Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The iPad – Godsent or Bad Nanny?

I have had my iPad for about 2 years now. Yes, I managed to snag the first generation from the USA, courtesy of a friend who was residing there. And I think my life has changed ever since then. Haha! It is my go-to parenting tool. I know of friends who at first said that they would not get this for their kids. (I think most of these friends have since iPad-ed up! Haha!)

So is the iPad a Godsent or a Bad Nanny? There are parents on both sides of the camp – but my two cents is that all things brought to an extreme is bad, and the important thing is to have balance.

Since the iPad has come into our household, I’ve made sure to remind (and remind) Jay constantly that the iPad belongs to Mummy, and hence, I have the final say on who should use it and how long. Or rather, I can claim ownership once I feel he’s been on it for too long. Haha!

The iPad is a Godsent when it can occupy the kid for 10, 20 minutes. This seems trivial to some, but not when your head’s splitting and you NEED that 20 minutes to bathe/cook/run to the toilet. It is a Godsent on long car/train/plane trips. But like I said, if taken to the extreme, then of course it isn’t good. The iPad is in no way a replacement for the human touch! Haha! In other words, whether or not the iPad is a godsent or a bad nanny is really a matter of balance. For us, it is an essential parenting tool!

Well, I first put down some of my fave apps for kids really long ago, so I thought it would be good to update it a little. (All the recommendations for the apps below are my personal opinion only.)

Jay’s most-used app is, hands-down, the Youtube app! Haha! As you can see, the video history is full of his faves (dinosaurs, animals, Kungfu Panda…), and he is able to quickly navigate through the various videos out there.

photo 1A

Parenting tip: There ARE videos that you would NOT want your kids to stumble upon, so do remember to set some restrictions. You can set this from the Settings tab, under General, Restrictions.

Other favourite games include:

photo 3A

Kung Fu Food! Similar to Fruit Ninja – but with a cute Panda (great if your kids loves Kungfu Panda).

photo 5A

photo 6A

The Drawing Pad: This is another of Jay’s fave apps – it has a variety of drawing modes (pencil, crayon, markers, paints) in a huge variety of colours, including stickers and all. Check out the deinonychus (which I drew & Jay painstakingly coloured). Costs USD1.99 – but to me, TOTALLY worth it!

photo 7

I love the eBooks! Most are downloaded FOC, and they are pretty interactive and can hold Jay’s attention for a good 15 minutes or so (in adult-speak, that is like 2 hours!)

To the other parents out there… any thoughts on this? iPad – Godsent or bad nanny? :)

No comments: