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#1 of 25 Old 10-29-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Which one do you favor?  I find ipad books and audio books give me more time to do something else so I tend to let the kids do more of that instead of reading to them as much as I used to.  I still answer their questions (if they have any after reading/listening to a book) but they seem to be generally satisfied.  And my son loves his audio Magic Tree House books and I am grateful because I did not enjoy reading them to him.  

 

Before bed, instead of the traditional story reading, we now do story-telling.  We each tell one story we make up on the spot.  The kids love it and I get to listen to their sprawling, unwieldy stories.  My daughter's sense of humor really comes through in these stories and I love that.  

 

Basically, I feel like book reading is taken care of by the ipad! But sometimes, I can't help but feel I am contributing to the demise of traditional paper books and my kids are missing something by growing up with electronic books.  We have traditional paper books of course and we read them but just not as much as we used to.  I can't help but wonder if this has some sort of implication .... Anyway, just rambling.  

 

What do you guys do?

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#2 of 25 Old 10-30-2012, 12:19 AM
 
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I prefer paper books, but I understand what you mean about not enjoying reading books...I only read books to them that I actually like, which can be difficult to find books...I also read poetry to them, which is much easier, and test out my own poetry/stories.  

 

We also have a Spanish book that we read stories from every night, mostly in Spanish, with a little English translation.  I really like to see how they relate to the words and how to read to entertain them better, but my kids are 5 and 2...so who knows how this will go when they are reading themselves.

 

I have just gotten into audio books, which can be great at the table when they typically don't want to sit down and just eat(when I don't eat with them...)

 

We also do storytelling at night before bed, and we read a lot of song lyrics as well...oh yeah we write our own stories too, though not as much as I thought we would before they were old enough.  

 

I am a writer, so am very partial to ink on paper, but my daughter(dd5) has a leap pad that I'm going to get some stories for soon... provided there are some good ones.

 

My mother-in-law still reads with her daughter(11), although they both have kindles now...they read the Harry Potter Series and Narnia books together and it was something they both enjoyed.  

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#3 of 25 Old 10-30-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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I enjoy reading aloud. My partner reads books aloud to me almost every night. It is a nice way for us to enjoy a book together. Dp also listens to audio books when working alone. Ds likes some audio books but isn't quite at the place where he enjoys a chapter audio book unless we are in the car.

I have a Nook and we read books on it but we only have one book that reads to him for it (they are too expensive).

I like a combination of reading aloud and listening to audio books or having something read to ds. He seems to find a lot of connection in sitting with someone who is reading to him and I find he requests books often when looking for that connection.

He isn't reading independently yet so we'll see how that changes and morphs. I hope to continue reading books together until we no longer live together that's what my mom and I did.
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#4 of 25 Old 10-30-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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I don't see much of a difference functionally between reading off paper books and reading off an iPad. We do both here. Classics, which are available for free, are usually read from an iPad. That saves purchasing clutter and killing trees to make the paper. We don't have access to a library or bookstore, so eBooks are a simple and relatively inexpensive way for us to get to new literature.

 

I still read to my kids. The eldest has moved away, and my 16yo ds just isn't that interested anymore. But my 14yo and 9yo dd's, and my older kids when they were those ages, we still had a family culture of readalouds most days. During holidays all six of us often share in reading aloud from a book -- on long drives, or holed up in a tent or motel room, curled up around the fire during power failures. Even dh and I have been known to read aloud to each other on long drives. I think there's something really special about simultaneously and actively sharing the same literature. I don't think listening to audiobooks serves quite the same function: the pauses, questions, discussions, tangents and so on just can't happen as naturally and easily. There isn't the "giving" element of one person reading to others. Also, it's too easy for one person to miss bits. When it involves someone pressing pause on a device the tendency is to just leave things running when someone goes off to pee, or to make tea, or to grab a sweatshirt, or while asking a question or holding a quick conversation about something else, and then before you know it the story is running on and on and one or more family members are missing entire chapters, assuming they'll catch up later. For us at least, a recorded voice is less precious than someone's reading aloud in real time, and it's easier to lose interest, wander off or whatever. And as a parent it's very tempting to simply not share in the listening at all, to use the audiobook as a sort of babysitter, a way of keeping the kids busy and out of trouble while doing something else. Which is a very useful function, but it's not, to my mind, the same as reading aloud to and with my family. 

