Does an iPad for a 2-Year-old Make Sense?

Updated on January 24, 2012
J.M. asks from Miami, FL
45 answers

Hi Moms,

I'm just wondering about a new trend I've noticed lately, 2-year-olds with their own iPads. I have several friends who have purchased iPads specifically for their toddlers, ages 2 - 3. They say their toddlers love their iPads and that the toddler apps really keep their interest and that they are educational. I personally can't justify spending $500 for an iPad for my toddler but that's just me. I'm just curious..is there any merit that an iPad is a beneficial educational tool for a 2-year-old or is it just keeping up with the Joneses?

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A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

I so badly want to be that totally non judgmental type person....but iPads for toddlers make me wanna gag.

I'm more of a blocks and books and dirt type for toddlers....I feel bad enough letting them watch TV at times, and I don't think "pressing buttons" on a screen would make it any more educational at that age.

10 moms found this helpful
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C.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Yeah, all these parents are doing is using the iPad as the "babysitter" whenever they don't want to have to occupy their kid. I think it's ridiculous!!!!

5 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

No.. A 2 year old needs to run and play, climb. Hand paint, stack blocks,
play dress up, be read to.. Be spoken to listen to music, dance..

An ipad is the very last thing they need.

5 moms found this helpful

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

.

12 moms found this helpful
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B..

answers from Dallas on

Oh Lord. No. I would NEVER buy an ipad for my son. Blocks, Trucks, Books...you betcha. Ipads. No. That is insane.

**I would never buy an Ipad for myself either.
To be clear, I am NOT against technology. I'm actually very savvy with technology. I'm against frivolous technology. I'm against children who SHOULD be figuring out their world instead using an ipad. Children who should be using their imagination on their own accord, not because a piece of electronics tells them how to. There are things children SHOULD be doing, and messing around on an electronic device is not one of them.

9 moms found this helpful

L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

You're kidding me! iPads are absolutely NOT for toddlers.
Heck, they aren't for tweens or teens either! There is an internet connection. Do you know what trouble these kids can get into on the internet??
OMG! Those people have way too much money.
Get some Legos and a play kitchen and call it a day.
LBC

9 moms found this helpful
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S.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

I'm not anti-technology but my 2-year-old still eats dirt and play-doh so having him master an iPad is the last thing on my mind. My other concern would be whether all this focus on technology would limit his social skills. My nephews never even look up from their Nintendo DS when we're at family gatherings or at their house for dinner. Where's the balance?

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R.M.

answers from Cumberland on

I can't even begin to wrap my head around this so I'm going to say no.

4 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

What?!!! NO! That does not make sense. Toddlers will get frustrated and throw things...is that what they want to happen to their iPad. It is NOT beneficial to their development. The best thing in the world for a toddler is play and doing things and getting read to and getting one on one time with their parent. Who are these crazy people?

4 moms found this helpful

M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hold on!! It's technology again!! So many on here seem to be scared of it...I just don't understand that. Would I buy my kid their OWN ipad...no! Because I get one first :). And that's really the main reason.

My kids all have Kindle Fires's and they are 4, 6, and 8. They ae not ill-behaved children nor are they GLUED to their devices (unimaginagble, right?) They play outside when it's not freezing cold or sweltering. They are all in activities (football, basketball, dance, and swim). Their rooms are kept clean (after month's of battle with my oldest who is now 8) and we spend plenty of time with the kids.

I guess my point here is that technology is NOT the devil.

Thank God for it, because I was able to get my undergrad early while having a baby at 20 and will have my MBA before I am 30. Only possible by online courses. Technology is good and growing - embrace it!

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

There is absolutely NO benefit to the child of any sort of screen at that age. The benefits to the parents should be obvious - a babysitter who is always available - just like tv, your phone or the supposed educational games (leap things).

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M.T.

answers from New York on

I am way past the toddler stage. My kids are 12 and 16, and there is not an ipad in our house. I don't believe in fancy, expensive electronics for babies. Toddlers don't need "educational apps," they need to learn from their environment and from one on one contact with an adult. Giving tiny tots these luxury items just feeds into the raising of the entitlement generation. At two years old, my kids had a fisher price dollhouse, wooden puzzles and construction vehicles to play with.

