True story, my two and a half year old nephew is better at Angry Birds than I am. My one year old nephew is getting there.
I'm quite okay with this, in fact, I'm proud of it. When I was visiting my parents a while back, I took my Asus Transformer. My sister stopped by one day with my nephews, and the two year old knew what my tablet was. My sister told me her husband has a Xoom and that on occasion he lets my nephew play on it. I didn't believe her so I asked if he could play, I had to see this. With much fear, I handed over my tablet to this lil guy who is no taller than my knee cap.
He was able to navigate through the app drawer and find the games, Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, and Angry Birds Rio, play them and switch between them all with ease. I hadn't unlocked too many levels so when he would open up another of the games, he would ask me "Uncle Willie, where's the level with _____?" I had no idea what he was talking about so I just nodded and he glared back at me in what I can only assume was disappointment. I supervised him and watched in astonishment as he unlocked level after level in all three of the games. After a while my sister took him outside and we resumed what to me are more normal activities for a 2 year old, running around outside, playing ball, and throwing said ball at our dogs.
A few weeks later I was back in San Antonio doing my thing, when I got a picture message from my sister. My younger nephew, not even a year old yet then, was playing with the tablet which was precariously balanced on the edge of his walker. If she hadn't sent me a picture of it I wouldn't believe it. She said he was getting better at it and that my brother-in-law was debating getting them a tablet. Again, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I don't remember being 2 years old, but I'm pretty sure I didn't have something as expensive as a tablet. Granted, he was thinking of getting them a cheaper "non-Honeycomb" Android tablet, but still, it was a tablet! I'm 28 and just got a tablet a few months ago. Am I being bitter...possibly. I told her it probably wasn't a good idea but if he was going to do it, then to try and get the cheapest one possible because they were probably going to trash it.
Fast forward to Christmas time and I was back in my hometown. My family and I went to go visit my sister and I remembered the tablet. After arriving at her place and settling in, I finally asked to see what tablet they ended up getting for the kids. I was hoping for the best but was told that they ended up breaking it shortly after they got it. Alas, the advice to get the cheapest tablet possible was good advice in the end.
So am I writing this to gloat? Not at all, I genuinely think it sucks that they busted their tablet. I wish they still had it and were able to enjoy all the goodness that one can get out of a tablet. No, I write this as a warning to those of you out there who think getting your kids a tablet is a good idea. At the end of the day, kids are kids, they will eventually end up breaking things, there's just no way around it. Getting them a tablet is just adding one more variable into the equation of destruction.
If you must get your kids a tablet because you're thinking "My kids/nephews/grandkids are not monsters like Willie's nephews!", then I would say your kids probably are and then I would say get them something that is at least built to be kid friendly. My niece-in-law got a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Tablet. It's a great tablet for kids and definitely is built for tiny hands that like to destroy things. I did a full review of it on my friend Eve's site, Beautiful Spitup, so check that out if you're interested in learning more before you pick one up. As for me, when I have kids, I'm getting them coloring books.
Originally published on my blog RGDDesigns