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Poll: What do you think is an appropriate age for children to use tablets?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 23, 2013 9:50 AM PDT
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Tablets for kids

My granddaughter at age 1 and 1/2 knew how to watch kid videos on the iPod Touch. It blew my mind! But only for a few minutes at a time. Both of my children monitor very carefully how much "screen time" my grandchildren are allowed. Thank goodness. They should all get outside to play!

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Gram knows best
by cedarail / April 24, 2013 3:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Tablets for kids

Good for gram. Children need a wide variety of life experiences to develop and tablets or TV ain't part of that development. 45 years as a teacher shows me that long term the child who plays in the mud, makes things with sticks and falls down while learning to ride a bike is the winner. Many of the students I'm in contact with today are so self absorbed that they become social isolates with personalities to match. Far, far more is gained by mom or dad reading, talking and interacting with their child with the child sitting in their parents or grands laps than they can sitting there with a tablet. Reading to one's child is the best single activity for a child; that's how bonds are made. The tablet can be introduced later when more sophisticated symbolism is advantageous. If you are a parent or grandparent you are indeed wise to limit "iLearning" to the teen years after the kids have had a firm sensory-neural foundation under them. Like our mom used to say "get outta here and go play but get right back here when I called you home for supper !!". We used to play until the sun set. Don't give your child's attention over to a tool.

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Depends on what you call a tablet

I have to say that before a kid is in about 3rd grade, they'd probably be just as happy with a little electronic game or cheap (under $100) tablet, certainly not some $350 or more iPad they probably wouldn't take care of.
I may not be very well qualified to judge though since my kids grew up before the age of tablets. I remember getting a Commodore 64 for one of our kids when he was around 9 or 10, and he had a lot of fun with it, took care of it, and ended up doing his homework on a little word processor we had for it. My next door neighbor's kids got Kindle Fires when they were 10 & 12, and now at 11 and 13 they have PCs via school programs, so I guess the bottom line is they'd probably be "ripe" for a tablet by the time they're 9 or 10.

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Depends on the situation.

I have a 4 year old nephew who is autistic and his therapist has him playing educational games on an iPad to help him focus. I can tell you from experience that it has done wonders. Prior to that, whenever we had family gatherings, he would run around the house screaming and getting into everything possible, and no one except his dad, (the custodial parent), could control him. Therefore, with parental supervision, I think it's appropriate at any age if used for education.

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Things are MUCH different now from when I was a child!
by celticgoddess / April 23, 2013 1:18 PM PDT

When I was a kid, we were outside most of the time, playing pretend games, running through the alleys of our neighborhood, picking trash, & finding good stuff. Played baseball a good bit. Nothing organized. We walked back & forth 4 X's a day to & from school, coming home to eat a quick lunch, back to school, then home again in afternoon. Rode bikes, trikes, jumped rope, etc. Nowadays, my grandkids run screaming through the house, when I'm visiting, which is pretty loud. I was told as a little girl "Children are to be seen, not heard." & "You make a better door than a window." We didn't have a television till I was 13 yrs old. That's when the "better door" remark came about. The main thing I was "addicted" to was going to the library, & bringing a stack of books home, & READING them. Still do READ a lot.

I was with one of my sons' family not that long ago, & my youngest grandson had a little, I think, i-pad, showing me his black & white face doing wild stuff on it. I said, "How did you do that?" He said "there's an app for that!" I send gifts to all but the oldest grandchildren (over 21) & rarely do I get a handwritten thankyou note. I am about to say...NO thanks, NO cash! Anyway, I think some of the children now will grow up to be very self centered, non-social people, unable to communicate well, or even write well (handwriting, I mean!) Thanks!

