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Android Software

Ask Slashdot: Android Apps For Kids Under 12 Months? 311

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-a-flight-simulator dept.
An anonymous reader writes "My kid seems incredibly interested in my Android tablet, but I'm not too comfortable with letting her play with my browser. I've been hunting the app store for apps that I could let my kid play around with, but haven't found much. It seems like most apps are targeted for slightly older kids and are trying to teach them words, math or whatnot. Has anyone found any cool apps for approximately 6-month-old children? I'm mostly looking for something that makes funny noises or where you just have to e.g. track moving objects on the screen."
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Ask Slashdot: Android Apps For Kids Under 12 Months?

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  • 6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:22AM (#42387791) Journal
    I wouldn't worry about finding specific apps that are "safe" for a 6-month old. At that age, no parent should even consider letting their child use an Internet-connected device unsupervised. So, if yo show the child something on the web browser, or another app, you should know specifically what you're looking at and should be 100% comfortable with the material.
    • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:39AM (#42387961) Homepage Journal

      Insane.

      Put the phone away. Talk to the child. You know: teach human interaction? This is a child, not your personal experiment.

      A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. Guidelines in the US, Canada and Australia already urge limits on children's screen time, but there are none yet in Britain.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/09/ban-under-threes-watching-television [guardian.co.uk]

      Why would you substitute the acquisition of developmental language skills and the attendant ability to relate and empathise - with a fixation on shiny lights and noises?

      I understand that this is Slashdot - but value of the concept cannot be completely alien...

      • Re:6 months? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:52AM (#42388095)

        This is a child, not your personal experiment.

        Isn't every kid a (personal) experiment of the parents? You screw some up so you try again, until you just say "screw it, all of them are messed up, I think I'll just quit now"

        Captcha is very apt: condom

      • by Rhalin (791665) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:13PM (#42388283)

        Insane.

        Put the phone away. Talk to the child. You know: teach human interaction? This is a child, not your personal experiment.

        A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. Guidelines in the US, Canada and Australia already urge limits on children's screen time, but there are none yet in Britain.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/09/ban-under-threes-watching-television [guardian.co.uk]

        Why would you substitute the acquisition of developmental language skills and the attendant ability to relate and empathise - with a fixation on shiny lights and noises?

        I understand that this is Slashdot - but value of the concept cannot be completely alien...

        This. A thousand times this. It doesn't matter that they like it, it is still a bad idea to encourage it at that age. Too lazy to cite other sources, but they exist.

        • Re:6 months? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by greenfruitsalad (2008354) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:11PM (#42390377)

          I love naive reponses from people with no kids. There are 2 reasons for using electronic devices like a tablet with a baby:
          1. When I watch my wife entertaining/stimulating/educating/feeding/exercising and walking with our baby for 12 hours a day, I cannot but feel sorry for her. Being able to put the baby in front of a screen for half an hour a day gives her a way to avoid going insane.
          2. A tablet/TV/computer screen/phone is not a way to avoid responsible parenting. It's simply yet another stimulant in the endless search for things to do with a baby that gets fed up with an activity after 15 minutes. (That's 30-40 different activities a day, every day (some activities like eating, singing, etc. can be repeated)

          So my baby's recommendation is "my baby piano" on android.

          • by spune (715782) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:22PM (#42390443)
            How about taking care of your kid by *yourself* some in order to give Your Wife a break? The tv/smartphone is your first consideration?!
            • by greenfruitsalad (2008354) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:03PM (#42390667)

              Obviously, your first choice is to assume I am an insensitive clod. You Sir, have spent far too much time on Slashdot.

              • by garaged (579941) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:25PM (#42391401) Homepage

                With all due respect, attitude like that about kids is what is wrong with this world, please take a look at kids of friends of you that agree on your caring methods, I bet you can find good evidene of your current mistake.

                I am a parent, not the best one, but I can see what you are doing wrong here, my girls use tablets and computers, but they are already on elementary school, and that is just one of the tons of activities we need to push them to, and we get really tired, and that is what it's meant to be, please rethink the way you are planning your parenting.

            • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by NFN_NLN (633283) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @01:02AM (#42392509)

              How about taking care of your kid by *yourself* some in order to give Your Wife a break? The tv/smartphone is your first consideration?!

              It was once socially acceptable to dope up children with opiates. Anyone with any common sense should have been able to see this was not healthy.
              History repeats.

              "Youngsters were introduced to the pleasures of opiates at their mothers' breast. Harassed baby-minders - and overworked parents - found opium-based preparations were a dependable way to keep their kids happy and docile; this was an era before Ritalin. Sales of Godfrey's Cordial, a soothing syrup of opium tincture effective against colic, were prodigious. But Godfrey's Cordial had its competitors: Street's Infants' Quietness, Atkinson's Infants' Preservative, and Mrs Winslow's Soothing Syrup.

              Opium was viewed as a medicine, not a drug of abuse. Contemporary medical theory didn't allow that one could become addicted to a cure. However, the chemists and physicians most actively investigating the properties of opium were also its dedicated consumers; and this may conceivably have coloured their judgement."

          • Re:6 months? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mingle (1121231) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:52PM (#42390917)
            You have no idea... I have three kids under 6 years old (two of whom are twins). The last thing I'd ever do with a 6 month old is stick a screen or mind-numbing electronic gadget in front of them. As many posted have said; direct human interaction is what you should be striving for. Or if you're both too knackered (I know, I've been there!), physical object that they can hold and touch are the best alternative.
            • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Myopic (18616) * on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @09:24PM (#42391663)

              Why would you choose to give them a mind-numbing electronic gadget instead of a mind-engaging electronic gadget? Do you give your children mind-numbing wooden toys? How about reading them mind-numbing books? Golly I don't give my children mind-numbing anything. Any electronic gadget used in my household engages the mind, like everything else in my house.

          • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by iocat (572367) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:02PM (#42390979) Homepage Journal
            You're not supposed to entertain infants. You're supposed to keep them from dying. Anything you do or that they see should be intrinsically motivating for them. This is why they love super boring shit like seeing car keys or business reply cards. If they're bored give them a wooden spoon. All a tablet is going to do is frustrate them.

            Am I saying you're a bad parent if you use devices to entertain your less-than-12-month-old infant? Yes, I am. I am straight up judging you and finding you lacking if, after hundreds of thousands of years of non-screen-based infant development, you suddenly are too weak and useless to raise a child without a tiny TV next to them. You're a disgrace to our species.

            Source: raised kid without showing them TV until they were after 1 year old. I don't mean they never saw a TV, I'm just saying we never used it as a babysitter or were like "now's the time when you watch tv"

      • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:16PM (#42388299) Homepage

        As soon as I ready the title, I knew that some condescending prick would post something like this.

        Who the fuck said anything about substituting normal communication with this? Are you somehow incapable of doing more than one thing per day, let alone per week?

        Your study proposes imposing limits on screen time, not banning them as if a couple of hours of TV per week is going to mush the kids brains. Stop assuming everyone but you is incapable of having common sense.

      • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kheldan (1460303) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:35PM (#42388495) Journal
        This. This, times 1,000,000.
        The world doesn't need children who connect better with machines than they do other human beings.
      • Re:6 months? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:59PM (#42388739)

        Talk to the child.

        Is there an app for that . . . ?

      • by war4peace (1628283) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:57PM (#42389199)

        You're really pushing assumptions to absurdity.
        The article you mention places a huge emphasis on TVs. Incidentally, I don't own a TV.

        I use this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.idle.babytoy [google.com] on my smartphone because my boy (now 1 year old) is very interested in my phone when I'm talking or checking my e-mail. I only pull out the phone 3-4 times a day, and this app lets him mash the screen with very slim chances of accidentally exiting the app. Touching the Home button does nothing and he gets bored pretty fast. When he was smaller, he would play on this for 10-15 minutes, now he throws the phone away after maybe 2 minutes. The app is now there just because he needs to hold that thing that daddy uses, and this app helps me keep my phone stuff away from being accidentally messed up.

