Thursday, October 6, 2011

Every Preschooler Needs an iPad

An Apple - iPad2 (or slightly bigger and less expensive original  iPad) is worth every dollar for the practicality, entertainment and educational value it provides-for me and my 3-year-old. Here's why every preschooler should have one.

Dave bought me an iPad2 for my 40th birthday. Because I am a freelance writer and blogger, in addition to a busy mother, I have to use my time wisely. Some days the only writing that I get done is in the "Kiss and Ride" pick-up line at school (where kids are dropped off and picked up instead of taking the bus) or on the bleachers watching warm-ups before a ball game. With 3G capability, which costs about $30 every couple months or so, I am connected to the web just about anywhere. I can type a quick reminder note on the virtual notebook, check email, write an introduction to an upcoming article that I have put together in my head but not on paper or kill a few pigs playing Angry Birds.

Unlike an android phone which is too small for adult size fingers, or a bigger and bulkier laptop, the iPad is perfectly sized. It slips right into my purse like a small day-planner. It is also very easy for Davey to tote around under his arm. He doesn't leave home without it.

Davison is a 3-year-old iPad pro. The creators at Apple know how to make technology easy to use, for sure. From mastering the simple power button on the outside, to finding Netflix and playing Episode 2 of the old Spider Man cartoons, Davison knows just what buttons to push, where to tap the screen, and how to make the scene bigger by spreading his thumb and forefinger apart. The iPad is a handheld game system, portable TV, digital reader, even an MP3 player. An entire library of movies, downloadable books and educational games is available at the tap of a screen. Pop in a pair of headphones and your little one will be grooving to the tunes of the Bare Naked Ladies Snacktime! CD on download (All of my kids have loved Snacktime!) and drawing on a digital Etch-A-Sketch while waiting at a doctor's office or even at a red light.

I can already see my mother shaking her head in disgust that I would even suggest a $600 toy for a child. She would say that kids don't need $600 computer toys. They need books and a backyard. I agree, those things are very important too.

One goal that Steve Jobs accomplished with his innovative Apple products was easy to use, multi purpose tools to make living easier and technology work for you. Anything that makes a mother's job easier, and keeps the kids happier during not-so-fun errands and appointments, is worth it in my book. The entertainment value and practicality of the iPad make it well worth the investment.