Do One-Year-Olds Need an iPad?

While researching a recent article I wrote on kids and technology http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/03/21/iChildren-How-Apple-Is-Changing-Kids-Brains.aspx?p=1,  I was slightly astounded at how much has changed since my children were young. I remember my middle-schooler, now nearly 21, begging for her own cell phone and telling her she would have to wait until high school to get one. Waiting until you’re 15 to get a cell phone these days is almost unheard of, when recent statistics show that 77% of teens ages 12 to 17 own their own cell phone. I was amazed at how many babies have their own iPads; 24% of those ages three to eight own their own. It got me to thinking: would I have been one of those parents who purchased an iPad for their child? The idea of putting a $500 electronic device — glass top and all — in the hands of a toddler is frightening at best. And I know that my son would immediately have gotten hooked on it — to the detriment of any other activities, like interaction with his parents. I have to admit that, as the mother of three much older children, I’m glad I don’t need to navigate all these “must have” gizmos of today’s kids.

This topic of technology came up while I was researching a piece that ran in Scholastic Parent & Child’s April issue: PC_FEATPreschool_apr12_F. It involved picking a preschool for your child. Experts were divided on whether technology in the classroom was a good thing. Some said no way; others thought it could be a useful addition, provided it was used in moderation.

I also appreciate the recent mention of my book, Making Up With Mom, by Marguerite Kelly in The Washington Post. She discusses ways that you can “break up” with a mother who is too difficult to handle. My co-author, Debby Carr, and I had a lovely tea with Ms. Kelly when we were promoting our book. She’s an inspirational journalist who paved the path on parenting advice, and we’re grateful she’s given a nod to us!

 

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3 thoughts on “Do One-Year-Olds Need an iPad?

  1. My name is Andrew, one of the founders of 77SPARX Studio, the maker of Puzzingo. Thank you so much for selecting Puzzingo as one of the top apps for toddlers and babies! We are in fact working hard on the follow-up to Puzzingo, and we are creating multiple expansion packs for Puzzingo that will be coming out soon!

    I also want to add my 2-cents on the debate of iPad/iPhone for young kids. In general, the way we think about this issue is by asking “what is the play and learning pattern that a young kid normally does anyways, that we are trying to enhance through this new digital medium.” In fact, while the market view product we create as “kid’s games” or “kid’s apps”, we view our products as “digital toys.” So internally within our company, we are constantly challenging ourselves to come up with, and design the next great “toy.” And we look a lot at popular and classic toys for inspirations.

    While this toy vs video game distinction may seem artificial at first, but the reality is, it drives a very distinct approach to game design and the ultimate goal of our products. Take Puzzingo for example, rather than being inspired by the Super Mario Brothers, we are inspired by the musical wooden puzzles. We then asked ourselves how we can make it better using this new digital medium. We wanted to not only capture the constructivist aspect of the game play, but also incorporate language learning. We then asked ourselves, after the construction is completed, what can the kid do with this, so we incorporated many mini-games into our puzzles. And as new releases of Puzzingo comes out, you’ll see even more of this type of thinking being incorporated into our design.

    My 2 cents,

  2. This is Andrew, a co-founder of 77SPARX Studio, the maker of Puzzingo. First off, I want to thank you so very much for listing Puzzingo as one of the top apps for Toddlers and Babies! We have put a lot of hard work into creating Puzzingo, and it’s great to see parents, kids, and reviewers appreciating what we have done.

    I also want to add my 2-cents on the debate of iPad/iPhone for young kids. In general, the way we think about this issue is by asking “what is the play and learning pattern that a young kid normally does anyways, that we are trying to enhance through this new digital medium.” In fact, while the market view product we create as “kid’s games” or “kid’s apps”, we view our products as “digital toys.” So internally within our company, we are constantly challenging ourselves to come up with, and design the next great “toy.” And we look a lot at popular and classic toys for inspirations.

    While this toy vs video game distinction may seem artificial at first, but the reality is, it drives a very distinct approach to game design and the ultimate goal of our products. Take Puzzingo for example, rather than being inspired by the Super Mario Brothers, we are inspired by the musical wooden puzzles. We then asked ourselves how we can make it better using this new digital medium. We wanted to not only capture the constructivist aspect of the game play, but also incorporate language learning. We then asked ourselves, after the construction is completed, what can the kid do with this, so we incorporated many mini-games into our puzzles. And as new releases of Puzzingo comes out, you’ll see even more of this type of thinking being incorporated into our design.

    my 2 cents
    Andrew
    http://www.77sparx.com

  3. Pingback: Fiscal Times rates PUZZINGO #5 on the list of most popular apps

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