Would My Child Benefit from a Tablet?
With the right apps, tablets make great learning and entertainment tools for kids.
It’s impossible to dismiss the tablet’s rise in popularity. As a tool for business, it can be indispensible. At home, it can act as a hub for all of your various devices or as their extension. And for kids it can be a multimedia instrument for both learning and entertainment. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about buying a tablet for your child.
Where to start
From an educational standpoint, you’d be hard pressed to find something both as cost effective and entertaining as today’s selection of tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab® 2 (7.0) offers parents and kids alike a versatile range of functions and, more important, is nicely sized for smaller hands. You can easily run a wide variety of reading apps, like Kindle, Nook and Google Play Books, many of which also enable you to read digital textbooks.
For younger children, there are tons of apps designed to help learn letters and phonics as well as numbers and basic math. Kids ABC Phonics and Kids Numbers and Math can provide a good starting point, as they offer free “lite” editions to try out first. Scholastic’s Storia is a free e-reading app aimed at readers of all ages and reading levels, which comes with five free e-books to get you started.
Depending on how you choose to use your tablet and whether or not it’ll be a whole-family device, you may want to download a parental-control app, like Kids Place. Setting limits is an important step in making the most of your family’s new device.
A multimedia learning experience
For something larger, the Samsung Galaxy Tab® 2 (10.1) offers the same versatility, but with a bigger screen, helping to make viewing videos, educational programming, and tutorials a more immersive experience. Apps like Mobile Observatory – Astronomy and It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex! come vividly to life while teaching your child about the natural world.
If your child likes to draw and color, the Picasso – Draw, Paint, Doodle! app offers a wide variety of options with an easy-to-use design. For something unique, Kids Doodle – Color & Draw has a “movie mode” that allows your child to play back their creations after they’ve made them.
And of course there are always subscription-based video-streaming services like Redbox Instant by Verizon and Hulu Plus, which provide a great selection of educational programming, for kids and adults alike.
Weighing the pros and cons
As a modern parent, it can be difficult to choose the best ways to help with your child’s education. And today’s rapidly changing technologies make it doubly so. But with the right device, the best apps and proper boundaries for use, tablets can be a useful and effective part of how and what your child learns.