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Does Your Kid Need a $150 Tablet Made Just for Kids? Toys R Us Thinks So

By Meredith Carroll |

Tabeo

The Tabeo

My older daughter, 4, thinks my husband’s iPad her is iPad, and that my iPhone is her playground. She doesn’t have unfettered access to either one, but every chance she’s given she moves around on each like it’s her job.

Toys R Us just announced a $150 tablet made just for kids, the Tabeo, according to CNN, and surely the toy retail giant hopes that parents like us will buy it in order to reclaim our own devices.

They would be wrong.

The last thing my daughter needs is her own device. She actually doesn’t ask to use either of our devices all that much, but when we give one to her it’s hard to get it back. If we buy one designed just for her, it would be harder to regulate her usage, not to mention continue to try and make her understand that screen time is a privilege, not a right.

Besides, at a $150 a pop (which, yes, is less than an iPad), the Tabeo is still waaaaaaay too expensive for a child. At least a child in our house. Sure, it’s designed to be used (and dropped) by toddler hands. It comes loaded with 50 child-friendly apps and owners have access to an additional 70,000 free apps. It’s got all kinds of safety nets in places for the Internet.

But for all the reasons why my preschooler doesn’t own a cell phone, have a TV in her room or need her own iAnything is the same reason we won’t be buying her this: She’s gotten by without any of those devices to call her own for this long, we feel confident that she’ll be fine for several more years to come without one.

Photo credit: Toys R Us

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About Meredith Carroll

meredith-carroll

Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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One thought on “Does Your Kid Need a $150 Tablet Made Just for Kids? Toys R Us Thinks So

  1. GIb says:

    My 2.5 year old has her own Android tablet. I got it for $100, and a case for a few bucks more. It isn’t too drop-proof, but she hasn’t broken it so far. I had to load it up with some special software that locks out some functions, and doesn’t give her access to make a 000 (911) call.

    It’s teaching her letters, objects, lets her watch an educational cartoon she likes (Anpanman). And it lessens the times she wants to use our phones. (Although not totally – I just cleaned my screen because she got a hold of my phone from the table while her fingers still had yoghurt on them…)

    I plan for my daughter to be a computer nerd, and I want to start now!

    I’ll be giving her a phone as soon as it’s practical too (one that lets me track her location…)

    As for this latest device from ToysRUs, I think it’s a great idea. There are certainly annoyances with my daughter’s tablet due to the hacks I’ve had to put in for it to be locked down enough… A fork of Android designed from the ground up for toddlers is one I’ve been considering trying to do myself. (I’m a software guy.)

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