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If you give a toddler an iPhone...

07-19-2009, 12:51 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
If you give a toddler an iPhone...

Hi, all,

As we release Whizzit Counting for Preschoolers this week, I am planning to write an article with tips on how to safely allow young children to use an iPhone or iPod Touch.

My 3-year-old is adept at page scrolling, selecting and playing games, and generally being gentle with the device. However, we've all had some learning experiences as we've introduced the iPhone to our little ones (my 1-year-old is more interested in chewing on the corner of it...).

Anyway, I am interested to know whether you all have stories or tips that you'd be willing to share to help me gather additional information for the article. (let me know if you'd rather not be identified in the article... in which case I'll keep your comments anonymous)

Thanks for your time!
07-19-2009, 01:11 PM
#2
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: ...
Posts: 1,020
i dont have much experience but i would suggest getting a hard case

memory cards

07-19-2009, 01:13 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
My 7-year old brother usually gets a bunch of unidentifiable sticky stuff on the screen, and once got the home button almost permanently depressed, but never seriously damaged it.
07-19-2009, 01:19 PM
#4
I have a six and an eight year old, and they've been using my extra testing iPhone to play games on for over a year now. I highly suggest using one of the rubber cases, so it doesn't slip out of their fingers, and it tends to stay gripped to whatever they set it on (couch arms, tables, etc.). I've found that these work really well.
07-19-2009, 01:27 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little White Bear Studios View Post
I have a six and an eight year old, and they've been using my extra testing iPhone to play games on for over a year now. I highly suggest using one of the rubber cases, so it doesn't slip out of their fingers, and it tends to stay gripped to whatever they set it on (couch arms, tables, etc.). I've found that these work really well.
Yup, I've got the same kind; I got the hot-pink one so I can see it when it slides down behind the couch!

I've used eyeglasses cleaner to clean that sticky stuff from kids' fingers off my phone...

One problem that I've had is that so many Apps that LOOK kid-friendly (to a kid) are actually NOT kid-friendly. My 3-year-old found and played Pocket God but then the T-rex scared her...
07-19-2009, 03:08 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,505
My 3.5 year old has been playing with my iPhone for last 10 months. Loves it. To the point that when he sees me he doesnt say "PAPA" any more. He shouts "iPhone" when I reach home, with a hell lot more enthusiasm . As soon as he gets his hands on it he doesnt even care if I m there.

A good solid case is a must when handing out the iPhones to your kids or you are doomed.

BTW I m surprised how easy iPhone is when it comes to small kids. My 3yr old(and his cousin too) use it like they were born with it. Finding out the apps they love, even tinkering with the settings inside the app(intelligent tinkering, not just clicking anything which they see), actually playing the games(as far as the 3yr old mind allows them), pinching to zoom in n out and everything. He loves pocket god and cant have enough of it. But that I can understand given the rather simplistic nature of the game without any objectives to beat here. But also messing with colorsplash and other photo editors. He can easily go back and change the photo he wants to ruin next all by himself without even asking me twice. And when he doesnt like a new app (which I installed specifically for him thinking it`ll be good for his age) his response is "what a stupid game". Either kids today are way too smart or I was exceptionally dumb at his age .

iPhone is great for kids. So many apps here which makes them learn while playing with it. I specifically liked iWriteWords. The app literally teached my kid alphabets while he thought he was just playing a game .

BTW would love more suggestions for other good free/cheap apps which kids love. I m always looking for new apps for him as he asks me daily if I got a new app for him to play today. He is the reason my total app count is 564, atleast half of them are for him. Any good sea/aquarium app you guys know which kids love?
07-19-2009, 03:23 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 92
My little girl loves my iPhone too and plays with apps for about five minutes knowing there's many more on the home screen.
Id like to see an app have a initive way of closing! Because she does like deleting apps too!!!!!
07-19-2009, 07:30 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNoSuperMan View Post
My 3.5 year old has been playing with my iPhone for last 10 months. Loves it. To the point that when he sees me he doesnt say "PAPA" any more. He shouts "iPhone" when I reach home, with a hell lot more enthusiasm . As soon as he gets his hands on it he doesnt even care if I m there.

A good solid case is a must when handing out the iPhones to your kids or you are doomed.

BTW I m surprised how easy iPhone is when it comes to small kids. My 3yr old(and his cousin too) use it like they were born with it. Finding out the apps they love, even tinkering with the settings inside the app(intelligent tinkering, not just clicking anything which they see), actually playing the games(as far as the 3yr old mind allows them), pinching to zoom in n out and everything. He loves pocket god and cant have enough of it. But that I can understand given the rather simplistic nature of the game without any objectives to beat here. But also messing with colorsplash and other photo editors. He can easily go back and change the photo he wants to ruin next all by himself without even asking me twice. And when he doesnt like a new app (which I installed specifically for him thinking it`ll be good for his age) his response is "what a stupid game". Either kids today are way too smart or I was exceptionally dumb at his age .

iPhone is great for kids. So many apps here which makes them learn while playing with it. I specifically liked iWriteWords. The app literally teached my kid alphabets while he thought he was just playing a game .

BTW would love more suggestions for other good free/cheap apps which kids love. I m always looking for new apps for him as he asks me daily if I got a new app for him to play today. He is the reason my total app count is 564, atleast half of them are for him. Any good sea/aquarium app you guys know which kids love?
I was wondering when this thread would come up -- didn't start it myself because I didn't think anyone would be interested!

My 2 1/2 year old loves the iPhone too. We basically play with it in two ways: we do cute "arcade" games together (basically, he sits on my lap and I play the game); and he plays with toy-like apps at the table to minimize the risk of a damaging fall. I agree that a rubber covering is a must, and I also make sure that his hands are as clean as possible. I've set up a page just for his apps, and he knows that he's not supposed scroll to any other pages (he forgets sometimes, but for the most part is pretty good about it).

Here's a few things that my son loves:

Sway: No, he can't play it, but he's fascinated by the intro screen with the unlocked characters dangling from the rope.

Bubbles, Koi Pond, Bebot: All three provide immediate feedback when the screen is touched.

ABC Animals: An obvious one; he really gets into flipping the cards over and "tracing" the letters.

Balloonanimals: This is one of his favorites and very much worth it for any parent with a toddler. This one app has saved more than one night out for us. (Part of the gameplay involves shaking the phone, so we definitely play this one only at the table.)

Snail Mail: This is the one I play with him on my lap. Happens to be one my favorite games on the platform, too.

Zombie Nombie: Not for every toddler, obviously. We happen to live in Salem MA, the Halloween capital of the world, so he's perfectly comfortable with skeletons, witches, etc. Funny thing, he treats Nombie like a pet.

I try to keep play time very limited (I'd rather have him read, play with toys, etc), and we've been working on ways to end play without much fuss. Compared to other screen based activities, I find the iPhone games to be more mentally engaging.
07-19-2009, 09:22 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,010
My 3 year old loves using the ipod, and occasionally sneaks it into his room at bedtime. He loves browsing YouTube and the App Store. It's fun observing his taste in games. He gravitates towards stuff with flashy graphics. He's been known to delete too-difficult apps when he gets frustrated.
07-19-2009, 11:55 PM
#10
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 363
Any other suggestions for apps for a 3 year old?