 

I totally understand the reluctance to read Magic Tree House and similar books aloud. I always told my kids that formulaic fiction is designed for kids to practice and improve their own reading, and that those books are for when they want to read to themselves. If they couldn't read at that level yet, I just told them that they had them to look forward to when they were independent readers, and I didn't want to spoil that treat. There are so many books: I do think that as a member of the family and the one doing the majority of the reading aloud, I have a right to input when it comes to choosing books, since there are always tons out there that all of us, not only the kids, will enjoy. We choose collaboratively most of the time, though sometimes we'll take each others' advice. "I think this is one you'll really enjoy once you get into it" is a valid reason to push someone into a choice they might not be naturally enthusiastic about at the outset, but that argument can't reasonably be made to me about Magic Tree House #26 for example.

 

I love the story-telling tradition! We tend to play story-telling games in the minivan when commuting to activities and I think it's a wonderful way to nurture and enjoy learning about how stories are put together. When my kids were younger they put together entire mythologies from imaginary worlds that grew out of their stories. We all treasure their old imaginative creations and speak with great affection about the characters that populated the stories of their young childhoods. 

 

So ... I think reading aloud, and listening to audiobooks and making up and sharing one's own stories are all valuable things to do on a regular basis. While the proportions allocated to each may swing towards one or another at various ages and stages, I think it would be a shame if reading aloud as a family and got shuffled away onto the back burner for too long. 

 

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#5 of 25 Old 10-30-2012, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose the trick is in the balance.  Everything can have a place and time.   I just need to make sure reading to them doesn't get too overshadowed by audio and ipad books which are oh so freaking easy to use! The kids love them too! 

 

I love the bedtime story-telling tradition we have going, LOVE IT.  It really gives me time to get some insight into what my kids are thinking.  We also talk about other stuff.  It is just a really nice, loving, downtime.  Nothing like watching my kids drift off to dreamland.

 

Are paper books gonna go the way of letters? What a sad thing that will be! 

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#6 of 25 Old 10-30-2012, 11:15 PM
 
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ipad books which are oh so freaking easy to use! The kids love them too! 

 

I'm thinking you're referring to something other than eBooks here? The books we have on our iPad are just regular books, except you read off the screen rather than off paper. What do you mean by "ipad books"?

 

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#7 of 25 Old 10-31-2012, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking you're referring to something other than eBooks here? The books we have on our iPad are just regular books, except you read off the screen rather than off paper. What do you mean by "ipad books"?

 

Miranda

 

Ha.  Yeah, the kids books are different than regular e-books, which I read on the ipad myself.  We subscribe to reading rainbow for example and they have scanned children's books that are in print and put them in an app.  The kids have "back bags" within the app where I download five books for them each.  Then we can choose to read the books together (with me reading) or they can do the "read to me" option, which reads to them (but they have to turn the pages themselves).  We also have individual books we have purchased over the last year.  They all have the option of "Read myself" -- which I use to read out loud or "read to me" which reads the books out loud to them.  I do not like books with too much interaction because the kids tend to spend a lot of time poking at the screen to see what jumps, moves or squeals.  To me the reading rainbow ones are perfect because they have slight interaction but they don't overtake the kids interest to actually LISTEN to the story.  

 

Some days, kids sit by me and read the ipad books while I draw.  Other days, they sit in their bedroom and read them.  If I ever need the kids to go and do somethin quiet, these ipad books are bound to keep them occupied for like an hour. The ipad is a portable school here.  There is so much on that thing, I am forever amazed by all the things I can put on/acess through it.  It was given to us as a gift.  When we got it, I honestly did not think it would be used much. Boy was I wrong!  We use it pretty heavily -- from listening to NPR, watching documentaries, to reading books and playing physics/math games.  (okay okay, i will stop talking about the ipad! lol)  

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#8 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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Afraid I'm still something of the Luddite.  I like print books, and not just because I don't own an ipad.  I dislike screens, they bug my eyes out.  I like the technology turned off.  For now, with the girls so young, I don't think there is much I'd be missing, but I'm guessing as they grow up it might be advantageous to hop on the bandwagon like I have with the other technology I have adopted.  I do like the idea of not having to wait at the library for something, and I like the seeming endlessness of resources online.  


