Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeping Control on Technology in Your Home

Caden loves playing with our iPad.  It is one of the best tools we have around the house.  I can't begin to tell you how handy it was during the move.  While we were traveling back and forth from Nebraska to Minnesota, our DVD player for the car broke.  The iPad quickly replaced it.

We had a scary experience with the iPad a few weeks ago.  Caden loves to watch movies and television shows on the iPad via Netflix while I cook dinner.  He likes cartoons and I always make sure to keep an eye on what he's watching.  All of the sudden, I heard some bad words come from the iPad.  Caden was watching a Japanese cartoon with some very unfriendly vocabulary.  I quickly ran to the iPad to cancel the show (and quickly felt guilty for letting him play with it).  I did a little research on Netflix to see how I could set ratings and make sure my child was barred from having this experience again.  Come to find out, you can set the ratings for the master account and a sub-set account, but when on mobile devices, you have to use the master account.  In other words, I can't figure out how to have dual settings on mobile devices.  (If you have a solution, please let me know...)

Enter in the Leap Frog's My Own Story Time Pad.  Caden now has an iPad (or as we like to call it-- the Leap Pad) of his very own!  I was worried he would like it for 5 minutes and want the iPad back.

He surprised me, though.  He's loves doing anything related to the alphabet right now and loved playing around on it.  He also loves that it says his name, too.  Once you receive the Leap Pad, you plug it into your computer and customize it with their name, stories based on their favorite color, food and animal, emails and songs.  It's an easy set-up process-- I think it took me all of 10 minutes.  It doesn't hold his attention quite as long as the iPad, but that's okay.  Some days the time spent on technology in our house gets a little out of control.  I like the fact that I know what is on the Leap Pad and that it's all appropriate.  The internet is a great thing, but allowing a 3 year old to have access to that world is a scary thing.

What are you doing in your home to maintain controls on the Internet and outside world?

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review. While LeapFrog provided the product to me for this review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest point of view.

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