/>
X

Five iPad Alternatives for Kids

Horrified at the prospect of giving your kids your iPad to play with? Don't be. Just try one of these alternatives.
ricardo-bilton.jpg
6272445.jpg
1 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Placed in the hands of kids, the iPad can be a valuable learning tool. But with its $500 price tag and likelihood of being tossed around, drooled upon, or otherwise destroyed, the iPad probably doesn't make for the safest thing to give your budding technophile. What is a parent to do? Start by taking a look at these five alternatives to everyone's favorite handheld babysitter. 

[Image courtesy of Flickr users Scott & Elaine van der Chijs]

 

 

 

 

 

 

6272379.png
2 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

For a product that hasn't actually been released yet, the LeapPad tablet has a lot going for it. Capable of running over a hundred apps, games and interactive books the LeapPad is the de facto learning tablet. Kids can interact with the tablet 's five-inch screen using either their fingers or the device's stylus. The tablet also features its own camera, allowing kids to take ether video or still shots. LeapFrog also built the tablet to be durable, which any parent can appreciate. 

$99, for ages 4-9. Available in late August. 

[LeapFrog]

6272377.jpg
3 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Slightly less tech-heavy is the Etch A Sketch Doodle Sketch, a product steeped in history and almost entirely kid-proof. While likely not as initially flashy to kids, the Doodle Sketch's biggest strength likely lies in its affordability, and, to be sure, replaceability in the even that it gets lost. Draw, erase, draw again. A classic formula. 

Ages 3+, $6.99. Available in both pink and blue. (Fisher Price's Doodle Pro is a similar product.) 

 

 

 

6272380.jpg
4 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

For parents eager to place an iPad in the hands of their kids, but notably less eager to give them a real iPad, Etsy inventors twigcreative have created the anaPad. One part iPad, and two parts whiteboard, the anaPad “promotes analog learning and creativity in a digital world.” Or so say its inventors. Basically, it’s a whiteboard with iOS-themed magnets.

 


Ages 3+, $35

6272381.jpg
5 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

Encased in a durable, soft-edged chassis, and featuring a tempered glass screen cover, the Vinci is clearly built with accident-prone kids in mind.


The Vinci tablet is all about safety. Conscious of the faint possibility that WiFi signals might actually be killing us, manufacturer Rullingnet built the tablet without a WiFi radio. It’s also non-toxic and advertising free.

Probably less important for (most) parents are the device’s specifications. Running Android 2.2, the Vinici features a 7-inch screen, 512MB of RAM, and a 3MP camera on its back.

Now comes the dicey matter of its price: For $389, parents can nab the less expensive version, which offers three hours of battery life. On the other hand, the $479 version of the tablet can run for 6 hours and comes equipped with a slew of pre-installed software. Either way, it’s an expensive kids toy. 

6272426.jpg
6 of 6 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNet

For parents still willing to place their iPads in the hands of their young ones, Griffin has created the LightBoard, an iPad case that doubles as an art activity center. Featuring a shatter-resistant polycarbonate shell and protective screen, the case protects the iPad against all sorts of child-borne abuse. Griffin has also created a special LightBoard app, which offers a variety of coloring activities for kids to play around with. The case includes a washable marker and pre-sized drawing paper.

$29.95

Related Galleries

Brydge 12.9 Max Plus keyboard review: in pictures
brydge-129-max-plus-keyboard-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Brydge 12.9 Max Plus keyboard review: in pictures

10 Photos
Nomad cases, cable, and adapter for the Apple iPad Pro: in pictures
nomad-ipad-129-pro-2.jpg

Related Galleries

Nomad cases, cable, and adapter for the Apple iPad Pro: in pictures

13 Photos
First look: Apple 'Peek Performance' event in pictures
peek-performance.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Apple 'Peek Performance' event in pictures

35 Photos
First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]
california-streaming-2.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]

72 Photos
First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]
apple420-01.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]

53 Photos
Has your iPhone or iPad stopped charging? Check this first!
iPhone or iPad charging problems

Related Galleries

Has your iPhone or iPad stopped charging? Check this first!

10 Photos
First look: Everything iPad unveiled at Apple's 'Time Flies' event [in pictures]
apple-event-ipad-01.png

Related Galleries

First look: Everything iPad unveiled at Apple's 'Time Flies' event [in pictures]

24 Photos