Thursday 15 October 2015

Tablet Technology for The Family

One of the hardest things for any family to face is how to introduce their little ones to the amazing amount of new technology on offer. If you're like me, you might not be too familiar with all of the new devices out there. And I'm also concerned regarding the scare stories surrounding young children using the internet in a harmful unmonitored way. Alongwith the worries of screen time itself in terms of glare and eyesight concerns. There is of course the worry of balancing screen time with being active and getting out in the great outdoors.

Thankfully there seems to have been an effort made amongst tech companies to try and cater for increasingly technologically-savvy families by providing a range of devices that are not only child-friendly, but mum-friendly too!
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If you have a young child who is coveting their older sibling's tablet then this £10 Chad Valley Junior Touch tablet (offline one) that I got Aaron a few years ago is fab (I got 2 for £15 on a special offer so his best friend got one too). He's even started playing with it again at 5 years old now that he has a new fascination with words and spelling as he can read now.

Originally devised as something of a bridge between mobile devices and the cumbersome desktop and laptop computers, tablets have flourished in recent years by offering a good deal of computer power combined with the convenience and portability of a mobile cordless device.

I've done a bit of scouting around and there's a huge range of tablets out there that offer user-friendly tech solutions for the modern family. The LeapPad Ultra tablet is designed with kids in mind and offers a durable casing, as well as a kid-safe web feature which aims to ensure that they don't end up anywhere they shouldn't! It is pitched at ages 4-9 years.

But that's not to say that tablets should be overly simplistic. I've sometimes found that the lack of a keyboard on tablets can be frustrating when typing long emails. But lots of models of tablets can now be simply equipped with a keyboard so that you can enjoy all the functionality of a laptop from your slimline tablet device.

Similarly, there are many great apps out there that are devised with family-friendly tablets in mind. Long car journeys no longer have to be nightmarish excursions for your family, as you can use your family tablet as a portable cinema with the likes of Find Any Film providing a useful database for you to enjoy the latest legal film downloads.

Of course, there's a good selection of adult entertainment apps too for when the kids have gone to bed. Bingo sites such as Dream Bingo offer a wide range of fun prizes all from the convenience of your tablet. And planning a family day trip couldn't be easier thanks to some great navigational apps such as Google Maps and Waze. I don't even use our Sat Nav anymore.
Tablets in education
Tablets also offer a great educational resource for kids too, with the Farm 123 app giving your child the springboard to learning their numbers and animals via a fun and user-friendly interface. Whereas if you want to indulge your child's inner Picasso, then you can have some great results with the Kids Doodle app that doesn't even require any cleaning up afterwards!

Tablets of course are not only used at home but increasingly used in schools too. In fact Aaron used his first ipad in Nursery and it was connected to the white board on the wall. It is amazing for me to witness given that I was aged 15 before I even got on a computer for the first ever time. Actually that was at school; before that I had a ZX Spectrum+ at home, but I only used it for computer games. Our children are growing up with technology really close at hand, literally the touch of a button.

We don't own a tablet (although truth be told Daddy has one, but only as an oversized MP3 player in reality), but Aaron does have a small LeapFrog Leap Pad that he adores.

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