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Starting ‘Em Early: Best Tech Tools for the Preschool Set

best tech tools for the preschool setBefore I was a mom, I fancied we might be a tech-free household that wiled away the days making crafts and tilling our organic garden.  We do a little of that, but now that I’m a mom of 4 I’ve also given over to the fact that technology is difficult to avoid in this day and age.  I’ve even embraced the idea that, used sparingly, technology can be an amazing educational tool.  There are moments that I cringe at the way my 3-year-old knows her way around my iPhone, but at the same time, I credit Starfall.com for teaching my 5-year-old how to read.  We still try to impose some moderation in our house (with the help of an egg timer), but I’ve found some fun gadgets that can help introduce young children to the learning potential of technology geared for adults. Here are our favorites:

 


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    My kids are constantly wanting to play with my phone, but whenever I give it to them, I usually get it back sticky . . . not to mention the risks to the screen.  The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case for iPhones is a great way to let your child play with your phone without worrying about damage.  The case covers even the screen, so messy hands aren't a problem.

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    The HP TouchSmart  is the perfect desktop computer for kids, with a touch-screen monitor that alleviates the need for a mouse. My kids love playing StarFall.com on this computer, and I swear my daughter learned to read this way.

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    In addition to the iPhone case, Fisher Price also has a Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case for the iPad.  It encases the devise to protect it from clumsy or messy hands, and is compatible with both iPad models.

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    The Microsoft LifeCam is a great add-on camera for a Windows computer, because it comes with fun, easy-to-use software that allows kids to create their own videos. They can add special effects or even a cartoon hat or wig. My kids spend hours making silly videos with this webcam.

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    The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Monkey is a great option for toddlers and babies. Your iPhone or iPod can bet inserted into the Monkey's stomach and protects your device from teething or drool.  Baby can squeeze the monkey's hands and feet to interact with the free Fisher Price apps. 

 

Do you let your kids have access to tech devices like cell phones or iPads?  What are some of your favorite tools or apps that help make technology accessible and fun to young children?

 

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Kristen blogs at Rage Against the Minivan.  You can also find her wasting time on twitter and facebook.

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