Electronic toys and gadgets for 4.5 year old?

(17 Posts)
mrsmerryberry Fri 04-Nov-11 00:41:19

Have you or will you be buying your lo's electronic gadgets things like leap pads, DSI's etc or do you consider that they are too young for this sort of thing.

I ask, as DH and I disagree, he thinks that it is important to start them off as young as you can, as the the world is technical and computerised etc, where as I don't do technology and would prefer more traditional toys.

What's your take on this, especially, if you have lo's of a simular age, what if anything will you be getting "techinical wise" for them this christmas?

somedayillbesaturdaynite Fri 04-Nov-11 01:55:51

for me, i decided on 2nd hand original nintendo DSs for my 4 & 5yo dc because i liked them being able to write with the stylus and it wasn't very expensive. they use a smartboard & computers in school, so i see it as no different to teaching them the alphabet at home too as it's all part of their curriculum. i strictly supervise their useage and usually allow up to an hour 2 or 3 times a week eg on car journeys which also stops dc associating home with playing on it. we don't have a games console or anything else other than my precious laptop

piprabbit Fri 04-Nov-11 02:12:20

I think you need to start 'doing technology', or at least proactively supporting your DH's efforts to bring it in to the home because it is something your children will be coming across very soon in school and in their friends homes and you need to be ready and able to understand their interests and needs.

I think that there is a place for both traditional and technological toys as they give children different learning opportunities. By allowing your DCs access to age appropriate technical/electronic toys you are simply giving them more opportunities to learn in a variety of ways.

My DD had a Leap pad from age 3 - my DS has now inherited it. DD got an original DS at age 5 (and loved her Peppa Pig and Tinkerbell games). They both regularly use computers at home (especially to access CBeebies and CBBC websites) and DD does some of her school homework via Education City. DD also has a Logiblocs kit which allows her to create her own electronic projects.

We are planning to by an XBox Kinect for the whole family to share this Christmas, never having owned any sort of games console before (well not since my 1980s Binatone tennis game).

leftmydignityatthedoor Fri 04-Nov-11 07:43:20

Last year ds got a videocamera - he's never played with it but his friend loves his.

He is getting a dsi this year - I don't think we would have bought one but his uncle is offering so we said yes. I will definitely limit time on itif he gets obsessed though - a couple of his friends sit for hours, I can't imagine ds sitting still that long but who knows? I'd be upset if he did.

We don't have a computer just now though, if we had then maybe I'd have resisted the dsi.

Geordieminx Fri 04-Nov-11 07:49:03

Ds is 4.5 and has been using ny iPad for over a year. He loves it, and the amount he can do on if is amazing

MrsUnassumingTroll Fri 04-Nov-11 08:12:24

My 3G has also been using the iPad for some time (our family present last Christmas) so we decided to bypass any child-specific gadgetry.

Maybe you could get a family iPad?

MrsUnassumingTroll Fri 04-Nov-11 08:13:02

3G should read 3yo.

iPads are all-knowing grin

Geordieminx Fri 04-Nov-11 09:30:33

That was my feeling troll. Ds wanted a Ds earlier in the year as some of his friends have them. We borrowed one for a few days and he was most unimpressed compared to his my iPad.

I wouldnt want to be paying £20 + for a game either, most of the ones he has on iPad are under £1

MrsUnassumingTroll Fri 04-Nov-11 15:42:49

iPad also doubles up as in-car movie/music player. DS can probably do that, but not a big enough screen. You can even buy a case to strap it to the seat back in the car, and a set of headphones later, you're set.

mrsmerryberry Sun 06-Nov-11 09:52:19

Oh blimey, I'm so far behind with it all. Piprabbit what you say makes perfect sense, I suppose in reality I just don't understand technology, it does'nt excite me, it scares me and this puts me off introducing it into the family.

The shops sell all these things, but they don't do mini courses to show you what they do and how to work them, in fact I don't think anywhere does. How on earth do you understand it all. I know things come with a manual, but understanding them is sometimes not that simple and when you think you've done what the manual says's and it still does'nt do what it is supposed to, it gets to be frustrating to say the least.

I will try to embrace the idea, as I don't want my lo not to understand what others of the same age should know about these things, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Thanks to all for the advice anyway.

sunnyday123 Sun 06-Nov-11 11:07:09

my dds are aged 4 and 6 and i am like you - less keen on ds's etc for children of their age. I see that they do have benefits but i don't see the point in buying toys like this until i have too - dds are perfectly happy using dolls, arts and crafts, barbies etc and see no reason to move them on - in a couple of years we will struggle to find things they like and so DSs etc can come into play then - hate the idea of them getting to 10 and asking for a phone etc!!! i can really see a difference in my kids imagination and the way they play to their friends who are obsessed with DS's.

Plus i know i'm generalising but i find them very lazy and something to distract the kids. This year they are getting a bike and maxi scooter - i do not see the point in buying a main present which i then have to limit my childs time on?! my brother has just bought my dn age 3 an ipad- thats just ridiculous and much more for him than dn!!

If i were you i would resist - buying for kids gets harder every year so save the technology til you run out of ideas!

maxybrown Sun 06-Nov-11 12:53:49

we personally would not let our DS have an er...DS grin but he is very computer competant and he is allowed on the PC. He occasionally is allowed on my wii too but we are not keen on little hand held consoles yet, he is 4 and has a fantastic imgination but also very able with electronics, by us showing him how to use the PC etc.

I am not judgy pants on people who do buy these things youngs, just for us I don't like it. But then I don't like TVs in rooms either

piprabbit Sun 06-Nov-11 12:55:45

Mrsmerryberry, I realise how daunting it can all seem. So far we have been lucky in that DH and I have usually owned and used the technology before introducing it to our DCs.

Please don't be scared by it all. Ten years ago, gadgets required their users to have quite a high level of technical know-how in order to get the best from them. Today the gadgets are often designed to be really simple and intuitive to use (in fact instructions manuals are often minimal as the gadget will start teaching you how to use it when you first switch it on).

You are clearly a competent internet user - remember that if you have any questions on using any piece of technology you can usually find a solution by googling your problem. It's amazing how much information is out there and you won't be the first person asking the question. In fact, MN can be quite a good place to ask for help on using gadgets.

I don't want you to go out and buy something electronic for the sake of it, you are right to make your choices carefully and not to feel pressurised by anyone else's decisions. But don't let your own fears become a hurdle to supporting your children in their use of technology both inside and outside your home.

maxybrown Sun 06-Nov-11 13:08:31

Also meant to add, there are many things they can use to get a grip with technology. The washing machine, the cooker....................sorry I'm joking (kind of!) but DS got a camera last year when he was 3, not an expensive one but not a kids one either, he is very careful with things and his pictures have ebeen fantastic to see, very interesting! Also RC cars etc

PoppadumPreach Sun 06-Nov-11 14:23:57

Bill gates did not have a DS as a child
Steve Jobs (RIP) did not have an iPad as a child.

Whilst IT skills are essential, giving a 4 year old a DS will not really help achieve this.

IMO it is far more important to get them interested in maths and science at this age. Get them asking "why".

Nobody who is a computer genius now had a DS or iPad as a child. They do have there place, mind you.

mrsmerryberry Thu 10-Nov-11 21:13:48

Thanks all for the advice it is greatfully received.

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