Monday, March 15, 2010

An iTouch for a 3 year old?

Yes! And I'll tell you why. You can load it with all kinds of different media that will hold a 3 year old's attention indefinitely! Actually the battery lasts around 6 hours of straight play time - but Serenity's iTouch is about a month old now and she's no where near bored with it. She plays games, music, music videos, movies, and her favorite TV shows on her iTouch. It's like having a Nintendo DS, MP3 player, and portable DVD player all-in-one!

After getting my iPhone a little over a month ago, I uploaded few games on it - of course! When Serenity saw what I was playing, she hijacked it and refused to give it back! I was amazed how fast she caught on how to use it too. She was having so much fun playing the few games I had, watching the videos, and listening to the music, that I really wanted to get her something similar of her own. Here she is playing SmackTalk! on my iPhone - sorry the video is so dark. This is one of her favorite apps (she loves the hamster), but you can't play it on an iTouch because it doesn't have a microphone.

UPDATE: The newer iTouch has a camera on the front and back, and a microphone so SmackTalk! will work just fine on it.

If you're worried that handing over an iTouch to your preschooler is nothing more than getting them hooked on horrible video games way too early, I have to disagree! The apps designed for young children are mostly educational - and they are either free or very cheap.

Serenity is learning her alphabet, numbers, colors, how to solve puzzles, draw, and it's been helping with her coordination too. Of course some of that she already knew but not all - besides, she has so much fun learning while playing with her iTouch that it's hard to find fault with it.

My husband and I bought Serenity the 8GB iTouch for around $180. The 8GB holds more than enough entertainment for a preschooler. When you consider I'd have to buy a Nintendo DS ($130) & games ($? LOTS!), MP3 player ($15 and up), and portable DVD player ($60 and up) to cover everything the iTouch offers, $180 doesn't sound too bad. Plus, that's an awful lot of hardware to pack up and keep track of every time you leave the house. Serenity's iTouch fits neatly in her little purse!

We also bought a few accessories for it too. A nice pink rubber case, some Belkin screen protectors, and a pair of Kidz Gear Headphones. I'm very satisfied with all of it. The case fits snug and the screen protector is pretty easy to apply.
I also make sure she's only allowed to play with her iTouch around me, and I'm teaching her to be very careful with it. She's doing a good job - no major incidents so far (knock on wood!).

The headphones actually fit comfortably on Serenity's head, and with the built in volume-control I know the sounds won't be blaring in her ears.

Although, I think I'd like to see something like the Tadpole made for an iTouch! It looks durable and definitely kid-friendly.

Now to add movies you can either buy them in iTunes, or put movies you already own on it. Try using DVDShrink and Xilisoft Video Converter to put your movies on your computer, convert them, and then add them to the iTouch via iTunes. I know it's more time-consuming, but it's free!

I've done a little research to discover apps that would interest a 3 year old, but I also just surf around in the app store to find them too. Here's a list of some of Serenity's favorite apps:

Wood Puzzle (99¢),
McPea Preschool (99¢),
iWriteWords ($1.99),
Bubble Snap (FREE),
Sneezies (99¢),
Tozzle ($1.99),
Moo Shake (99¢),
Screen Cleaner (FREE),
Scribble Lite (FREE),
Shape Builder Lite (FREE), and
Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99).

Yeah - Plants vs. Zombies! Serenity saw me playing it on my iPhone and wanted me to put it on her iTouch (which didn't cost anything extra). She loves it! She's so funny too - when they make their way past her defenses, she says, "Oh no! The Zombies ate my Bwains"!

A few games offer a "lite" version. It a great way to try out a program for free to see if your child likes it. In some cases, like Disney Fairies Fly, the lite version is more than enough to keep Serenity interested.

We've been sick this past weekend, and instead of being bored and irritated because she had to lay down and rest, Serenity had fun playing on her iTouch. That's something I never even thought about when I bought it. Excellent!

I highly recommend it for your preschooler or young child.
I have nothing but good to say about the iTouch. Serenity can watch all her favorite shows, movies, music videos, listen to her favorite music, and have tons of fun learning in an entertaining new way!

Here's a few more Apps for Kids Serenity likes and your child might too:

Preschool Arcade
Kids Four
Letters A to Z
Word Magic
123 Animals Counting Lite
123 Tracer and More Lite
Sprout Player
BuddyApps: Kid Phone
Doddle Jump
Giraffe's Preschool Playground
Elmo's Monster Maker
Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom
Go, Diego, Go! Musical Missions
Learn Sight Words
Toddler Teasers Quizzing

If your preschooler has a favorite please let me know! Maybe Serenity would like it too!


I'd like to add that you don't have to pay a monthly fee to enjoy the features on an iTouch. It does have WiFi, but that's built in and it works on any network - like at home, McDonald's, Starbucks, hotels - anywhere you can pick up a signal. It has Bluetooth too. Both of these features can be turned off. Bluetooth so the iTouch battery will last longer, and WiFi so your child can't get online.

You can put pictures on it too - I have a few of family, friends and Serenity on her iTouch.

I also forgot to mention that the App Store offers wonderful interactive books at great prices for your preschooler:

Sleeping Beauty
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The Little Red Hen
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Three Little Pigs
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Cat in the Hat

And plenty more!

Can you tell why I (and Serenity!) really, really, really like the iTouch?!

Have fun!


Unknown said...

We just got iPhones and our daughter is in love with the apps we have for her on ours too! We are thinking about getting her one of these, especially after reading your post. I think it might be her happy 3rd bday gift :) Plus a

Emily said...

Thanks for the additional tips! I got one for Christmas and the kids love it so far. I'll have to look into the additional games. We were going to get a leapfrog for Christmas, but I'm glad we got the Touch.

MARCIA said...

I have to agree with you. They are so much more convienient for kids. My 5 year old takes better care of our itouch than my husband does..hahaha

Katie said...

Maybe one day when I can afford to get myself one I'll think about getting Mia one! LOL! Hope Serenity gets her package today!

Anonymous said...

I have the iPod nano, and it came with a few games on it, but can I download more for it? i am not very good at this sort of stuff...

The Mac's House said...

Never really thought about it but the way you wrote it, honestly this is quite a good idea. Very handy to take anywhere with you too. I can only imagine how much easier my lengthy 12 hour car trips to see relatives would be for us all.

I don't need all the bells and whistles for myself but this is a good idea. Thanks for the post.

mommyof2tuties said...

I am sure this is a stupid question for the smart nano and ipod people of the blog world. But here it there a monthly fee to run these applications? On my phone you have to have the internet link.......and I don't. Thanks for your help my DD wil be 3in a couple of weeks.

Me said...

my kids both have an iTouch and i think it is the best thing EVER!!! :) thanks for giving us some more apps to look for! :)

gr8day2no said...

I LOVED reading this blog entry. I got an iTouch 2 years ago for Christmas and it naturally seemed to find itself in my daugher's hands!! She was only two and she loved it!! She knew all her colors shapes and numbers 1-10 before she was 3!! She will be four in late summer.....and it has been HER iPod since and she's gentle with it-no probs yet. Needless to say, I ended up getting an iPhone. There is one app my daughter's called doodle buddy and it's free too!! You can draw with your finger with different colors, stamps, stickers, etc. She's in her happy face mode and draws all the time! Thanks for sharing.

Crystal Sargent said...

My daughter loves princess movies but I already own them on dvd. How can I put the movies we already own on a itouch? We debated this for xmas, but couldn't figure out how to get around buying a digital version of all the movies we already own. Lets face it, we are not the brightest parents. Thanks, Crystal

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