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C.C.

answers from Houston on

I'd say just playing with mamas is good enough for now!

4 moms found this helpful
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S.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't care how much it cost. I'm not getting one for 2 yr old. Heck, I wouldn't give one to a 2 year old even if it's free. Kids need to discover and explore the real world before they go into the virtual world.
I'm in the technology industry, I keep electonics out of my kids life and let them grow up the old fashioned way. Go outside and play.

3 moms found this helpful
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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My husband has an iPad.
It is truly awesome.
I love it and my son (8) loves it.

A 2 year old responsible for an iPad? Not happening here.

But if money was no object--why not?
Maybe they have a money tree in their yard. We don't! Rats!

3 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Dallas on

I would NEVER buy a 2 or 3 year old anything like that. When my DD was 2, she was perfectly happy playing in a box, the sand, playing with the dog, etc. She has a mobigo now and loves it and I'll let her play on MY phone, but no, she doesn't need an ipad.

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A.A.

answers from Columbus on

Well, I am going to go against the grain here. I can't wait to hear the responses.

My three year old now has my old iPod touch as his own. Gasp! I received an iPad as a gift so we decided our son could use the iPod. Meaning, it has all of his games on it and tv shows and music.

It is a one stop shop when we are out and need to entertain him. We have only downloaded the free games so far - matching, shapes, puzzles, colouring, alphabet, tracing words.

While I wouldn't have necessarily bought it specifically for him, I think it's great fun for him and educational too. Not to mention convenient for me! Prices have dropped since they first came out, I think when I last looked the smallest memory iPod is around $170. By the time you buy the Leapster and all the associated gear/games for that, the cost is up there yet no one bats an eye about those games.

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

I can tell you one reason NOT to buy an IPad for a 2 year old...my daughter had an I Pad...for herself...that her then 18 month old son ADORED!! They had downloaded tons of cute apps for her and it was a great thing when she had to keep him happy in his car seat. BUT he dropped it...broke the screen...those are VERY expensive to replace...I made it her Christmas present...it was over $300 to replace it!!! She now has a heavy duty protective case around it but I am still not convinced that it is something he should be playing with.

2 moms found this helpful

☆.H.

answers from San Francisco on

While electronics are a very easy way to get young children out of one's hair, I have found, with my own child, that I will always pay the price later in the form of disrespectful behavior and sass mouth.

2 moms found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

We have an iPad2 because I won it. My 6 year old and 3 year old are both very proficient with it. There are some good preschool & school-aged apps. However, I only allow them to play on it for a few minutes a day (and they don't play on it every day). If I had not won it, we would not have one. It is cool, but an expensive "toy".

2 moms found this helpful

L.M.

answers from Dover on

I don't get it either. If you wanted to do that I would go w/ the Leap Frog Pad because it is made for toddler so it is made to be handled a bit rougher.

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C.S.

answers from Miami on

No - but remember that M. is about as close to normal as Lady Gaga!

If you are wondering about your own child - read the information from the Academy of Pediatrics regarding "screentime" - computers, video games, TV, etc. My children don't watch TV at all before age two - and my five year old is limited to 30 minutes of screen time per day during the school week. I let him have a whole hour on weekends! (That includes TV, computer, VTech, etc.)

It isn't easy being a parent - but it is our job to say no. C.

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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

I would never consider buying such an expensive, fragile, electronic gadget for a 2 year old - my daughter is 4 and I still wouldn't. I am not anti-technology, but somehow, kids learned how to read and count and recognize their colors and shapes before computers came along. They were read to from books, colored with crayons, played with play-dough, built things with blocks, and made forts out of cardboard boxes.

I do let my daughter on our computer (desktop) at home sometimes on some educational websites, like Starfall. She is allowed to play some games on my phone while we are waiting in a restaurant. But she can also recognize all her alphabet letters (big and small) and count to 100 without us ever owning an iPad. She knew all her colors and shapes when she was 3. I know there is more to their intellectual growth than that, but seriously - getting her an iPad would have just been so not necessary. I'd rather see her paint pictures and run around outside chasing butterflies. She also interacts with family and friends and company when they come over rather than being glued to an electronic game.

