Parenting in the 21st century means keeping up with technology — especially when it comes to the gadgets your kids are using. From the coolest gadgets like the iPad to smart cell phones that give your youngster access to the world, discover the tech gadgets for kids that your adolescent may using.
Cell phones are more than a way for your kiddos to call home and let you know they got to where they’re going. Cell phones are also a gateway to the Internet, social networking sites and the world of texting. There are more cell phones for kids hitting the market, like Kajeet, offering prepaid plans, parental controls and GPS phone locator.
From take-with-you technology such as the Nintendo DS to movement-sensing equipment like the XBOX 360 Kinect, video gaming isn’t as passive as it used to be. However, it’s important to note that many game systems give your child the ability to go online where wireless Internet is available, so set some guidelines and monitor screen time.
Webcams are mini video cameras that allow you to stream live images of yourself over the Internet, and are even built into many laptop computers today. And, with video chat easily accessible with software like Skype and video chat features on instant messaging programs, setting guidelines as to whom they can broadcast is key to keeping your kids safe.
Without the restrictions of film and the freedom to only print what you want, digital cameras have become more accessible to adolescents. Many cell phones even have digital cameras built right in! Consider opting for digital cameras for kids, like the Crayola 2.1 MP Digital Camera by Sakar International made for smaller hands.
Desktop and laptop computers
Today’s youth know more about computers than adults do in our technology-driven society, but it can be a world wide web of trouble when not properly monitored. While computers are vital to your youngster’s education, you may want to consider keeping it in a community space in your home to limit privacy and maximize safety, especially with the portability of laptops such as the MacBook Air.
Smaller than a laptop but bigger than an MP3 player, the iPad combines music, movies, the Internet and even word processing programs to make it Apple’s most versatile gadget yet. There are tons of apps geared towards kids that you can download to the iPad, but at this price point, it’s up to you to decide if your kiddo is ready for the responsibility.
iPod and MP3 player
MP3 players do more than just play music. Unlike the Walkmans and personal CD players of past, kids with these small gadgets can go online, stream movies, play games and video chat, depending on the model, like the iPod Touch.
Nook and Kindle
Perhaps paperbacks will be a thing of the past with eBook readers like the Nook and Kindle. But these portable electronic devices do more than take reading to a digital level — your kids can play MP4 videos and surf the web, too.
Letting your child loose with cool gadgets like the iPad are a great opportunity for your child to learn responsibility, but be sure to lay out the guidelines before hanging over these high tech toys. With a few parameters and a little guidance, these eight tech gadgets for kids can also offer fun for you, too!
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