I’ve been there. I’ve been that guy in the store with his kid holding the $500 tablet with a broken screen. Kids (and mine are certainly no exception) love to play with the large touch sensitive screens of tablets. It is an intuitive way for them to interact with digital content. And it is fun too. While these devices may not be as fragile, either digitally or physically, as they once were these are still devices made primarily for older, and hopefully more responsible, kids and adults.
But kids want more sophisticated devices. Younger kids want to be like older kids who in turn want to be like adults (who sometimes wish that they could be kids again). This means that they aren’t satisfied with simplistic devices that don’t recognize the current ecosystem of digital devices in which today’s kids live.
So, what are we to do? There are certainly plenty of great apps for kids on “adult” tablets. If you can find these apps and verify their quality, they can be great fun to play along with your kids while you are there to prevent the tablet from falling on the ground and making that horrible crunch noise, with which I am now all too familiar.
But for a lot of busy parents, the task of finding those high quality apps, and keeping fingers out of important office documents or emails is a significant challenge. Instead it can be quite a bit easier to look to digital devices that offer closed, high quality, kid-friendly apps, and more durable construction, while still maintaining the form factor of more familiar devices. Recent kid-friendly tablets like the Innotab2, offer such a design. They offer the touch screen, apps, and even fun tools like a camera (and even a safe Wi-Fi on the upcoming 2s), found on the “big kid” version of the technology. But they are safe, durable, and packed with appropriate content for kids.
As someone steeped in educational games for kids I have an ample number of platforms on which to play games scattered around my house – computers, tablets, phones, consoles. With all of that to choose from, my 6-year-old consistently comes back to the Innotab2 to play with on a car trip or just around the house. Kids recognize high quality devices designed and tested by kids.