Like every year, we’re rapidly approaching the winter holidays. The lucky ones this month are the children, eagerly waiting for the days when they will receive the gifts. Living in the digital years, almost all children want a tablet or smartphone as a gift. And there starts searching: cheap tablets for the kids, children tablets, tablets for gaming, good tablets, tablets or smartphones for small children, etc.
Is it ok, a tablet as a gift for children? In principle yes. As usual there are plenty of pros and cons. Some will say that it is not ok for a child of 4-5 years or less, to have a tablet, others will think otherwise. Eventually what counts is the child not to abuse it. If the child has a fixed schedule (one hour for example) to play or do other activities on the tablet, then the kid will be ok. It is not recommended to forget about the tablet, and leave it the whole day with the child.
If we are old fashioned, we must know that blocking the child access to technology can limit development, or can bring frustration. If other colleagues have tablets, he will feel frustrated, and it will not be ok. The same if you do not keep the child in touch with what is current, then the kid might grow and discover later that adapts very ok to the world or that there are certain gaps.
What would have been the situation, if the child had a computer in his childhood? Now, there are some parents who do not know what an email or web browser is, what Android is, and they experience various problems in a society that has evolved in the digital age. It is not fair to restrict the child from objects that have become synonymous with the present time, for some preconceptions, or the kid may suffer later.
Again, I am not a specialist in child psychology. But, by applying rules, children can play on a tablet or learn things (under supervision) for a set time, and then later they can socialize and play outside with other children. You must maintain a balance, and not use the tablet to keep the kid busy – for us to do our daily business, knowing that he has an occupation.
What restrictions we set, and how do we take care of the child’s access to information? It’s wise to setup child restrictions after buying a tablet. YouTube Safety Mode to be set active, to avoid exposure to clips that were labeled as problematic (violence, etc.) by users. When downloading games, look at the PEGI age restrictions. For example: PEGI 3 means that the game is ok for children over 3 years.
What type of tablet should we buy as a gift for a child ?
I wrote some advices for buying a tablet here, but now we need be more specific.
What type of tablet is ok for a 4-year old? What type of tablet should we buy a 6 year old? A lot of questions. If we decide to buy a tablet to a kid, there are some tips, although we have discussed it extensively here.
Children overuse a tablet, so to get a cheap tablet – is the worst choice. When using a tablet, they tend to rough it, to permanently keep it charging due to high consume by games and similar situations.
The recommended screen size is 7 inches – for the child’s little hands. Games generally have lots of controls, and a larger tablet may force the child’s movements in an unpleasant way, which would cause pain or problems in developing at joints level.
That being said, a perfect tablet for children would be one with:
Very good battery autonomy.
Ergonomic surfaces which provide a good grip for the child’s little hands.
Performant, with a good processor, as much RAM as possible, and also with very good storage size.
Good manufacturing, if possible, by a quality brand, to resist to the overuse by a child. (having the charging cable in it, possible shocks, etc.).