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7 years old and up, but it depends

As a certified teacher, I would not recommend allowing a child access to a tablet until they are old enough to be approaching concrete operational cognition development/Kindergarten age level. Why? They need to have developed fine motor skills to be able to operate the tablet for one, or a parent could end up with a costly tantrum and destroyed tablet; and even then, parental supervision is important to prevent stress related break-downs when they child is unable to operate the device successfully and might need occasional intervention to return to their tablet to their desired 'function' (back to where they had their learning/art/match game open). It's very important to structure children's learning activities at young ages to be very successful and rewarding or risk them developing an exaggerated stress response as a normalized reaction (no parent wants that!), and at the same time, there has to exist an understanding of following rules which are typically associated with the beginning of kindergarten, and a child's exposure to school routines: rules, sharing, and waiting turns, etc. Having these norms already developed is important to having a child understand and go along with parent limitations on tablet use, as a cross expectation from school routines, where limitations are the norm for activities and these expectations should be relatively familiar with children in the age level. When it's time to 'put the tablets away' and wash up for dinner, or make a transition to bed, YOU DO NOT WANT A TANTRUM REVOLT that can not be effectively reasoned with! You have been warned! From experience, children in pre-kindergarten age groups 4,5 and 6: DO NOT REASON WELL... where as children in the Kindergarten age groups 7,8 and up, are much more receptive to reasoning and allowing their 'play time' to be limited to a set routine. If a parent attempts to expose their children to the fun, awesome amusement, and challenging learning activities from developers made available to tablets they ABSOLUTELY HAVE set down the group rules for tablet use BEFORE allowing children to use the device without any pre-existing rules/limiting expectations... or the child WILL SUBSTITUTE THEIR OWN EXPECTATIONS AND RULES GOVERNING THEIR USE, and vigorously resist any rules, not previously announced! FACT! Trying to set the rules, after the fact, is going to be an up-hill battle... plan the rules out first, and do not delude yourself into thinking that the serenity and calm that is afforded from allowing your child to use a tablet for learning and fun time, will be long lived if rules are not in place for a 'peaceful' transition to other, less 'engaging' activities.

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my 20m grandson loves the tablet.
by dpreston / April 24, 2013 12:56 AM PDT

It seems to me that your entire approach is geared more towards avoiding tantrums than introducing children to modern technology. What's wrong with dedicating an Android screen to your toddler's games and videos? My grandson loves the tablet but it's just another learning tool and treated as such. He doesn't throw tantrums when we make him put away his bubble gun. Nor does he when he has to put the tablet away. I admit that one child is a very limited study but in this case I don't see any of the caveats you so capitally warn about.

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Tablets are a no no in this house

A) They cost too much
B) They arent a toy
c) They have no real practical use outside of surfing
D) Are a fashion accessory and the latest must have.

Unfortunately my kids schools dont agree with me. They have lessons for tablet use which is curriculum based. As we dont have and cannot afford tablets I fail to see why 9 year olds are being taught this 'skill' I would much prefer them to be taught typing or pc maintenance.

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Way older

Little kids don't need tablets. They don't need them for school, in my opinion, or anything much for that matter. They are bored? Read a book, go outside, or put on a movie. Kids are lacking imagination, and being babysat by technology. Now, some times after a long day of work I do use the TV to take the attention of my child. But I make sure we eat dinner as a family, away from technology (even cell phones) and that we get out to the park, the zoo, the whatever on weekends.

I mean, come on, that kid's potty with a friggin iPad on it?! No thanks.

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Thumb Downs THANK YOU!

