Tablets finding work as electronic babysitters

Keeping kids busy seems to be one of the most popular uses for a tablet among families surveyed by the folks at Nielsen.

CNET

Looking for a new way to keep your unruly kids occupied? Apple, Samsung, and a bunch of other companies may have just what you need.

Polling a host of families with kids under 12, the people at Nielsen found that tablets are a great way to to keep those kids quiet. A full 55 percent said they serve their children tablets as entertainment while stuck in the car, while 41 percent do the same in restaurants.

So which activities will keep your kids busy so mommy and daddy can get some peace?

Among the parents polled, 73 percent said their children play downloaded games on their tablet, while 57 percent said their kids use educational apps. And 43 percent like to watch TV shows and movies.

Surprisingly, staying in touch with friends and family isn't so popular. Only 15 percent of the kids in the survey use their tablets to remain in contact with others. Maybe those under 12 aren't so much into communicating these days, or maybe they're just using cell phones for all their texting and chatting.

Overall, 7 out of every 10 children in tablet-owning households used a tablet last quarter, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter.

So all you parents out there thinking of buying a tablet--remember it's not just a useful device for work and play. It's a good way to make sure your next car trip or restaurant visit can be calm and tranquil.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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