Kids Tablets and iPads…. what’s the real story?

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There seems to be a new tablet released every month, each more suited to productivity, creativity, enjoyment, or portability than the last. While adults are the primary market for tablets, they can be a valuable learning and entertainment tool for kids too.

From an educational point of view, it’s tough to find an alternative that’s as cost effective as a tablet. A range of reading apps are available and open up a literary world without the downside of carrying around a stack of books.

Then there is the wide variety of educational apps that cover everything from the basics such as ABCs and Maths to more complicated endeavours such as foreign languages and developing logic skills. Many of these are presented in the form of entertaining games, which are more engaging and reward kids for completing levels, thus making them more tempted to stick with it.

The workplaces of tomorrow will seek employees with 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. As strange as it may sound, apps can help develop these aspects, even if it may not be immediately obvious. Games such as Minecraft are suitable for, and appeal to, kids and enable them to be creative, collaborate with others to build great works, and communicate with others, including their parents, to work out a solution to a puzzle or problem. And that’s just one of hundreds of thousands of apps that are available for tablets.

Tablets can also be used socially. As an alternative to building a collection of board games, for example, parents can download suitable digital versions to play with their kids. Games such as Boggle, Carcassonne, Monopoly and Uno can all be played on the one device, allowing the family to get together without scouring the room for missing pieces or lengthy set up times.

There are a couple of things to watch out for. It is important that you stay abreast of what your child is doing and accessing on the tablet. If you have your credit card enabled on the tablet, you need to set restrictions to ensure that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise when your bill arrives. Of course, while tablets provide significant educational and entertainment opportunities for kids, it is important to strike a balance and ensure that, like everything, tablets are used in moderation.

In Short: Many tablets are marketed at adults and productivity, but they are beneficial to children too, providing ample educational opportunities.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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