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Why the iPad is a perfect computer for a toddler

November 10, 2011

Me and my son using the iPad (photo by DTH Williams)

I was fortunate to be able to borrow an iPad from work for a couple of months and it was a big hit with my three year old son Aled. The touch screen interface is very intuitive and he found his way around it very quickly (in contrast to our experiences with testing the Ben & Betty software on a laptop PC).

But it is not just the touch screen interface that appeals to Aled, it is the fantastic range of apps that have been specifically designed for pre-schoolers.

Aled’s favourite apps on the iPad were:

  • Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue – an excellent interactive book with video clip, jigsaws, dot-to-dot and pair matching puzzles. £2.99
  • Peppa Pig’s Party Time – a set of simple games based on a party theme, including filling party bags, making a cake and musical chairs. £2.99
  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – another wonderful interactive book, narrated by the lovely David Tennant (see youtube video below). £5.49

My favourite app on the iPad was the Zinio Reader as this allowed me to read some of my favourite magazines onscreen. For example, I have a Zinio subscription to Mollie Makes and the iPad screen makes it really easy to browse through the pages, and enlarge sections to view them in more detail. It is even possible to click on links to websites mentioned in the text.

I handed the iPad back in to work today as it is needed for another project. But something tells me that it won’t be long before we end up buying one for us to use on a more permanent basis.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 1:45 pm

    stunning picture of two of my favourite people in the world x

    • November 10, 2011 3:18 pm

      Hi Lucy
      I like this photo too. That’s one of the reasons I was inspired to do the post.
      R x

  2. November 10, 2011 1:51 pm

    its really great for drawing on too, our son loves creating new pictures!

    • November 10, 2011 3:17 pm

      Hi Damyanti!
      I’m sure our son would like drawing on it as well, but I never thought of trying that. If I do buy an iPad I’ll be in touch with you to find out the best options for drawing on it.
      Thanks
      Ruth

      • November 10, 2011 8:05 pm

        There’s some great toddler colouring apps as well – makes me think I must feature one as an “app of the week” sometime 🙂

  3. November 10, 2011 1:58 pm

    What a absolutely gorgeous photograph of you and and your son!
    Thank you for the list of apps to for the Ipad, I will have to look at these (I am so tight I never pay for apps)
    Thank you for the comments on my blog too.

    Speak soon A x

    • November 10, 2011 3:23 pm

      Hi A
      Thanks for your nice words about the photo.
      I don’t like to pay too much for apps, but I think these three I’ve listed here are definitely worth the money. I’ve added the prices to the details above and you can see that they are not that expensive compared to buying a book or a toy.
      What I tend to do is to read reviews and listen to what my friend Ruth Arnold ( geekmummy.com ) has to say before spending money on apps.
      Cheers,
      R x

  4. Mammasaurus permalink
    November 10, 2011 2:15 pm

    Queen Scamp loves the ipad so much! My only concern is that she may drop it – so I’ve invested in a Leappad thingy for Xmas – but she’s still on the ipad when I am sat with her!!!

    • November 10, 2011 3:25 pm

      I’m not surprised to hear Queen Scamp loves the iPad! I have been thinking about the Leappad thingy but suspect we’ll end up with an iPad then we can all enjoy it.

    • November 10, 2011 8:11 pm

      Your mileage may vary, but my daughter has found the LeapPad explorer a little frustrating after using the iPad. The touch screen is nowhere near as sensitive, and needs you to use your nail rather than your fingertip, which is a lot less intuitive. She’ll watch videos on the LeapPad, but I can’t get her engaged with any of the games (which are all extremely expensive compared to iPad apps).

      Clearly it appeals because of the price, and the apps are all a lot more co-ordinated and controlled than iPad apps (no need to worry about them accidentally finding their way into YouTube for example), But I suspect you’ll still be fighting your little one off your iPad, even with the LeapPad around…

      There’ll be a detailed LeapPad review hitting my blog before the end of the month (/pimp /pimp)!!

  5. November 10, 2011 8:14 pm

    Lovely picture of the two of you 🙂

    The Thomas and Peppa apps you mention are both big hits in this house – for some reason Hairy MacLary hasn’t proved so popular (which is a shame, because I could listen to David Tennant reading it for ever!).

    You know I’m a huge advocate for kids having access to this kind of technology – Catherine’s writing is coming on in leaps and bounds, and I’m sure it’s at least partly to do with her practicing her letters on the iPad! Hope Aled doesn’t have to wait too long before he gets his fingers on one again!! 🙂

    • November 11, 2011 4:56 pm

      Glad you like the picture! And thanks for your other comments.

      As you know, I was a bit sceptical about iPads at first but I’ve been really impressed with the one that we borrowed.

      I’m just looking at the finances now to see whether we can buy an iPad (the £100 John Lewis voucher I won earlier in the week will help!).

      It was you that suggested we get Hairy MacLary, and Aled is really into it at the moment. He seems to like the fact that you can touch a word and David Tennant will read the word you’re touching. And I like the fact that a link is being made with what a word looks like and what it sounds like, even though Aled is a long way off being able to read for himself. Plus David Tennant has a gorgeous voice 😉

  6. November 10, 2011 9:07 pm

    Great piece-and comments! My 2yo and 4yo love our ipad and I was in looking at the leap pad (look forward to your review geek mummy!) as something they could use instead…. I am pretty sure they will prefer the ipad hands down. The ipad has some pretty good educational apps for phonics which I am sure are free, or inexpensive.x

    • November 11, 2011 4:48 pm

      Hi Louise
      Thanks for your comments. Love your blog – lots of great photos!
      I don’t think we’ll go for the Leap Pad. There’s value in sharing things with children rather than insisting that they only play with things specifically designed for them.
      Cheers,
      Ruth

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