Tag Archives: computers

I Confess, My Toddler Has An iTouch

Yes, you read that right. My little man has his very own iTouch. It was a birthday gift from his daddy. I am a professed gadget girl, but am sheepish about the fact that my boy has already had his first byte of Apple Inc.

My boys playing with the iTouch.

It started early this summer when Hubby proposed getting one for Logan’s birthday. I thought he was nuts at the time, but after talking to some educators, they all thought it was a smart idea and started extolling the virtues of such devices. They’re perfect for small hands! There’s tons of teaching apps! It’s important to introduce technology early!

I asked myself, has Steve Jobs been talking to my friends or is it that iAmOutOfTouch?

Logan got his iTouch for his 3rd birthday and he really likes it. He knows how to turn it on, unlock it and play whatever games he wants. The usual faves are counting monkies jumping on the bed, alphabetic flashcards, a matching game and all the puzzles. He’s also got a few episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Tigger and Friends and Backyardigans. He figured out how to access all of them fairly quickly.

Hubby wrapped the iTouch in an apparently tantrum-proof case that was put to the test this weekend during our road trip. Somewhere just east of the Mississippi River, it came hurtling from the backseat, whizzed by my shoulder and slammed into the front window. I pulled it from the dashboard, completely unscathed.

Although I’m still not comfortable with him having one, I have to admit I like the educational apps Hubby’s downloaded. Speaking of Hubby, many people asked me if the iTouch was really for him. I assured them that nope, Hubby wanted it for Logan.

Then I began to wonder myself after he accidentally pocket dialed me from a boys weekend and I could hear him showing off the new iTouch to his buddies. (It was funny to listen to drunken grown men talking about kiddie apps!) And recently there’s been some downloads of Hubby’s favorite bands, a-ha and Depeche Mode. Nevertheless it seems like it’s 80 percent Logan’s and 20 percent Hubby’s, which is fine, as both boys seem very happy with the gadget.

Again, it’s been good for Logan, but the practical Kansas girl in me has a hard time wrapping my mind around him having such an item. After all, the “big gift” I got for him was a $24 toy guitar that he loves so much, he sleeps with it.

So I don’t know if he’ll be more apt to turn out like Steve Jobs or Slash, but at least the boy’s got choices.

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Sippy Cups & Social-Networking: Togetherville a Facebook for Kids

 Have you guys heard about the new website Togetherville? It’s essentially Facebook 4 Kids.

The social networking site is for children ages 6 to 10 and their parents. Togetherville makes a lot of strides to provide a safe place for kids to interact online. Though they can do art projects, play games and swap videos, everything is vetted first. Like Facebook, kids can have friends, interact with children of their parents friends and they can comment on posts and make status updates or “quips.” The comments however are canned and innocent: I (heart) my family!

All of this sounds good, but what’s the point and will it catch on? I’m sure the same questions were asked of Twitter and look how that turned out. But still sippy cups and social networking?

Togetherville says that as kids in what I call the iGeneration are more plugged into their gadgets there’s a need for a safe place for them to practice healthy social-networking habits. It says it helps them to become “good digital citizens.”

One of my girlfriends told me recently how her 6-year-old threw a fit because she wasn’t allowed to get her own Facebook account. My friend’s compromise is that they share mom’s. But you can easily see where that could get sticky. All of a sudden you’ve got 7-year-olds posting random stuff on your wall or some high school cockroach making inappropriate comments that you can’t delete quite fast enough.

Togetherville would work well for them, but it’s like all social networking, if no one participates what fun would it be. Would you be on Facebook as much if there were only 30 people in the Facebook world, as opposed to the 410 million that are there today?

So we’ll see. I have to admit I’m skeptical, but intrigued.