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#9 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 12:45 PM
 
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For what it is the worth, the research is that ipad read-alouds or audio bookss are inferior to traditional parent-led reading. They don't bring the benefits of parent-led reading.

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#10 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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For what it is the worth, the research is that ipad read-alouds or audio bookss are inferior to traditional parent-led reading. They don't bring the benefits of parent-led reading.

 

Inferior, except that they can entertain and inform the child during times when the parent is unavailable. For instance, during a long drive when even the most capable multi-tasking mom probably should be watching the road. At which point they have a definite superiority for a child who wants a story! 

 

I think they're a great adjunct. But not a great replacement.

 

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#11 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For what it is the worth, the research is that ipad read-alouds or audio bookss are inferior to traditional parent-led reading. They don't bring the benefits of parent-led reading.

 

While I could guess, I would love to know in what ways they found it is inferior.  I can see the disadvantage of not having the Q&A that goes on when reading with an adult/person/parent.  I wonder what else?  

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#12 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Afraid I'm still something of the Luddite.  I like print books, and not just because I don't own an ipad.  I dislike screens, they bug my eyes out.  I like the technology turned off.  For now, with the girls so young, I don't think there is much I'd be missing, but I'm guessing as they grow up it might be advantageous to hop on the bandwagon like I have with the other technology I have adopted.  I do like the idea of not having to wait at the library for something, and I like the seeming endlessness of resources online.  

 

I kind of relate to what you are saying here but Apple got me with the Ipad.  That thing is awesome.  We don't have TV or Radio here.  We use the freaking thing for everything. LOL.  

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#13 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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I would read and my son would act out the story, raising my voice when he was farther away. No technology can imitate that. Or the voices. Or make my facial expressions. Or ask him what he liked and what he would change at the end. And possibly other things that I'm not aware I'm doing. I think a real person is better. And when driving, we sang songs and talked. Listening to an audio book wouldn't have been his cup of tea.
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#14 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 08:21 PM
 
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And when driving, we sang songs and talked. Listening to an audio book wouldn't have been his cup of tea.

 

It really depends on the situation, as well as on the child. For several years I drove the 16-20 hour round-trip to the big city once a month with all four of my kids. Singing and talking only worked for so long, even for my chattiest, most sociable kid. Audiobooks were a nice break for all of us. With a 9-year age-range in the kids, their interests varied. We used iPods and earbuds. For them it avoided the car-sickness that came of reading while on winding mountain roads, and the need for illumination after dark. And I sure appreciated the entertainment of audiobooks when they slept.

 

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#15 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would read and my son would act out the story, raising my voice when he was farther away. No technology can imitate that. Or the voices. Or make my facial expressions. Or ask him what he liked and what he would change at the end. And possibly other things that I'm not aware I'm doing. 

Yeah, no contest there for sure!  But during other times when a parent is not available and kids are tired of whatever else they spent their day doing, ipads/audio books seem to work really well in our family.  The oldest one comes to me and asks questions about things he heard about latest ones being about the ice age, saber tooth tigers, the roman empire and Judaism.  I answer his questions (sometimes, after looking stuff up -- yes -- on the iPad) and he returns to doing his stuff and I go back to whatever I was doing.  