        My child develops normally, he has an equal interest in cats, dogs, toys, people, other kids, mashing laptop and desktop keyboards (doesn't matter if the screen is on). He learned how to turn lights on and off, how to push/pull doors, he likes throwing balls more than anything though. 10 minutes per day of mashing a phone screen doesn't do any harm.

      • Re:6 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kozz (7764) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @02:52PM (#42389609)

        Being a responsible parent and allowing a child some brief app time don't have to be mutually exclusive, does it? What if you want a simple tool to help you keep your child entertained for a brief amount of time?

        Real-world example: the other day I had my 2yr old with me while we went Christmas shopping. I found myself in an unavoidably long line, with him in the cart. I pulled out my phone which had installed on it a simple drawing/painting app. Each new "touch" would choose a random color from a preset palette, and he could drag his finger on the screen to draw lines, circles, or whatever. I then took a photo of him, and he could draw on that as well. We played together on it for maybe 5 minutes, which was really all I needed so we both didn't drive each other a bit crazy while waiting in line.

        I don't really see anything wrong with this, and I suspect you wouldn't either -- but I could be wrong. And maybe that's not what the original question was about, but just my $0.02USD.

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:29PM (#42390801) Homepage

        Hmm, so I gather by that, you mean an Android app that at regular and random intervals annoys the crap out of the user until they put down the device and interact with their children. Failure to interact with children would result in annoyance remaining in place upon all user associated android devices. A parental responsibility reinforcement application ;).

      • by robot5x (1035276) <robot5x&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:45PM (#42390871)
        I normally avoid any threads here asking about kids and tech.

        I generally take the 'live and let live' approach - but I have to agree here. This guy is a fucking retard. If you're worrying about which APP is suitable for a kid at 6 months old you're really doing something wrong. That is all.
      • by Myopic (18616) * on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @09:21PM (#42391645)

        Why would you substitute the acquisition of developmental language skills and the attendant ability to relate and empathise - with a fixation on shiny lights and noises?

        False dichotomy and straw man. Thanks, I'm looking for an option you didn't list: acquisition of all sorts of skills, not just the subset you want to restrict your children to.

  • Couting Robot (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:24AM (#42387821)

    Counting Robot [google.com]

    Basically it is a sort of whack-a-mole with different numbers of moles each time.

  • by detain (687995) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:25AM (#42387825) Homepage
    http://www.zoodles.com/home/marketing/android [zoodles.com] Pretty good kid-mode for android. Disables most apps / buttons and provides its own kid interface to just what you enable.
  • Give the best app (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Computer_kid (996105) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:25AM (#42387827)
    Love and affection. At that age it is nothing more then a glowing rectangle that makes noise. Go outside and show your children the world around them.
  • Toddler Lock (Score:5, Informative)

    by throup (325558) <chris@@@throup...org...uk> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:25AM (#42387837) Homepage

    Toddler Lock works nicely. Cool colours and sounds as they touch the screen. It temporarily replaces the home screen so it locks out phone/internet/other app access until an adult follows the onscreen unlock instructions.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=marcone.toddlerlock [google.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:27AM (#42387855)

    My understanding is that physical play with 3D objects (e.g. blocks) for motor skills and physical interaction with a parent for language skills are much more important to young children than learning apps. Anecdotally, I've heard that kids learn language much better from real interaction with an adult than from language aps.

    Although this might be heresy for a tech web site, put away the screens, big and small, for the very young!

  • Simple answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:27AM (#42387859)

    This idiotic question is easy to answer. Any app calling shutdown() right at the beginning will do just fine.

    Really, just stop fucking up your kids.

  • vi and cc (Score:5, Funny)

    by kthreadd (1558445) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:29AM (#42387881)
    If you want to make them into responsible open source contributors you better start as early as possible.
  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:38AM (#42387949)

    what about a system where free apps don't need a pin / CC card to buy / install but one where you need a pin to buy / install a paid app / buy stuff in app?

