrating tablets in the classroom, tablets are surely here to stay in kids’ lives. So, can your dog still eat your homework?
Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.