 

Here is an interesting article from The Smithsonian on the rise of screens: 

 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/40th-anniversary/Reading-in-a-Whole-New-Way.html

 

Hope y'all enjoy and discuss the article if you can :) 

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#16 of 25 Old 11-01-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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It really depends on the situation, as well as on the child. For several years I drove the 16-20 hour round-trip to the big city once a month with all four of my kids. Singing and talking only worked for so long, even for my chattiest, most sociable kid. Audiobooks were a nice break for all of us. With a 9-year age-range in the kids, their interests varied. We used iPods and earbuds. For them it avoided the car-sickness that came of reading while on winding mountain roads, and the need for illumination after dark. And I sure appreciated the entertainment of audiobooks when they slept.

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For the first three years of my son's life we drove 5.5 hours (one way) to see my parents every month. And my son hated his car seat, and never slept in the car. From about 9 months old on, my husband refused to drive, so I was driver and entertainer fo 5.5 hours out, then back again two days later. I don't miss that stress in the least! But books on tape wouldn't have worked for us.
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#17 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 04:32 AM
 
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Oh I really don't think its a choice that needs to be made! The families I know who listen to a lot of audiobooks also tend to be those who place a high value on reading. I don't think audiobooks tend to replace reading to kids but supplement it, any more than reading to your kids replacing them reading for themselves.

 

I think a well read audiobook or dramatisation is actually an art form in its own right and something I think kids benefit from exposure to, Rob Inglis readings of The Hobbit, the unabridged readings by Philip Pullman and cast of the Dark Materials Trilogy, the various BBC adaptations of childrens classics like the Secret Garden, Ballet Shoes and Tom's Midnight Garden, and the Narnia books are as worth listening to as it is worth seeing a live play as to just read it. There's no way around it, Gerard Doyle reads the Chrestomanci books far better than I do (albeit with a seriously dodgy Welsh accent that roams all over the place!). My kids loved the Cherry Jones narration of the Little House books (though we were careful to provide a counter to the racism in them) and her reading served a specific purpose for us: the books are written with a certain accent, which at times felt odd to us with our English accents. The books really do feel quite different when read with her American accent.

 

I also think that there are specific situations where audiobooks are very helpful. For example, I had a late reader, who is now a very prolific reader but a year ago was struggling. He has always loved books. Audiobooks filled a specific gap for him, it meant a way to be introduced to far more books than I had time to read to him. It also meant he could choose what to listen to far more (I'm afraid that if I am reading a book, I have to like it and I won't read 300 pages of a book I can't stand).

 

I did worry sometimes about the audiobooks providing a disincentive for him to try to read but with hindsight I don't think this was founded. The more literature I think most kids hear the more they want to. Now my older two are reading I really don't find that listening to books stops them reading. I find that they tend to choose to listen to audiobooks when doing something else, eg playing with lego or drawing, and then read themselves at other times.

 

I absolutely agree that kids need the chance to hear their parents read and the family readaloud is a lovely tradition  for us as well. But we also sit around the fire with an audiobook, and we do pause it to ask questions or discuss things. I'm curious that this perhaps isn't happening in other families. My kids will always stop the story to ask a question, run and get a drink or whatever, and no one minds, its always been how we've done things.

 

I guess, in answer to the OP, its about balance. Audiobooks are something with value in their own right, rather than as a replacement for read books or read-to books. I'm afraid I don't agree that they are inferior to parent-read books! Totally depends on the book, the parent and the kid. I'm not actually sure how you'd even go about doing that research! Inferior how? How could outcomes be measured here? Really, the only thing I'd be interested in would be, does this make the kid love the book and does it contribute to their ongoing appreciation of literature?


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#18 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did worry sometimes about the audiobooks providing a disincentive for him to try to read but with hindsight I don't think this was founded. The more literature I think most kids hear the more they want to. Now my older two are reading I really don't find that listening to books stops them reading. I find that they tend to choose to listen to audiobooks when doing something else, eg playing with lego or drawing, and then read themselves at other times.

 

 

I worry about the same thing too (i.e audio/ipad books being disincentive to reading) so good to hear that is not the case in your home.  Here too, I have noticed kids curl up with their books and flip through them before sleeping and still love paper books.  I think both of mine realize that there is a whole world within books and that once they learn to read they will be able to access that world on their own.  They love leafing through the pages of a just read story, digesting the illustrations and just simply communing with the book on their own, independently.