I'm so happy people who write into this thread have a predominantly negative take on tablets and children's social and educational needs. The day my nieces got their tablets, was the day peace on earth landed in my brother's living room, they stopped their 'attention' wars for daddy's limited time. UNDENIABLE FACT. I can thank people with NO REAL experience for adding their 2 cents worth, but the fact of the matter is they have neither any teaching experience, and the academic understanding, nor any actual experience seeing children interact with tablets and I DO. So thanks for the Thumbs Down, this is another reminder that most parents often have no idea how to properly educate or socialize their children or integrate technology into their lives, WHICH IS INEVITABLE, I might add; and do so in a positive, informed way (that they would rather resist, to their child's developmental detriment). I wasted my time and effort providing a legitimate and academic assessment of the situation, but instead I get the same kind of welcome for my effort, I would expect from being a male teacher at a Feminist convention. Tell you people what, you go ahead and IGNORE REALITY ALL YOU WANT, HIDE YOUR TECH PHOBIA HEADS IN THE SAND... LET YOUR CHILDREN RESENT YOU FOR IT! GOOD ON YOU! BUT MARK MY WORDS, YOU CAN NOT IGNORE THE REALITY OF IGNORING THE CONSEQUENCES OF IGNORING REALITY! YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE ESTRANGED FROM THEIR MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY CAPABLE PEER GROUPS, AND LOSE OUT ON THE SOCIAL CONNECTIONS THAT THEY NEED TO DEFINE THEMSELVES AS SOCIALLY VALUED HUMANS, ALL BECAUSE OF THEIR TECHNOLOGICAL 'HANDICAP'. I'm coining this term NOW, because I will make no apologies for being intelligent enough to see the future of 'technologically handicapped' children who are unable to make connections with peers for lack of capability. THAT, and the fact that allowing children to socialize through technology has clear advantages that most parents fail to see, and take for granted. I am NOT going to do share this understanding with the apathetic whiners on this treat, YOU DON'T DESERVE IT! The benefits have been mine to enjoy, seeing my son being able to organize FREE skype chat groups with his mindcraft crew, networking technical solutions for in game challenges, and also share computer soft/hard ware management tips is amazing to see, and he was doing last year, before being a teenager. Now, he's running his Skype chat off his iphone, so he doesn't have to log out of his network even when he get's kicked off the game, or if the game crashes... he worked that solution out on his own, but I taught him how! He's YEARS AHEAD OF WHERE I WAS AT HIS AGE AND NOTHING MAKES ME PROUDER TO SEE HIS SUCCESS AND SKILL LEVELS NOW.. and he has friends 24-7, at his finger tips, his support group is there for him... I'm not worried about his mental health... he's POPULAR! HE's a mindcraft admin, his friends look up to him. TECHNOLOGY MADE THIS POSSIBLE, and I HELPED HIM GET INTO IT. I HAVE NO REGRETS AT ALL! IT'S BEEN A WIN from day 1. I don't have to worry about him getting beat-up or robbed in public by bigger kids who have nothing better to do than thug smaller kids around convenience stores like I had to experience growing up.... PROBLEM SOLVED, they aren't exposed to this so much anymore, they have created their own 100% safe environment and the bullies aren't invited! THIS IS HOW YOU EMPOWER CHILDREN... YOU GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED, TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS ONLY THEY UNDERSTAND, AND HAVE TO LEARN TO TAKE ON FOR THEMSELVES, AND WIN! I'm not living his life, he's is... our children our in this this situation now, but the choice is yours! Parents can either make them stronger, better and more popular.... or you can sentence them to a life of social alienation, via technological handicap! What's a second-hand iphone cost now days? A second-hand computer? About as much as a parent might spend drinking out with their friends in 1 night! NO EXCUSES! Go get drunk and be stupid, or invest in your child's technological competency, and inversely, their future happiness! I'm going to run this issue by my Think-Tank on Facebook and see what an educated audience has to say!

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Children should get to know tablets gradually

Tablet computer is a new thing for children, so before using tablets they should learn to use pen, paper and other basic things

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Great poll: Tablets for kids

The children are very smart, however they should not be exposed too early to the technological equipment.
From 2-3 years old children exposed to less
4-year-old child can more exposure, and should not regularly.
It is a personal opinion.

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the suitable age for the Children to use Tablet PC
by irlelec / March 16, 2014 1:51 PM PDT

The tablet pc is very usful for the kids to develop their intelligence ,and usually under 3 years old cant use that device ,above that age ,i think they can use that

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most appropriate age for kids to use tablets

Nowadays , for children , many of them are good at using elecronic products at an early age , but , what will be the appropriate age to use tablets ? In my opinion , 4-6 year old may be appropriate . For they are able to hold the tablets and to operate at this ages .

Many customers of our company bought kids tablets now , and I often inquiry them about the children's age , to different ages , size and appearance will be different for them to play.

4.3 inch is suitable for small ages , mimi size to hold ,and 5 inich , 7 inch will be better for 5-6 years old kids .

Anyway , more and more kids play tablets now at different ages .

BTW , if u have needs for kids tablets , pls feel free to let me know , our company is SHENZHEN K-PANDA TECHNOLOGY CO.,LTD.

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