Tech & Gadgets

iPads Will Be Rare Gifts For Kids This Holiday Season

Children with presentsI made a visit to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephews over the Thanksgiving weekend, and while I was there, it didn’t take long for the kids to tell me all about what they’ve put on their Christmas lists this year. The eight year old, like lots of kids his age, has “iPad” written at the top of his list. The younger two, aged six and five, enjoy technology, but are still more interested in traditional toys over tech. My oldest nephew has never handled an iPad and doesn’t know a lot about what it does, but he knows it’s the hot “toy” of the season.

After the kids were in bed, I asked my sister if he’d be getting an iPad, and she sighed, “No…” They would be getting him a different tablet, and had decided on a Nook. I had brought my Nook Color with me, which I’ve hacked into an Android tablet. On the second night of my visit, I pulled it out of my bag because I know the kids love to play with my touch screen devices. (The youngest was operating my iPhone like a pro at the age of two.) There were no “oooohs and ahhhhs” from the oldest at the appearance of my shiny new touch screen as there would have been had I pulled out an iPad. My nephew might be a little disappointed come Christmas morning…

Instead of fawning over the device, the kids just demanded a game to play. So I quickly downloaded Where’s My Water, and in minutes they were giggling over Swampy’s quest for a splashy bath and fighting over whose turn it was to play, including the oldest. He’ll have fun with his new tablet for sure, but it’s still lacking that critical Apple logo to make it a cool device.

When I asked my sister why she wasn’t getting the oldest an iPad, she said, “Are you kidding?! Those things are so expensive, and he only wants it to play Angry Birds.” This is the dilemma facing a lot of parents as we get closer to the holidays: their kids think the iPad is awesome, but like my nephew, most young kids don’t need an iPad for the things they want to do on a tablet — a Kindle Fire or Nook will do the trick and cost less than half as much. So what is a parent to do? Disappoint their children by not giving them exactly what they want, or shell out the additional $300 for the cheapest version of the iPad?

I suspect that more kids will get Nooks or Fires, and fewer will get iPads. With the economy still struggling, most families don’t have an extra few hundred bucks lying around, which means the iPad will largely remain a toy for grown ups (or be purchased for the whole family to share), while the Fire and Nook will make its way into the hands of kids and adults alike this holiday season. And while my nephew might be a little upset that he doesn’t have an iPad on Christmas morning, something tells me by the end of the day, he’ll have gotten over it and be happily playing Angry Birds and other games.

What’s your take on pricey tech toys for young kids? Tell us in the comments…

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Comments: 1

  • I am a strong believer that technology not only makes the learning process much more fun, but it also creates allows a more hands-on experience for kids! If you are interested in other educational products for kids, I would check out our educational apps! :)

    Best Regards

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