 

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I think a well read audiobook or dramatisation is actually an art form in its own right and something I think kids benefit from exposure to, Rob Inglis readings of The Hobbit, the unabridged readings by Philip Pullman and cast of the Dark Materials Trilogy, the various BBC adaptations of childrens classics like the Secret Garden, Ballet Shoes and Tom's Midnight Garden, and the Narnia books are as worth listening to as it is worth seeing a live play as to just read it. There's no way around it, Gerard Doyle reads the Chrestomanci books far better than I do (albeit with a seriously dodgy Welsh accent that roams all over the place!). My kids loved the Cherry Jones narration of the Little House books (though we were careful to provide a counter to the racism in them) and her reading served a specific purpose for us: the books are written with a certain accent, which at times felt odd to us with our English accents. The books really do feel quite different when read with her American accent.

 

 

I grew up with in a place where weekly radio read out loud installation was a tradition and I remember waiting eagerly week after week.  I have fond memories of it all.  I also enjoyed radio dramas.  There is something so quiet about radio plays.  You had to hear every word or you missed it... I should look up if there are any old children dramas to download to see if the kids would enjoy them.  I certainly did! Off hunting.... smile.gif

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#19 of 25 Old 11-02-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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I should look up if there are any old children dramas to download to see if the kids would enjoy them.  I certainly did! Off hunting.... smile.gif

 

There are lots being podcasted through iTunes. The Shadow, for instance. Great stuff!

 

Miranda

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#20 of 25 Old 11-04-2012, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are lots being podcasted through iTunes. The Shadow, for instance. Great stuff!

 

Miranda

 

Thanks a bunch!  I found some and as per usual, I discovered something else along the way.  I now may get into the habit of listening to Radio New Zealand!

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#21 of 25 Old 11-04-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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This is rather late in the discussion, but I only just noticed the comment against Magic Tree House books and want to reply. I read them to my son. Not only did I enjoy the stories, but they nearly always sparked further investigation into the event the story was based in.

Great info on The Shadow!
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#22 of 25 Old 11-06-2012, 04:49 AM
 
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I love the feel of a good book!  I love turning the pages.  I love the feel of the paper.  I love to get a nice old book and cracking it open to read to the kids.  I do have a Kobo and I read that too for myself.  I also get books from the library to read.  Personally, I enjoy a book more.  My just about 10yo daughter will get a Kobo for Christmas.  I just don't want to rely solely on that.  I don't want to give up paper books.  

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#23 of 25 Old 11-06-2012, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post

I love the feel of a good book!  I love turning the pages.  I love the feel of the paper.  I love to get a nice old book and cracking it open to read to the kids.  I do have a Kobo and I read that too for myself.  I also get books from the library to read.  Personally, I enjoy a book more.  My just about 10yo daughter will get a Kobo for Christmas.  I just don't want to rely solely on that.  I don't want to give up paper books.  

 

I still love the feel of paper books but I am less attached to that now that I have began reading on electronic devices.  I resisted for a long time but it's just more convenient to have everything in one device.  That said, I CAN NOT read poetry on an electronic device.  I just can't even imagine.  Poetry needs to be touched as much as it is read.  So, I guess I have a line drawn somewhere.  

 

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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

This is rather late in the discussion, but I only just noticed the comment against Magic Tree House books and want to reply. I read them to my son. Not only did I enjoy the stories, but they nearly always sparked further investigation into the event the story was based in.
Great info on The Shadow!

 

I agree, they are great conversation starters.  My Ds devours them.  We have all 40 books in audio form and he regularly listens to them.  I, on the other hand, did not enjoy reading them out loud.  

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#24 of 25 Old 02-10-2013, 08:42 PM
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#25 of 25 Old 07-22-2014, 01:45 PM
 
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Ipad or Kindle Fire?

I'm so torn. I have an 8 yr old and a 5 yr old. We're going on a long distance trip in a couple weeks. Which is better and why? (PS-I've googled this question... I can not get a good break down of what exactly is the difference!)

Thanks in advance!!
-T
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