  • by LodCrappo (705968) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:38AM (#42387953) Homepage

    http://aaronwolfe.com/a [aaronwolfe.com]

    its pretty much as dumb as they get, just hit the ufo cats and they make noise and fly around. done as a learning experiment.
    kids do seem to love it though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:39AM (#42387969)

    My toddler is very interested in my car keys, but I'm reluctant to let him drive my BMW. The iDrive system is somewhat complicated, and I think a RWD performance car might not be appropriate for a first-time driver - especially since here's snow on the ground and he can't reach the pedals. Can anyone recommend a FWD or AWD car with a simpler interface and adjustble pedals which would be appropriate for a sub-2 year old child?

  • Just stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:40AM (#42387979)
    A child shouldn't be handling technology until about 3 years old, as many Slashdot stories have reported. It's also just common sense that so much stimulation so early on is bad for a developing brain.

    You mistake interest for curiosity. It is in the child's nature to explore and learn about their environment, but introducing them to your tablet is just going to impede their progress as all their attention is consumed by the device.
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:41AM (#42387991)
    If you are not an Android developer yet and would be interested in trying it out, here could be your chance to develop something simple to the platform and possibly even share your work to fill the gap in the app store.
  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:43AM (#42388001)
    and we decided he will not look at a TV/PC/phone screen before he is two years old as a minimum. We instead try to spend as much as time possible with him doing activities appropriate for a 9 months old baby. Maybe this is the reason why he is so active and curious about what happens around him.... And no, I am not a tech luddite (I am a physicist).
  • Little ones tend to toss phones aside when they get them, so be sure that you can fit the phone in some kind of protective case. The better ones out there, at least for iPad and iPhone (and iPod Touch) even have a blocker to prevent pressing the home button. However, they are all standardized for ipods, so be sure to try one on your android device first to be sure it fits and is secured and stable.

    I can't speak for pre-toddler apps on android, as for my little one we opted for an iPod touch instead, since we knew it would 1) fit in those kinds of cases, and 2) be easier to secure vis-a-vie the home button, shopping sites, the settings panel. Fisher Price's apps have been good for our little one in the IOS. Some of those might have been ported.

    The other important thing to watch for is the free preview apps - those are *entirely* for adults to try. When they reach their time or step limit, they may take you to the app store to purchase the full version. Make sure it doesn't do that before you hand it over to the kid to try.

  • by HycoWhit (833923) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:50AM (#42388073)
    Don't tell me how to raise my kid--I won't tell you how to raise yours. Hate to break it to the fucktards wanting to tell others how to raise your kid--electronics are a large portion of the world for many. Kids will get outside, but why can't they learn and get a fascination with everything?
    Anyone actually read the AAP article? The study found children can't cognitively comprehend anything before two--basically there is no educational TV before two. something along the lines that watching SpongeBob makes your kid dumber... Shocker!! My own theory-stimulate that young brain any way you can. The notion kids don't comprehend before two is hogwash--give them the right stimulus and they will do amazing things. Some kids can count, know their letters and shapes by two--others can eat.... A lot depends on the parents.

    Simple games do wonders: Here is a simple ABC game as well as one that helps with counting and has the advantage of doing it in several languages.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=russh.toddler.game [google.com]

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kidgames.connect.dot.dinosaur [google.com]
  • by NEDHead (1651195) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:51AM (#42388091)

    "My 3 week old is fascinated by certain shapes. Is there an app that looks like big tits dripping milk that would be something he could play with?"

    Dumb ass posting; never should have seen the light of day.

    • by pla (258480) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:31PM (#42388453) Journal
      My 3 week old is fascinated by certain shapes. Is there an app that looks like big tits dripping milk that would be something he could play with?

      Oh, you have come to the right place for that, my friend! Welcome to the Internet! You can find breasts doing just about anything you can imagine here, including quite a few things you can't imagine, and some you can't even comprehend.

      Enjoy your stay! ;)
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#42388151) Homepage

    Look for the following....

