I know I am not alone in saying that my kids love technology, gadgets and games. They love to swipe, upload, download, share, connect, edit photos and be entertained by a screen. With three primary school age children and two toddlers, it seems however that the age when they first switch on and swipe is getting younger and younger. Even the 1 year old is beginning to look over the shoulders of the older boys and their gadgets to press buttons and swipe screens.
But certainly I have written and spoken many times about the dangers of the online world and the need for parental involvement, guidance and support when it comes to all things cyber. We know that our kids are super smart when it comes to participating in this new world. They can do lots of ‘stuff’’ and are adept at making things happen, connecting, downloading, searching and sharing. As the age gets younger however, we are also finding that our kids do not have the years of life experience or maturity to deal with the enormity of the online world and the myriad of pitfalls to which they are left exposed.
When I was asked to speak at a launch of the InnoTab2 by Vtech I was more than happy to discuss some of these pitfalls of the online world as well as look at a product that offered an alternative for kids, particularly those at the younger end of the age (and maturity) spectrum.
The InnoTab2 offers an ipad looking device that gives the kids the feeling that they are still on a device but without the dangers of cyberbullying, downloading or being exposed to inappropriate content or the potential harm to their digital reputation. On the Innotab2 they can still play games, take and edit photos, make movies, download apps and listen to ebooks, but they can do all these things without the fear of online dangers.
For our family, we found that the Innotab2:
- is a lot sturdier than other devices with grips and protective edges preventing damage by dropping. (its been an expensive week in our household for technology and gadgets…..kids, juice and apple products dont mix …just as a side tip!)
- has plenty of inexpensive apps available (under $5) that you can download from the secure Vtech site, but also the availability of licensed games like Cars, Nemo, Dora, Disney Princess, Toy Story etc and these are a bit more pricey from $20 – 35. You also get 2 of the cheaper apps for free and it already comes loaded with an art workshop which my son loves. (our clean alternative to the paints!)
- Unfortunately, it takes 4 x AA batteries which is its only downfall. In a household needing lots of batteries however, I only buy rechargeable ones now, so it hasn’t been too much of an issue, and I believe you can buy a charger pack.
- it comes with 2GB of inbuilt memory with the ability to add up to 32 GB with an SD card.
- With the additional memory you do have the option of downloading movies and watching them on the screen but this wasn’t something we have done yet
- My boys love taking photos and playing around with all the edits, and they are also able to make their own movies, so it is also a great way for them to get creative.
- It worked very well on a recent plane trip, allowing the 3 year old to put on some head phones and listen to some ebooks. “Jack and the Beanstalk” was his favourite. The books can also be more interactive if they want to start clicking on items and see the written word repeated.
The InnoTab2 is both educational, creative and most importantly for little people, entertaining. And they feel a little grown up too!
The InnoTab2 is aimed at kids 3-9 but my 3 year old pretty much claimed it as his own.He loves having a gadget that I am not ripping off him, interrupting his game so I can answer MY phone! I know, how selfish of me!
This would certainly be a fabulous christmas present for any child, and whilst they retail for $179, I am thrilled to offer one lucky reader the chance to win an Innotab2 to help put a big dent into the Christmas shopping list!
To enter the giveaway, simply go and join my Facebook page here and tell me in the comments section below what is one of the best christmas presents you remember getting as a child?
Competition is only open to Australian residents and closes 5pm aest, Monday 12th November.
In writing this post I was given product to both review and giveaway and I was also employed by the company to speak at the launch of the product. All opinions however are my own and are an honest account of my experience with the product.
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