By Paenting Pro Carissa Rogers for GalTime.com
The My sweet husband gave me a new iPad 2 last summer for my anniversary. I was amazed (since I really didn't get him anything!) I was also a bit shocked, because tablets are pretty expensive. He knew I was tired of lugging a large laptop on family travel trips and to my work conferences.
Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to dig in and figure out a new gadget!
However… right away, Mom's iPad very quickly became the 'family' iPad. There are way too many fun games and apps the whole family can play and enjoy. From the silly (and mindless) bubble popping types to the 'edutainment' apps like:
YabberMag- An iPad app that's a science magazine, reader, video game and movie all in one. My little boy LOVES it!
Totally Amp'd- A tween girl dream of an iPad app. Mini 'appisodes' that are 'Glee-like' and includes 3 different ways to interact above watching the short video series. A Movie maker, a Music creation station and a fashion place.
Scribble Press- DUDE! It's a virtual bookshop on an iPad… and the owners, authors, illustrators and editors are YOUR KIDS! EVERY mother loves THAT!
I love that my little pre-emergent reader is using apps and games that teach reading. Bob Books are especially great in app form!
I use the tablet just as much as the kids do. When I tagged along to Madrid while my husband was on a work trip (I know... believe me, it was wonderful!) I did NOT take my laptop.
And in the end I missed being able to do my actual work tasks during down times, but the main thing was that I was able to keep up with email via my iPad while on my romantic vacation to Spain.
In an average day, I might wake to my 2nd grader playing quietly on the family tablet because he woke at 6AM (bless him for not waking me!). Later, when the preschooler is home before the big kids are, he will use the iPad near me playing on several different reading apps (and yes, other less educational 'fun' apps!).
I have downloaded several 'mom' books recently and am happy to curl up in the evening-quiet, laughing along to Tina Fey's book.
I now carry the iPad to church each week because the scriptures and manuals are all right there in an app!! Who knew!?
My current favorite use for the 'family' tablet is while at Little League. (All three are playing this year!) When one kid is at bat in his or her game the other two tend to get bored (not to mention cold!).
I simply shuffle the non-players off to the van to warm up and entertain themselves.
When summer boredom calls and we need a new app suggestion I can always pull up Famigo.com and let their family friendly reviews (3 stars or higher) do the heavy work for me!
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