    A rattle, a ball, and any of the other toys that work on dexterity and focus. Apps? really?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:05PM (#42388201)

    The research is still early on this. I would be very careful, and I'd limit exposure to flat screen TVs as well.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/28/news/la-jc-sleep-book-backlit-melatonin-20120828

    “Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent," said Mariana Figueiro, the lead researcher. “Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.”

    • by PNutts (199112) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:44PM (#42388593)

      The research is still early on this. I would be very careful, and I'd limit exposure to flat screen TVs as well.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/28/news/la-jc-sleep-book-backlit-melatonin-20120828

      “Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent," said Mariana Figueiro, the lead researcher. “Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.”

      Interesting you bring that up. I've started looking at the effects of light on mood and there is some hard science behind it, e.g., light therapy for Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). I didn't read the linked article, but I assume it discusses certain light wavelengths that stimulate (or repress) responses in the body.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:22PM (#42388339)
    Buy blocks or big Lego bricks. Puzzles with big pieces are good. Is the app-for-the-kid really for her or for you? Things with glass are not for small children (unless it's the Bag O' Glass from Saturday Night Live: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/irwin-mainway/1185611/ [nbc.com]).
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:23PM (#42388353) Homepage Journal
    Change the question for "What a baby should be learning at that age?". A learning device with no texture, fake 3d, no smell, taste, heat, or any other input for senses other than sight and hearing maybe could be harmful for his development. Human and nature contact, toys that estimulate his senses (if possible, several, something with more texture than just plastic), a pet, music. A tablet (i.e. very simple games like ant smasher) could be a complement, but not a substitute.
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:23PM (#42388365)

    It just so happens there is exactly the application you need. It's called the original all natural boob tube. Round, soft to the touch, a simple circular universal interface with a single button that also dispenses nutritious drink. They come in matching pairs with virtually every mother.

  • Virtual Cat Toys (Score:2, Informative)

    by BenJeremy (181303) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:35PM (#42388493)

    Heh.... I just released this for Android tablets.... now I get to flog it here on Slashdot, LOL.

    Seriously, though, it was designed for cats, but the reviews for the webOS version have stated that small children loved it, too. This was more or less confirmed when my 2 year old niece played the new enhanced Android version at a family Christmas party and she was delighted.. there's even an Easter egg in the game to put up a "Scary dog" which jut made her giggle (not my cats, though). She was also much better at it than the adults that tried it.

    At any rate, here is the link [google.com].

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:38PM (#42388525) Homepage
    If this isn't a troll then I would say tablets aren't really made for babies so why not stick with human interactions rather sitting her in the corner with a tablet?
  • by assertation (1255714) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:53PM (#42388673)

    We all pretend not to see the occasional article about cell phone radiation. That is us. Do you really want an infant having one of those devices close to their head all of the time?

  • by icknay (96963) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:20PM (#42388863)
    Try "baby picture fun" ... Super simple, free, no ads. Will entertain for a couple minutes.
  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:35PM (#42388979)
    Seriously, it's crazy to do that to an infant. An infant is still developing their visual system and learning (by pruning their brain synapses) about the reality of the world around them and how they (the infant) interact with it physically. Providing examples of useless GUI interfaces and ongoing stimuli with poor interaction is a crazy thing to do to an infant.
    .
    They need physical toys like rattles and pacifiers and blocks that they can touch and move around and make noise with and learn the "intuitive" laws of physics from them. Give them a few years before you throw Emacs at them. The only Gnu they need to interact with at that tender age is a stuffed Gnu plush toy. And I say this as a fervent believer in children playing with computers: do NOT make infants and toddlers play with computers and tablets.
    .
    The American Academy of Pediatrics itself recommends limiting access to screen time for children under the age of 2 years [nytimes.com].
  • by manoweb (1993306) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:47PM (#42389105)
    My kid will be two next week and it will be quite some more time until he will be allowed to use a tablet or similar. I find it deeply wrong to let a small kid use those devices. On top of that the use of such devices seems to have an impact on children's vision and eyesight.
  • by johnrpenner (40054) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:51PM (#42389135) Homepage

    how about the 'play with your kids app'??
    like peek-a-boo, and pass the ball, and ride the horsey?

    expecting a 10 month yr old to play w an android tablet instead of playing w a real human is ridiculous..
    you can do better as a parent

    2cents
    j

  • by Kergan (780543) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @02:21PM (#42389407)

    As a forewarning, your child's eye sight isn't fully developed yet at this age, and should probably not use the device before age 2-3 any more than a 3d game consol.

