A Holiday Guide to Tablet PC Shopping For Kids
(Image from Kenneth Ang blog site)
The season for giving is upon us once again and tablet PCs are definitely on many kids’ wish lists. You might want your kids to have their own tablets for entertainment, education, or just to stop them from hogging yours. Many tablets are designed with special features geared specifically for young minds.
Here are some general guidelines to follow before you make a purchase:
- Fragile tablets are definitely off the list.
Get a tablet PC that can withstand being handled and used constantly by children. Those with built-in protective rubber casings are ideal. There are also models that can be outfitted with protective casings to make them more suitable for rugged use. Whether the case is built-in or added on, the total weight of the tablet should be considered as well.
- A touch screen that responds immediately whenever the kid taps on a button is a must. Toddlers and young children are prone to get frustrated easily. You want the tablet to be seen as a source of entertainment and education, not frustration. Aside from having a responsive touchscreen, a tablet PC for kids must have big buttons and intuitive navigation.
- If you want it to have a camera, it is better to get a rear-facing rather than front-facing camera.
A rear camera will be more useful for kids to explore and learn how to take photos of their surroundings. A front-facing camera can be a bit let confusing for them to get used to.
- Battery life is also an important consideration.
As an alternative to a tablet with long battery life, you can also choose to buy an extra set of rechargeable batteries.
- In terms of software, needless to say it must have content that is appropriate for kids. Choose a tablet PC with access to an app store containing a variety of apps and games for kids. Most Android tablets for kids have access to Google’s Play store. If you don’t get one with Android, check the manufacturer’s app store for the number, variety, and prices of apps that they have available.
- Make sure it’s affordable.
This is one thing you have to consider in terms of overall cost – buy a cheap tablet but eventually spend more on apps or get a slightly more expensive one that access to a lot of cheap or even free apps.
- Adult supervision is a must.
Last but not least in terms of importance is the parental control feature of your kid’s tablet PC. You might think that putting the tablet on airplane mode is enough to keep the kids out of trouble but the problem with that is kids are so computer savvy these days. They can easily figure out how to get it out of airplane mode. In fact, your kids will probably navigate their way around your phone or tablet before they learn to read or write.
Thus, a tablet PC with robust parental controls is recommended; specifically one that requires a PIN or password to block access to sites not suitable for children. Built-in parental controls can allow you to disable social networking apps and in-app purchases. Parental controls also block the ability to install apps and prevent your kids from being able to change the tablet’s privacy settings. Another option to consider is parental control apps like Kid Mode and Funamo.
With these guidelines, shopping for tablet PCs that especially cater to kids should not be too difficult.