15 answers

Laptop for a Five Year Old

I am wanting to get my son his own computer for Christmas. Right now he uses the family computer and we have his special sites (Disney, Kids NWF, etc.) and some educational games he can play.

Is there a good kids computer you can recommend? Or is it best just to buy a used laptop?

What can I do next?

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I have heard on the news that kids that young using computers all the time can develop severe carpel tunnel.

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Be careful of laptops for children so young. Many of the laptop batteries contain high lead levels.

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I have heard on the news that kids that young using computers all the time can develop severe carpel tunnel.

1 mom found this helpful

Personally I think that 5 years old is waaay too young for their own computer, desktop or laptop. putting such an expensive thing in the hands of a toddler just doesn't seem wise to me.

with that said, I know Walmart has cheap computers, they were advertising a laptop for less than $400.

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Leah S. posted this
"http://link.laptopgiving.org/u.d?HmTWKZYANuI_RF3en=411 this is a link for give one get one.org. the premise is a very basic (no cd rom drive or other moving parts) laptop for like $399. when you buy one for foreign needy kids you get one too. Its VERY basic so would be good for the 5yr I think. Look into it!"

I wanted to add that $200 of the purchase is tax deductible!! We're considering getting one for our 5 year old. It's VERY sturdy since it's meant to be used in third world countries, so should stand up to a kindergartener pretty well.

Hi T.,
Laptops or not that great to start out on. One they do not use them in the classroom of the children's schools if you go into their computer rooms. A laptop is very hard to get use to and use. I would go buy either a good rebuild one, or try a e-machine. The e-machine is a great starter computer for you and is low cost. Yet it has everything you need on it. You can get them at Wal-mart at a very low cost. Check it out it was the first one I had, and now my grand babies have it.

Hi T.,
My son is 3 years old and my brother was throwing away a laptop after getting a newer one. I asked him for it for my son who was 2 at the time. We taught him to turn it on, click on links with the mouse pad play on only one website... Starfall.com and turn it off. It is an old laptop that we have in our living room and only uses it when we give him permission. It is not something we worry about because it is old and didn't pay anything for it. He has gotten great use out of it and has learned all of his letter and letter sounds. I am currently developing a power point for him to use to learn his frequency words using the lap top.
So I say go for it. But try getting something used so if it breaks you don't feel so bad about it. Ask friends and family if they are throwing one away or see craigslist.com.
Good luck!!!!



When you buy one, another one is sent to a child in a poverish country.

you cant beat that!

We've always bought used computers, and it's been all right. There are some free browsers just for kids. My kids like www.buddybrowser.com, and www.kidrocket.org. They have no ads, popups, and all they can do is visit kid sites.

Dear T.:
I would go for a cheap-O, bottom-of-the-line new laptop (Walmart? Fry's?) or any used laptop (E-Bay?). For a 5-year-old's needs, ANY computer will do. Make sure you get some web nanny programs, if you plan on allowing internet access.

If it does not have to be a laptop, you may find old desktop 'steals' at small mom-and-pop stores. An old 386 may even be sufficient. Tip: If the case is ugly (for example ugly beige color, smudges, etc.) you can take it off and spray-paint it. If you use a shiny black, an old banger looks like a state-of-the-art computer. I did that with a monitor, too. Just remember to tape the screen first. :-)


I have a 12 year old who NEEDS a computer for his classes, and a 5 year old girl who fights with the 12 year old to use it too. I need 2 more computers, because I also am starting college and some of the Professors are online because of over population in the college. Computers are a necessity now days.

My 5 year old uses Starfall to learn to read and Discovery for science, and so on. Teachers even are getting the class work from a new curriculium Scope that is only available online.

We are not made of money, but you can ask around if businesses or friends who are upgrading you can a get good computers for 1/2 the price. Plus its Christmas time and the prices are dropping even at Walmart for the DELL which I love.

Just becareful if they open a myspace or anything like that. I watch my 12 year old not that I don't trust him, but some of his friends and weirdO'S out. Scary but true.
Good Luck.

My daughter (now 12) used our desktop for years for games etc. This past May, we purchased a Dell Inspiron for her. We got a basic, solid set up and got the insurance coverage which covers accidental stuff (ex: water spills, dropping). It has enough memory for her to have her games on it and she also has an office system on it as well. At this time, she uses it for entertainment as well as school.

We have now stopped using the desktop all together. We all 3 have our own Dell. Hubby has a latitude (he likes it but it is a company computer and not his first choice) I have the Dell XPS M1210 (NOT for kids). Mine is the best one in the house (hubby loves it), light weight, super fast, etc. I understand there is now one out there better than mine ( mine is only 7 months old) Daughter's is heavier but more durable.

We have been very pleased with Dell and the customer service offered.

As for if you child "needs" a computer or not....that is up to you. Also, you chooose if they get online or not. We have wifi and my daughter does have online access (WITH OUR SUPERVISION). We like the laptop because she can join us with her computer. It is common to come to my home and all 3 of us be on our laptops at the table together. My daughter has been on the computer since about 3 or so. I substitute teach and kids start on the computer in K.

YES...Laptops are used at our elementary school along with the desktops.

Our philosophy is to buy the best that we can afford.

Good luck!

Try PC Outlet at 410 and Vance Jackson. They are really great out there. They sell used and refurbished pc's and laptops. It's a great place to buy a first pc. Tell them what you are planning to use it for and they will recommend the perfect computer for you. The prices are very reasonable. www.sa-pc.com

http://link.laptopgiving.org/u.d?HmTWKZYANuI_RF3en=411 this is a link for give one get one.org. the premise is a very basic (no cd rom drive or other moving parts) laptop for like $399. when you buy one for foreign needy kids you get one too. Its VERY basic so would be good for the 5yr I think. Look into it!



I've always assembled my own desk top computers, when I upgrade one the old parts get "handed down" to the kids, only costs me the one-time price of a case and monitor. I have daughters 15 and 5 years old. I put a computer in the oldest daughter's room when she was 4 or 5 (made out of leftovers from an upgrade) and it turned out to be an excellent idea. She is now very computer savvy but not addicted to the thing like a lot of kids these days. It was always there so she would use it at times, then go outside and play. I did the same for the little one last year. I put together a media computer for the entertainment center so my oldest daughter got a free upgrade from what came out of my computer and the young one gets big sister's parts.

You probably don’t want to build one so I give this advice, I’m a field engineer and my work laptop gets banged around a lot, it’s going on 3 years old and has never failed me, I dropped it at least once. It is an IBM ThinkPad, very popular models for travel and field work. A ThinkPad T40 or T41 is what you want, IBM puts a shock sensor on the hard drive so when it hits the deck, the hard drive shuts off in an instant and saves the day. ThinkPads are expensive to buy new but used ones aren’t too bad. There is a guy on eBay selling T40s for $350 plus shipping and giving a 6 month warranty with each one.

Try ToysRus for computers for kids with fun game activities.

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