    Now, if you still let him or her look at the screen at arm's range, he or she will see bright lights with vague shapes. You'll be able to tell because he or she will have a hard time distinguishing and interacting with precise UI features. Thus, at least do your kid a service by dimming the screen's brightness to the lowest possible setting.

    If my own nephew is any indicator, btw, tasting the device will your infant's primary interest, alongside an occasional crash test when it slips. You've little need for fancy apps for that, the device itself and some simple music or drawing app will suffice.

    Lastly, as many other posters have suggested already, you should be playing with and talking (very important) to your child, instead of delegating babysitting to a screen.

  • by DJCouchyCouch (622482) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @03:55PM (#42389935)
    If there's one thing I can rely on Slashdot about, especially when no one here has ever met a woman, it's reliable parenting advice.
  • by DontScotty (978874) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:03PM (#42390659) Homepage Journal

    Get the "CPS Child-Friendly" App...

    You have to let it have Geo-location rights and rights to either dial out or e-mail out.

    It contains a human body-gingerbread outline, and prompts the child to put marks "where daddy or mommy touches me".

    It also monitors the child and time left alone with the device. This is tracked to the threshold of Child Abandonment.

    Also, it can post to your Facebook page - "I've left my infant child alone for xx hours now!" with a picture of the child from the device camera.

    And, the app is COMPLETELY free. It is sponsored in part by Child Protective Services (CPS), Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), and Department of Social Services" (DSS).

    Of course, the App MIGHT potentially have some privacy holes, but hey - the app is targeted for the age group you requested, and it's FREE, so go for it.

  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:55PM (#42390941) Homepage Journal

    I have no good app-suggestions for you. But I am eager to pick up the few good suggestion that may emerge here.

    And don't mind all the ignorant trolls flaming you about letting your kid play with the tablet. They're either ignorant or not parents themselves (and hence not in a very good position to lecture you on parenting).

    They just don't understand that letting your child play with a phone/tablet is not in any way an indication of you spending too little time with the kid.

    Letting kids play with technology is no different than letting them play with their normal toys
    (and I am sure some of your "normal" toys use batteries and makes sounds/lights already). They will learn just as much from that as they will pressing physical buttons on a chunk of plastic labeled "Fisher Price".

    And off course the kid is interested in the tablet. Not only because it makes sounds and shows images but because the grownups use it. Observing you doing things, and wanting to the exact same things, is an important part of a childs natural evolution. Don't let the single-geeks with no children lecture you.

    Our oldest boy is now just over 3 years old. He has operated iPhones and an iPad since he was five months old. He hasn't turned into a green monster yet nor is he showing any signs of problematic behaviour. We limit hos time with the devices off course and we make sure he accepts breaks lasting several days. But the time he has spent with these things has tought him a lot of good stuff. In spite if his young age (3) he recites the entire alphabet in two languages (or own 100% and English about 80% correct). He knows shapes, colors and objects better than most of his peers in kindergarten.

    It's a great toy. Just limit the time with the device and make sure it is a supplement to the normal quality time you would have spent with him/her anyway.

    Letting your kid interact with a modern toy makes you a better parent. Not a worse one. Take it from someone with many years of first-hand experience. :-)

    - Jesper

  • by cthlptlk (210435) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:13PM (#42391035)

    I am going to interpret the question as the cry for help that it seems to be. It's not that tabs are bad for kids per se, but I'd you are so fucking addicted to your tablet that you can't turn it off when you pick up a baby, you need to get rid of it. Now. If it is your dev platform, leave it at work. Otherwise, open the nearest window and toss it out.

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