2 moms found this helpful

~.~.

answers from Tulsa on

I bought an iPad for MYSELF. Granted, my 5 year son does play on it quite a bit, but I never would have bought it solely for him. I will say there are a bunch of educational apps that are great and it is a wonderful tool while we are traveling. But the price is too much to spend on a toddler.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.P.

answers from Seattle on

Ha! I can't even afford to buy MYSELF one!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

This is a joke, right? :) There are a lot of cool apps and games for kids that you can put on the ipad but no child needs a $500 piece of technology equipment. Toddlers break things! I don't think your child is even old enough for a Leappad, which is what we got our 5 year-old for Christmas. Only $100 and is basically an ipad for kids; it's amazing.

For the ipad, if you have one, and want to supervise your child while they are playing with it, great. Otherwise - one fall the wrong way on its face and that screen will crack.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I know someone who just got one for their 8 year old, and I think that is too young.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Gosh, I-Pads at Walmart are a lot less than the price you are saying. Tablets are not so expensive nowadays.

I think it is not different than letting them play with your phone. The apps they can download are fun and entertaining. They keep the little ones occupied while traveling and the teach lots of things if you choose that type of application.

I think it is a wonderful idea.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.C.

answers from Huntsville on

No. It's detrimental to their health. Studies have shown that focusing for long time on the tiny screens can lower their concentration ability in later years. Not to mention the lack of exercise and the harm the brightness of the screen is doing to their sensitive eyes. Toddlers should be running around, playing etc, instead of facing screens all day.
TV is better, but you should keep it to the minimum. (ie. one or two cartoons). Stick to physical games like hide and seek etc and board/ matching card games. Read stories to them. take them out on outings. I think that these ways can achieve the same results as iPad games, maybe even better.

1 mom found this helpful

A.G.

answers from Houston on

I could see the use of it, my youngest daughter(3) loves my iphone and can easily peruse through apples user friendly system to find and figure out her games. An ipad is just a big iphone........right?....basically? I guess my point is that sometimes people give their kids lavishly expensive things, like a doll that costs over 100 dollars with outfits that cost the same as adult ones. I sometimes feel like rolling my eyes at that, and you can get an old ipad for lots cheaper than 500 dollars these days. Plus the possibilities are almost endless with an ipad. They are much more interactive and educational than a tv, and maneuvering through sophisticated technology IS the skill they will need to have for americas future

Its a brave new world

Im still not gonna go buy one for my toddler, ill buy one for me and buy a big gummy kids case for it when i want her to use it...........btw, we just bought our 9 year old daughter a nook tablet, almost the same thing. But i know 9 is different than 2.

1 mom found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

You must live in a VERY wealthy area :)

1 mom found this helpful
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H.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Well my neighbors let there sons ages 5 and under use their iPad...no damage done to it yet but their 3 year old son has ordered, on accident, over $200 worth of game purchases and add-ons to games (only 125 of which then have been able to get refunded...haha I wouldn't get one for my young child

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S.S.

answers from Miami on

NO WAY! The EMF's coming off that thing are like 22 volts. A cell phone is like 2. Makes the child's central nervous system frightened. Little eyes should not be doing close-up work either. They should be outside looking at stuff far and near and 3D things to play with, not 2D.

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D.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think 2 is too young. We've been contemplating one because my husband has one for work and it is nice to put movies on or like many said there are educational apps. That being said, it would be more for our 4 year old than our 14 month old. We got him a VReader and the Leapfrog Tag but we still use the IPad for other "games" every now and then. I use games loosely, because I hesitate to let me son play games unless I know he's getting something out of them. No Mario here. My son still plays outside and is in activities so it doesn't worry me. What worries me is how fast technology is moving and whether we as parents can keep up with it!

