Kids’ tablets could be the healthy balance between giving your kids the access to tech that they want without turning them into the kid having a meltdown over Roblox in the grocery store.
What’s going on in the world of screen time recommendations?
Kids’ tablets go far past keeping them occupied during a long car ride or a boring family gathering.
Screen learning and screen time restrictions are increasingly popular points of study. Months and months of being penned up with little to do but stare at a screen hurled the issue to the forefront of parenting conversations. As it becomes clearer that remote learning and working aren’t wearing off, screen time could become a daily hurdle for more parents than it was pre-pandemic.
Parents’ questions often boil down to “how much is too much?” Though this is rarely met with a definitive answer, recent research can at least shine a light on best practices.
In April 2019,
But that learning disconnect often fades by age three. Just as they’re mastering talking, kids are also grasping that the character on the screen represents a real person — and that that person is teaching them something. Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, a learning designer at LeapFrog, explains in an
Kids are grasping that the character on the screen represents a real person — and that that person is teaching them something.
Can we blame them? Interacting with content makes for a richer and more memorable experience. It just feels more like playing, and it’s not surprising that kids may be more willing to learn when it doesn’t feel forced. Besides, playing and imagination are the
Dr. Michael Levine, founder of the Cooney Center, put some perspective on the
“The idea is not to have parents simply hand these devices over to their kids. Instead, the games and ebooks provide examples of hands-on activities that parents can do with their preschoolers in their kitchens and backyards to promote vocabulary and content knowledge in both languages, which helps build a solid foundation for life-long learning. …Instead of pushing screens away, it’s time to put them to use in a thoroughly modern way.
So yes, tablets are a great learning tool as long as they’re not a kid’s main source of learning. Kids will always need to be comfortable reading print books and doing math by hand. No arguing there. But tablets provide some real opportunities for self-sufficient, interactive learning that kids will definitely utilize in the future of
And sorry, kid-less people on Twitter who vow to never give their future kid a tablet — we can’t hear you over the sound of our uninterrupted Zoom meeting.
Rethink the whole “gaming turns kids into zombies” mindset
There is even less official screen time guidance for adolescents. But one prominent area of interest is socialization.
Your kid who constantly wants to FaceTime a friend or squad up on multiplayer Fortnite might be onto something: A
The ability to hold hangout sessions virtually became blindingly crucial in the era of social distancing — but with or without the possibility of meeting up in real life, different types of gaming and online hangouts (from the typical console or computer gaming, to live streams on Twitch, to VR) are essentially cemented as part of the modern growing up experience. And when not relied on as the only means of bonding, they can be legitimate socialization tools.
Video games, texting, and social media haven’t shaken the negative side effects that quickly come to mind. But the analysis mentions that these loose correlations aren’t necessarily causal, and that this study’s findings in particular don’t send a red flag that screen time effects are important at a clinical level.
How to choose the right tablet for your kid
Most tablets made specifically for kids will already be equipped with built-in parent accounts, timers, and pre-selected websites or apps that fall under appropriate age groups. Easy enough.
General-purpose tablets aren’t a bad choice at all — many sites name the iPad as one of the best tablets for kids even though it’s technically for everyone. You’ll need to get creative to build a similar guidance net to the built-in parental controls that tablets specifically for kids bank on. Apple and Android have settings that can filter content or prevent purchases, but play-by-play supervision can be better achieved through a legit parental control app for
Things to consider when shopping for a kids’ tablet:
Screen resolution: Deciding whether HD, HD, or FHD will suffice depends on the number of movies they’ll watch or games they’ll play. 4K is probably unnecessary fluff.
Storage: They’ll probably have more apps than you do, and may need space for downloads like offline Disney+ movies, music, or some books for school.
The intensity of parental controls: It’s less panic-inducing to send your kid off with a tablet when you don’t have to guess what content they’re absorbing.
Rugged-ness: Because kids are as destructive as they are adorable and you’ll definitely feel better with a case that can handle some abuse.
Here are the best tablets to get for your kids in 2022: