Tablet or Ipad for 6 and 8 Yr Olds?

Updated on July 03, 2013
A.K. asks from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
16 answers

Hi Moms,
Do your kids have a tablet or Ipad? If so, what do they do on it?
My kids both have a laptop (our used ones) which they nominally do some 'homework' on it during the school year. Mostly, they play educational games that the school recommends. They have computer time at school and whatever they did there, sometimes they come home and ask to 'play' a little more at home.
On the last day of school, the teacher told kids they can bring their toys to school to share. Most kids brought some sort of tablet (Ipad, Kindle, etc). Now my older daughter wants one. It seems like most kids just play games on it.
My kids read real books and they like that a lot. They both love to read so I have to limit their reading time. So, what are some reasons for getting kids a tablet?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all your answers. We will get a family tablet and share. I don't want my kids to be the only kid in class who doesn't know how to use it. Personally, I've never felt the need for one. I'm on the computer all day at work. When I get home, I'm totally off the grid.

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answers from Houston on

I am tablet queen. I have an ipad mini, a android pad and a kindle fire HD. Hands down the ipad mini is da best. Zillions of apps. I have it in an otterbox. It was $299.
My kids mostly play games on it, but my daughter likes to read interactive books on it. I read kindle books on it. It's awesome and I love it. The kindle is nice, but it is not as responsive as the ipad.
My kids are 5 and 10 btw



answers from Las Vegas on

I dont even have an i pad or tablet. So there is no way that i would get one for my boys who are 4 and 7. My 7 year old uses the comouterwhen we need help with his homework. And i do let him and my 4 year old to play games games on the computer games like disney jr. Nick jr. And minecraft.

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answers from Toledo on

They really come in handy when you're traveling or have a doctor's appointment or know you'll be stuck waiting. It's pretty easy to get caught up in all the hype. I know plenty of adults that want to get the newest I-Phone or I-Pad. Imagine how easy it is for kids if they perceive all if their classmates as having the latest toy.

I'm not sure I can give you reasons that they really "need" to have one right now. I think it would honestly be another toy at their age. Not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it is what it is.

As far as what the kids would use it for, they would most likely use any type of e-reader or tablet the same way ... to play games. Doesn't really matter if it's an I-Pad, Galaxy Tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook HD. There are certainly differences, but the kids would use any one of them pretty much the same way.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I have a Nook Tablet that I allow my boys (4 & 7) to play, if they ask. I was recently given an IPad at work. I've let my oldest play on it, but not too often. I'm pretty protective of it since I don't actually own it, the university does.

There are some educational aps. I'm not sure that's necessarily a reason to buy one. I think at their age it is mostly for playing games. As they get older, they may enjoy reading books on them. I love the fact that I can read in bed without my lamp on (so does my husband). Also, it's really nice to have it when we travel, as I don't have to choose which books to bring. I just bring my Nook.

My 7 year old has been asking for an IPod Touch ever since his 8 year old cousin got one for Christmas. He keeps telling us that all the other kids in his class have one. I'm sure some of them do, but we are definitely not getting him one any time soon. He has a DS and access to enough electronics (Nook, IPad, laptop). He doesn't need an IPod Touch.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

We got our daughter an IPad for Christmas at the age of 7. (She has since turned 8) We do not have one ourselves. I don't feel like I need one as I can use my PC at home or my phone when out and about. We bought it for our daughter because she uses them at her school. They have tons of learning activities on them. She was begging to play the learning games so we have it linked up to the school's programs and reports get sent to her teacher as well as to my e-mail of her progress. She plays games where she competes with other children, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. She also plays other games on it, watches movies, takes pictures and videos. She uses it like a diary, writing notes, documenting life. I love to see what she writes and creates. I felt since she has earned strait A's and E's and does well in school, I didn't mind spending the money on her. She's a good kid, listens well and puts away her IPad when told. My 5 year old is begging for one. He breaks everything he touches. Might be many years before I would consider getting him one..........

One final thing, we are a family that loves to travel. Having the IPad to pass the time has been a priceless gift. One can only take so many "Are we there yet?" questions, especially considering they begin 5 min. after departing from the house. The IPad has been a lovely distraction!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think kids that age need their own tablets. It's ok to use the parents' sometimes, but having their own seems excessive. Young kids don't need such expensive "toys" and are better off doing things that use their imagination. I also think it's important to read real books and not just have an e-reader. I don't know why I think that, but I do! Even though it seems that schools may go digital down the road, I still think there will be times when it's important to know how to do research in a real book, and just to feel the sensation of turning the pages, etc. I don't know... I tend to be somewhat anti-technology, especially with kids.

Anyway, my son is 6 and a couple of his friends have their own ipads but most, like mine, just use their parents' sometimes.

I actually think it's really sad that most kids chose a tablet to bring for sharing at school.

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answers from Washington DC on

My kids 6 and 12 borrow my Kindle all the time to play games and watch videos.



answers from Honolulu on

If.... you have Apple/MAC computers in your home, then get an iPad.
Because, you can sync ALL of these, together. Seamless. Easy. Versatile.
And, at school, schools typically have.... MAC/Apple computers/products. So, your kids will be learning on that.
So makes sense to me, to get an iPad.

Per my kids who are 6 and 10.... they do do school work on computers. Even my 6 year old they have computer class. And some classes have the iPads for class work. And all of their school work, is done on MAC computers. And so per apps or software, my kids can also have at home, what they have at school.

Anyway, per iPads or tablets, the same app... can be free on an iPad, but cost more on another tablet. ie: on say a Nook etc.
And the Nook, well we also have the Nook HD.
Some apps are available for both, and some are not and only for the iPad.
Other tablets are good too.
But, if you are looking for a device that will also correspond to what your kids have at school... then get an iPad.
Don't just go according to... what your kids say. Kids want what they see. They don't have the logic to choose why or the technicalities of it.

And no, tablets/iPads are not just for playing games.
But it has a different operating system. ie: OS.
It also uses apps. Not software.

Go to an Apple store, and explore the iPad. Talk to the people there. They are very helpful.


answers from San Diego on

The only reason our son (5 years old) has his own tablet is because my husband had enough points (that were about to expire) to 'purchase' one. We figured it would be nice to not bog down our tablet with a bunch of kid apps, books, games and music and would be great for travel. We are not an Apple family. We love the Samsung tablet. Our son has the small one and my husband has the large one that we take on trips with us. I have the kindle fire that I use in the kitchen for recipes and when I just need to hide in my room and watch something on netflix all by myself;) I also have the regular kindle for reading.

Our son uses his tablet for reading interactive books (he also reads regular books), for playing games, for listening to his music in his room and for watching his shows. If he gets ready for bed early, he gets two regular books and either one book or one show or game on his tab.

He's too young for us to allow him to bring it to school without us worrying about him losing it or not taking care of it, so that wouldn't be an option for us at this time.


answers from Phoenix on

we got the Samsung galaxy tablets. They are about $150 or so.....
it serves the purpose and keeps the cost down. They take photos, videos, fun aps like paint nails, make cupcakes, hotdog stand, hamburger, then other type of games.... so it is fun for them.
You can down load books and music but it can get costly there.



answers from Chicago on

My 5 year old has a tablet. I wish we would have bought a laptop instead, but hubby wanted a tablet.

She just plays games on it. I then let the three year old play on my iPhone or iPad.

My daughter with the tablet reads books more than she plays games. I don't have to limit her reading time unless it's bedtime.

I want to buy another computer, tablets can't do soooooo much.

I do recommend having an iPad in the house. The apps are great, much better than an android.



answers from Oklahoma City on

A tablet is more than and Ipad, it's more like a hand held computer. We got the kids the google tablets for Christmas and they still play them almost every day. We have Kids Place on them so they can't download a bunch of junk or watch anything inappropriate.

WE DO NOT PAY FOR THEM TO USE THEIR TABLETS AT ALL. We only use our own wireless internet connection for them. If we're not where there is free wifi then don't have internet access but can still play all their games and have a lot of fun.

We have Pengiuns and Mine Craft on both tablets and they can play those games all the time too.



answers from Chattanooga on

My 3yo plays on my iPad a lot. She has more apps than I do! Lol. She has a speech delay, and I have a few apps that address that. I also have apps designed to work on fine motor and cognitive skills, preschool math, letter recognition, etc. She has one app on it that is purely "for fun" (no educational purpose...) but even that has helped with her speech development. There are LOTS of games that are educational, so you can focus on installing those if you prefer.

I only paid for one app, because she really liked the free content, so I upgraded to the full version. The rest are all free apps or the lite (preview) version.

I limit her time on it when I can, but it is GREAT for trips, or when I need her quiet and preoccupied while I work on my homework. :)

If they love to read, there are apps to turn tablets (and iPads) into e-readers, and e-books are often cheaper and easier to access than paper... And many libraries have started loaning them.

Personally, I think it is a good idea to introduce kids to technology, and how to appropriately use it, when they are young. It is such a part of every day life, that they will need to understand it anyway. It's much easier for them to grow up with it, than to teach them from scratch when they get older.

So long as you put limits on their use, I don't see a problem with me having one. You can put locks on it to limit what they can access, so that's not a worry. I'm not sure if I would buy one "for" them though. Maybe get one, for the whole family to share.


answers from Milwaukee on

We have an ipad, Kindle fire and laptop. They play the iPad the most. DH wants a Google Nexus for our next handheld device.



answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think 6 or 8 year olds need a a tablet or ipad - they are expensive and too easy to break and they are mostly used for playing games at that age. Also kids that age are not necessarily responsible enough to take care of something like that. A tablet is more useful for older kids and adults who want to have easy access to the internet, download books, etc. Most kids already have computers at home for homework and research. I think they do need something portable that they can take with them on trips like a DS or PSP. That's all my son had until he was 9. (he's 10 1/2 now). When he was 9 he won an IPOD Touch. He uses that to download some games that he can't get on the PSP and he takes pictures and videos of our cats. He is also able to Facetime with it. We take these with us when we travel or when we go somewhere where we think he'll be bored. We also have laptops and computers at home so he never felt he needed a tablet.

However, my mom just got him an Ipad for graduating 5th grade. We were told it will be useful in middle school.. A lot of schools are starting to use tablets for school work. The tablet does start up faster than the computer so he uses it if he needs to get on the internet quickly. So I think for kids your age, if they are just playing games there are less expensive options for you.

Enjoy the summer!


answers from San Diego on

We got our 8 year old an Ipad mini for her birthday. She's going to start using it in school next year, which triggered our purchase. Right now, I've loaded educational games on it and she loves it.

But here's a true story. Last weekend I accidentally locked my daughter and I out of our house. I had just locked the small lock on the front door knob (not the deadbolt yet) and closed the door, thinking that I had my house/car keys in my purse. Turns out I didn't! As I was fretting, walking around the house wondering how the heck we were going to get back in, my daughter logged onto her Ipad, looked up how to get into a house when you're locked out, then said, "Hey mom, why don't you try to use your credit card to open the door?" I looked at her, grabbed my card, slid it down the length of the door side and voila!!! Door opened. I said, "Where did you get that idea?" She smiled and said, "I just looked it up on my Ipad!" WOOHOO!! Happy mommy and proud, clever kid :)

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