This Holiday’s Must-Have for Kids: Tablets
Remember when the must-have toys for the holiday season were Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo dolls? Well, our kids have digital fever just like the rest of us, and that fever peaks at Christmastime. Kids from ages 2 to 21 are asking for digital devices. Let’s take a look at some of the tablet offerings for younger kids.
This kid-friendly Android tablet series is loaded with family safety options and easy to use features. It has special applications for music, web surfing, video streaming, and more – all housed within a kid-safe environment. Its App Store only contains apps that are approved by moms and kids alike, which decreases the risk of your child downloading something inappropriate. There’s also a preloaded educational curriculum, and chore/reward system, which makes it easy for parents to manage screen time with positive reinforcement.
The Nabi comes with 8GB of storage and 2 GB of cloud storage – both of which are expandable with SD cards or the purchase of additional cloud storage. The Nabi is outfitted with a 2 MP front-facing camera, 7” size, a drop-safe bumper (hurray!) and weighs in at a little over a pound. The Nabi will run you about $200 give or take.
Fuhu, the manufacturer of the Nabi, just announced that the Nabi Jr. will be released sometime this month. The Nabi Jr. will be a lighter, 5” device with many of the same features as the Nabi – and with a shockingly low price of $99.
Tabeo is a tablet manufactured and sold exclusively for Toys R Us. It’s similar to the Nabi in size and shape. Running Android, it also comes preloaded with apps, games and other activities, and is a slightly cheaper option for parents than the Nabi – $149.99 currently. It has 4GB of memory (expandable with card) and a mini HDMI output that lets you view tablet activity on a bigger screen, such as a TV or computer monitor. The browser controls are highly customizable by parents, allowing different access times , screen use limits, and restrictions for up to eight different users – a feature other tablet manufacturers should surely emulate!
You can’t access the Android Market for apps through Tabeo, and it’s gotten mixed reviews from parents so far. Make sure you do your homework before buying.
The folks at LeapFrog have been making wonderful kids’ technology and learning devices for years now, and the new LeapPad 2 is their latest entry into the space. This device combines preloaded and downloadable apps with the use of game cartridges (like the old Leapster used to use).
As with other LeapFrog products, this device is mainly focused on offering kids highly educational , yet entertaining games featuring plenty of popular licensed characters. It features two cameras (front and back) and integrates with the online Learning Path system, which allows you to track your child’s educational progress. The LeapPad 2 boasts 4GB of storage and runs about $100.
The VTech InnoTab 2S is the primary competitor to the LeapPad 2. Designed for kids ages 3-9 with a 5” touchscreen, this device is also geared at providing fun and educational learning activities to kids.
Kids can use either the touchscreen or a stylus to play the Innotab. It comes with 15 pre-loaded apps, a camera/video camera, and access to VTech’s Learning Lodge Navigator. Like the LeapPad, the VTech can be used with downloadable apps or cartridges. It also comes with 2GB of memory (expandable) and will run you about $99 (headphones are not included).
Has your child asked for a tablet device this year? Which ones are you considering?