New Devices for Children: Are These Tablets for Kids Just Toys?Our three-year-old granddaughter is a proficient user of the original Apple iPad. This is a credit to Apple and its design team at making the iPad extremely user-friendly. When I say that she is proficient, I mean she can play children’s games on the iPad without any issues. Her parents still need to sign into iTunes and download the games for her. But outside of this, the child uses the iPad like any adult would.

I recall when our 13-year-old grandson was that age (maybe a little older); we had purchased him a LeapPad. What we found was that this device was more of a toy — and an expensive toy it turned out to be. The cartridges cost about $20 and quickly added up. Do not get me wrong. The LeapPad was a great product for its time and I do not regret buying the device.

Today, we are facing competition from a slew of tablet computers and other devices that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. When we look at tablets such as the Kindle HD, Nexus 7, or Nook HD, it makes it hard to fathom why you would purchase anything other than a tablet computer for your child.

It’s a Small World, designed to function on the Apple iPad, is an example of how great applications have become. I saw this application from Disney and was totally amazed at the complexity of the artwork. In addition, there was a simplicity to the application that, with just a swipe of a finger, amazing things happened to intrigue a small child. What was further astonishing is that this superb application cost just $4 from the Apple iTunes store.

There is only one downside to purchasing any tablet computer for a little one, and that is cost. How many of you would spend between $200 to $500 to entertain a small child?

Leapfrog has an entrant into the gaming market that is affordable and loaded with new features. The product is called the LeapsterGS and is designed for kids from ages four to nine-years-old and costs only $55 on Amazon. The company states that this is a rugged device that can stand up to usage by youngsters and comes with a larger screen, built-in-camera, video recorder, and microphone. Children will also appreciate that they will be able to tilt and turn the device while playing their favorite game.

One of the writers here at LockerGnome made a comment when I proposed this article and stated:

Also consider the Tabeo. My friend just got it for her two-year-old, and she seems entranced by it.

The Tabeo is made by Toys”R”Us and is a 7″ tablet computer loaded with plenty of features. Priced at $150, it would seem that this product would also be another option to consider. But please read the reviews on the Toys”R”Us website and make an informed decision before you consider buying this device.

What about you? What would you suggest to buy for a small child this holiday season?

Commons are welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Srtatageme,com