I'm really gonna show my Luddite tendencies here but I need some help deciding on a gift for my daughter who is turning 5 next month. I am thinking of getting her some type of educational technological item. For the last 10 years or so DH and I have really laid low with technology, no cable tv, no smartphones, no Ipods, etc. But recently I've seen some new stuff (Ipad, wii) that leads me to believe that we might want to reintroduce some items in our lives. Dd is getting older now and is really into that sort of stuff when she's exposed to it. She LOVED playing with an Ipad at a friends house. Now I will not be buying her an Ipad, lol. But I was thinking maybe something cheaper but with up to date technology. I don't want to get too far behind, which is what I fear is happening. I'm turning into my inlaws who still can't operate an answering machine properly! LOL.
Anyways, she does have an leapster but is growing out of it. She had some of those babyish type of computers that someone gave her but has grown out of it too. I should mention that she can read and do math and is quite precocious for her age. She does some of her homeschooling on the computer as well (Time4Learning).
I was hoping for something that can be used for educational and entertainment on the go. I was thinking of the Wii but that is obviously for home use. I was thinking of a Nintendo DS but honestly know nothing about it. I don't even know if it would be age-appropriate.
Maybe something that could play audiobooks, something that she could read e-books on, games, and more? Is there such a thing? (or am I really looking at a tablet computer?-which is what I plan on getting for MYSELF this xmas).
My 5-year-old DS LOVES our iTouch. It can certainly play audiobooks (through headphones or external speakers) and there are a huge number of really amazing educational apps and games (many of them free). You can also read ebooks on it, but obviously it's kind of small for that. They are a lot cheaper than an iPad, though.
Definitely an iPod Touch. Under $200 for a new, 8G model (4th Generation) and it can do nearly anything an iPad can do (but smaller)! Educational apps, we have some great Montessori ones for my 3.5 year old. Games, Angry Birds (LOL, every kid loves this game!). My boys love these games where you "make" food -- you can bake cakes, build tacos, decorate candy -- each one is a separate app that cost $.99 to buy. It can also hold movies/TV shows/podcasts, as well as music and spoken word podcasts. iTunes often has episodes of kids tv shows to buy for $.99 or even free (like when a new show comes out, as a promotion).
I have the Kindle app on my iPod, as well as an app called Overdrive that lets me check out audiobooks and e-Books from the library (haven't done this for the little guys yet, but I read e-Books all the time on the iPod!).
My older son just got a DS Lite for Christmas this year, and while he enjoys it, it's nowhere near as versatile as the iPod. We got a Wii several years ago (as much for mom and dad as for DS1 who was two at the time) and it's really fallen in popularity since we got the iPod and iPad.
The biggest advantage (in my eyes) of the newest version is that it has a camera. My 7-year-old loves taking pictures and making movies. You could definitely get an older version (3rd Gen) for less than $100 and it would be just fine for everything else (I had one of those as well, then I upgraded recently).
A Nook Color. She can read books on it and play a few games. (Of course, that will cost you more money to download the books and games.) And I think it has a read-to-me option, but you'll have to ask the Barnes and Noble people for sure.
a lot depends on your child's personality.
for us the best investment has been dd's laptop. that has gotten more use than anything else. it serves both entertaining and educational purpose.
for eg - dd a huge anime and manga fan 'reads' a lot on the computer. since she was 7 she found her own hiragana site so she could learn the language (her animes are usually subtitled). of course its mostly vocabulary.
i find the itouch, iphone is very addictive for her. she sees them as a toy not a research item.
the laptop is a social thing too. she has friends over and they laugh over silly youtube videos and play games together.
however i also feel for these kids technology is intuitive. you put anything in their hands and they can figure it out.
out of all the technology items the best that works for our family is the laptop with 9 hour battery life.
the laptop has taken a lot of 'beating' but hasnt phased it at all.
is this what you are looking for? or something other than the laptop or computer?
if something other than computer then yes definitely the itouch. however i think for dd xbox and computer is a better combination than wii and computer or even the itouch. she'd get more use out of xbox than itouch.
dd is a social child and when she is over at my friends place all the kids get together shrieking and strategising over xbox.
however i am a mother who doesnt believe in toys have to be educational. i have never looked at the educational aspect of a toy. i think the xbox is hugely 'educational' for her, esp when there are more kids and so have to take turns to play together. she also is not a technology freak. i dont have to tell her to stop using technology. but i do have to tell her to stop reading.
My kids all much prefer their ipod touches over the DSi's. I think an ipod is a much wiser investment, and will be used for years to come. Apps are free or .99 cents, for the most part, and you can use Netflix or download videos/books/music, etc. DS games can be $30+. Plus, the camera on the ipod touch takes much better pics, and has a video camera mode.
I'm huge tech lover but I personally would not spend 200 bucks buying an iPod touch for a 5 year old. I'd have no problem handing down one of my old devices, like my old iPhone with the phone service turned off, but that is about it. It's most likely going to get lost or broken.
I'm leaning towards an e-reader or tablet pc type thing. I don't really want more "just games". DD loves to read and I was really looking for something with the books and audiobooks especially. I found this which is the Coby Kyros, tablet pc. It has everything I"m looking for. The prices is steep (for a 5 year old) but my dd takes care of things and is usually careful. It's not that is has to be educational, it doesn't. but i wanted something with more options that just a video game for example. Thanks for the ideas. If I had an old iphone or something like that I'd give it to her but I don't. We're just now getting back into techie stuff after a long hiatus.
Used on ebay they arent that expensive, plus you can get a case for it. Also, a netbook would be pretty cool for a kid that age.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)