Following on from PCR's analysis of the children's tablet market, we spoke to several parents with young children to find out what gadgets were being used in their day-to-day lives.
Michael Rummens, dad to Jack, aged 6, and Katie, aged 3: “They’re both obsessed and familiar with our Sky TV, iPad, iPod and PC. They’re far more interested in using our gadgets than many of the conventional toys you’d expect at their age. Jack’s school is just starting a lunch-time iPad art club.”
Jenny McPherson, mum to Zack, aged 5, and Chloe, aged 3: “They use our iPad on a daily basis. We use it to practice Zack’s speech and he’s come a long way. They’ve both tried to turn off our TV by ‘pinching’ the screen as you would on an iPad. The downside is that kids and delicate items do not mix. All our toys are now covered with super kid-proof covers.”
Gemma Rowland, mum to James, aged 2, and Tess, aged 4.5: “James is obsessed with my iPhone. Tess would play more, but I have deliberately avoided downloading too many more sophisticated apps as I want to see my phone myself during the day. We are getting two iPads at Christmas – one for work and one for family to resolve the issue.”
Helena Jidborg Alexander, mum to Tycho (left), aged 3.5: “Tycho has been an avid iPad and iPhone user for about 18 months. We used to use it to show him films to get him to sit still in restaurants. Now he plays games, does puzzles, learns the alphabet and shapes, and still watches films on it. I was thinking of getting him a VTech one, but he’s happy with the iPad and iPhone.“
Amanda Grant, mum to Jessica, aged 4, and Toby aged 2: “Jessica comfortably uses the iPad and a computer with a mouse although she occasionally forgets when she uses the computer that she can’t move things on the screen. Toby also loves the iPad, though he’s not as interested in the games side apart from Peppa Pig, which he loves. He is also interested in the computer when Jessica is on it, but has no idea about the control of the mouse yet.”
Victoria Foster, mum to Lucy (both left), aged 5: “Lucy taught my mum how to use our TV and PS3. She can use my iPhone and likes the games apps. She also uses our laptop to play Ben and Holly games.”
Emily Ruston, mum to Theo, Lilly and Zach: “All the kids have been obsessed with my phone. For Zach’s 6th birthday we bought him his own little 7-inch tablet which he loves. We toyed with the idea of buying a family iPad, but couldn’t justify spending £400, so we chose a £100 Archos tablet instead, perfect for little fingers and not too costly on the pocket.”
Clifford Hope, dad to Rufus and Eliza: “There aren’t many cool gadgets in our house for the children to play with. They see the PC in action and can move the mouse to click on things, and I have a graphics tablet for Photoshop they’ve used, but that’s about it.”
We also wondered what would happen if a young iPad addict was offered a chance to play with a child-centric tablet. Would he refuse to touch a product without the Apple logo, or could he be swayed?
Kurio is a children’s Android tablet for games and multimedia that comes complete with advanced parental controls.
Parents can create up to eight profiles on the device, one for each child (so think carefully before trying to conceive your ninth), which then enable you to set up different internet filters and time controls depending on your needs and the age of the child.
Set-up is simple and straightforward. It also has a handy drop-safe bumper, which is essential for anyone with butter-fingered offspring, and the gadget is a good size for kids to hold.
Two-year-old Nathan (right) got into the colouring apps straight away, and particularly liked the ‘stickers’, which are easy to place for a younger child without advanced co-ordination skills. The camera too was a big attraction.
Beyond that, the other games that came with the device were better suited for older children, but it is easy enough to download more apps. We asked the test subject what he thought of the Kurio. “Stickers!” he shouted.
Nevertheless, the day it was gone, he soon changed his tune. “Where’s iPad?” he asked hopefully. Be warned, brand awareness starts early...
Want to receive up-to-the-minute tech news straight to your inbox? Then click here to sign up for the completely free PCR Daily Digest and Newsflash email services. You can also follow PCR on Twitter and Facebook.