iPads and Kids: Helpful or Hurtful?

Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler iPad® Devices

A huge pet-peeve of mine is giving iPads to infants, toddlers, and preschool children. No one wants to create a couch potato and that’s exactly what happens when we allow kids to play with electronic devices at any age. I have read in articles that adults that buy young children electronic devices are doing it for themselves, not for the intellectual growth of the child. I completely agree.

Certainly when traveling on planes or in a doctor office, allowing a child to play a game or watch a show on an iPad doesn’t harm anyone. But, using iPads as a way to entertain or babysit kids on a regular basis is inappropriate. I strongly feel there are plenty of more productive, imaginative, and learning products and activities kids can do quietly.

But, Fisher-Price has come up with the following products to use with iPads for infants, toddlers, and kids in preschool. These devices are extremely popular, with parents and nannies buying them as gifts for their pint-sized loved ones. What do you think? Are these iPad toys and products helpful or hurtful to children?

Ipad Apptivity Seat for Newborns and Toddlers Infant and Up

This is a grow-with-me seat for baby that’s soothing, entertaining, and has a touch of technology, too. For newborns, it’s a deep, comfy seat that reclines to three different positions and has a soft head support.
The removable toy bar adjusts to three different positions, with dangling activity toys always within reach and a large mirror reflecting baby’s smiling face — because everybody knows baby is very entertaining to watch! If you insert and lock your iPad® into the mirror’s case, the visual display provides another way to stimulate and engage baby while protecting your device from baby’s sticky fingers and preventing unintentional navigating to other apps . Download our free apps for your iPad created especially for use with this product (iPad® device not included).

Apps for the youngest baby feature soft, soothing sounds and nature scenes, black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns that help develop eye-tracking skills. As baby gets older, age-appropriate apps introduce letters, numbers and more through sing-along songs, sounds and friendly characters. Visual content in the apps times out after 10-12 minutes, ending on the home screen, to help you keep track of how long your child is viewing the interactive media.

Laugh and Learn Apptivity Puppy for iPhone and iPod touch devices 6-Months and Up

This is a soft, cuddly friend to hold and hug, plus fun interactive learning with (or without) your iPhone or iPod Touch! Requires 3 AA batteries. Teaches letters, numbers, counting, shapes, and colors. Fun Fisher-Price learning apps —just right for baby! Download from the App Store—no purchase needed.

Laugh and Learn Apptivity Creation Center 9-Months and Up

A sturdy case with clear film helps to protect your iPad® device from dribbles and drool as baby plays. With four smart shape stampers, baby can interact with two downloadable apps allowing baby to learn, create and discover shapes, sorting, colors and more. A colorful play panel snaps over the film for even more ways to play without your iPad®. Use the Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Creation Center flat or set up the easel on back for variety.

Fisher-Price Little People Apptivity Barnyard1-1/2 to 4-Years-Old

Little People® toys come together with amazing app technology, creating a whole new way to play with your iPad®! That’s the Fisher-Price® Little People® Apptivity™ Barnyard. Just download the FREE Fisher-Price® app, insert your iPad® into the Apptivity™ Barnyard, and let the farming fun begin! The iPad® recognizes the 6 included play pieces and responds in all sorts of fun ways! Kids can plant & harvest crops, then actually see them “grow”! They can make the water from the pump “overflow” and draw in the mud, take Eddie™ for a tractor ride, count and sort fruits and vegetable at the farmer’s market and more!

Imaginex Apptivity Fortress 3- to 8-Years-Old

Imagine your favorite Imaginext® toys combining forces with awesome App technology, creating a whole new way to play with your iPad®! That’s the Fisher-Price® Imaginext® Apptivity™ Fortress. Just download our FREE app, from the App StoreSM insert your iPad® into the Apptivity™ Fortress, and it recognizes and responds to the play pieces in all sorts of fun ways! Requires 3 AA batteries.

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