N.T.

answers from Seattle on

This is such an interesting conversation. As each day passes, more technology comes into our lives. I love the advances and the creativity that produces these inventions. That being said, I believe there are two things to consider . . . what age do you start and how much exposure do you allow.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says exposure to screen devices 0-2 years old should be zero. They also suggest no handheld devices until the age of 10. I just ready a study suggesting smart phones should be held off until age 15. All of these suggestions are fine, but I also live in the real world and understand what parents go through. In moderation, supervising the content, parents may proceed how they feel is best. That being said, tune into your values and observe your children. Do you notice differences after screen exposure? Insure they are getting an appropriate amount of play. We may even look at technology like we do at food. Are we snacking all day or are we getting a balanced diet? There is so much that we can say on this subject. I feel the more we learn, the wiser decisions we make. I also do not believe in judging. I believe that we all want the best for our kids and proceed accordingly with the knowledge we have at the time. Trust me, I have made huge mistakes with my now 12 year old and have done better with my now 8 year old, but everyday I learn more and I make wiser choices. I am more than willing to help inform as I am the official workshop facilitator for Dr. John Medina's Brain Rules for Baby and am certified to teach Gloria DeGaetano's Brain-Compatible Parenting System. Let me know if you are interested in finding out more by emailing me at [email protected]____.com the best

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E.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I think an iPad of their own is to much for any kid...even 10-12 year olds. That being said, I think there are plenty of good education apps that you can use with your 2-3 year old. This list came from a woman who makes apps herself and really knows her stuff. No need to buy a separate iPad...just load up the family iPad with things for that toddler -

Best Baby & Toddler Apps
http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/mindouglas/favorite-baby-...

C.A.

answers from New York on

I would not spend that much for a 2 yr old. My daughter will turn 4 next week and we got her a Vtech Innotab for Christmas. I downloaded some apps for her on my tablet and now she plays with her own. She loves it. She tells everyone it's just like mommy's.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

A new Ipad? No way. An old one when you upgrade? Maybe, if you don't care about breakage, or pay attention to what they're doing. It is educational, but you can load up apps for the kiddo and supervise when they use yours. If people are getting their toddlers Ipads, they're keeping up with the Jonses.

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N.G.

answers from Miami on

I'm not sure if I would purchase one for 2 or 3 year old, but then again if you have the money why not. I just purchased one around the holidays for my Autistic, speech delayed child (age 5). I paid $600 and would pay $1200 if there was the slightest chance that the language apps would help him. There are other uses to an IPad then watching movies and playing games. I love the amount of judgement passed along on this site.

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H.M.

answers from Denver on

I would never buy one for my child or myself. Much better uses for $500 in our household - but that doesn't mean I won't take one (my company gave them to all of us as gifts this year) and my 3 year old loves it. We have it in an Otterbox so it's pretty much indestructible but she is only allowed to play with it when we are helping her.

There are lots of free apps for it and they are educational and fun.

As for a Leapster and what not being close i cost - that's a bit of a stretch if you ask me. I bought my son a Leapster, w/carrying case, and a handful of games - and it barely came to $100 - which is a far cry from the bare minimum of $500 that a new iPad costs.

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M.M.

answers from Lake Charles on

I think it should be on a case-by-case basis.. This summer when my daughter turns 3 I could see maybe giving her our first gen iPad and buying my husband an iPad 2.. It would be something that she'd use with supervision and it would have a sturdy case on it but there's definitely some merit to the apps for learning.. it just depends on your financial situation and how responsible your kid is.

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J.V.

answers from Chicago on

LOL. I have a friend that bought her 2 year old an Ipad. I think it's totally silly and unnecessary. We have two pads in our house. The kids (almost 4 and 2) play on them once every blue moon. There are tons of FREE games on the computer we already own.

It is a keeping up with the Joneses thing. 3 year olds will destroy an Ipad in 15 minutes if they aren't monitored.

now, when my daughter is 5, she will be getting her own something. We will be homeschooling, and we will be using some computer software. I don't want to share my computer, so we will get her something. But 2 and 3 year olds don't need computers. Lots of things are educational, but are they worth $500? I know not.

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T.M.

answers from Miami on

No! There are cheaper electronic that educate

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Omg no!!!!!!

NormaG: I agree with you, you use anything, any device to help a special
needs child no matter what. My 18 month old grandson does not really
speak at all, so I bought a microphone for him and walkie talkies for both
kids. Since I gave him the microphone he is starting to come up with little
words. No let me tell you, do I want to listen to this thing all day long, no.
However, you do what you need to do to help kids along.

L._.

answers from San Diego on

I would do it in a heartbeat if I had the money and if I thought the devices were built to stand up to a toddler. I haven't yet been willing to hand my cheap knock off to my grandson and he's 2.5.

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