TFT: Kids with iPods/iTouches….

I’ve always been so annoyed (astounded?!) at how many kids I’ve heard of getting iPods for Christmas.  So many kids at school come back after Christmas break and say they received an iPod or iTouch or what not…. and I just could never believe it.  I mean, I did… but I always thought “who in the hell…”

Well, I am considering becoming one of “those”.   Let me explain.  When I recently upgraded my iPhone 3 to the 4, I was left with a phone.  Just a phone.  Its kind of slow as far as GPS etc… but the apps worked fine.  However, for 6 months or so its just been sitting in a basket on the counter… my intentions were to sell it online.  I could get I think $60-$75 dollars for it.  Yes, I know… that’s a decent amount for a used phone (actually… its a perfectly brand new refurbished one as I’d just had it replaced before upgrading).  
Now… with that in mind.  I have had to put a password lock on my phone because Porter loves to use it in the mornings to watch shows on Netflix or to play games.  I then had the brilliant idea….. “Why don’t I give him my old iPhone 3 for Christmas to use only with games!?”  He wouldn’t be able to purchase apps (there is a password for my iTunes), but I could get rid of all the games on my phone (more space!) and he’d have his own little handheld game machine!   I should also explain… we don’t do video games/handhelds that often here.  We have a Wii but we rarely use it.  Porter has a Leapster but uses it only occasionally.  We don’t have DS’s or DSi’s or PSP’s or or… or… I don’t even know all the names of all the little electronic devices out there for kids HAHA!  We only have a few games for the Leapster because OMG at $25/game that can get pricey!   If he had the iPod (iPhone 3)… most games are free, and paid games are only $1-$3 each.  ALSO… all games are stored on the phone so no little cartridges to get lost.   Hmmmmmm….
So what is your opinion on kids with iPods.  And I guess its not just iPods in general, because I’m feeling like after writing this that the iPod is just essentially another handheld game device.  My only huge concern is Porter being responsible enough for it to take care of it, not drop or break it or lose it.  
Would you or wouldn’t you… if you had an old iPhone laying around, unactivated for phone usage… would you consider giving it to your almost-6 year old for Christmas?

  1. Kieran (4) has his own iphone as well – for every reason you mentioned. It was my mom's (who broke the touch screen) and we fixed it and gave it to him last Christmas. (BTW – only $10 to fix your touch screen by yourself if you get parts on Amazon!) Our other reasoning for giving it to him – it's so much smaller and easier to travel with than the portable dvd player. No screwing around with dvds in the car and we could load several movies at a time for long trips.He's been fairly good about it. Lost it once, I think – but he found it on his own. We limit usage and for the most part, his games are educational. I say go for it!

  2. Well, I wouldn't spend a fortune buying my kids one, but in your case go for it. Bianca got an ipod shuffle (the small one, only holds music and was only $50). She loves to listen to music and at her age it is great. Our kids use our iPad all the time, granted I would never buy them one of their own! Kids are spoiled these days but what can you do? If that's how parent's want to spend their money, then that's their thing.

  3. I don't see anything wrong with it….but like anything, I think there is a time and a place for it and there should be rules associated with it. I actually think there is a benefit to it…..educational games and learning opportunities. It also has opportunities for learning responsibility. I say give it to him but have rules associated with it so he doesn't think he can play with it whenever and wherever he wants. Good luck with your decision 🙂

  4. I think it's a good idea! That being said, we let Grant use Drew's work tablet (kind of like an ipad but not apple brand) to play games in the car. It also has free downloadable games and we get age appropriate ones for him. So, we are okay with him playing games like that so I would think it would be fine for a kid Porter's age. I am sure he would love it!

  5. so wait… we have an iphone 3 that neither of us use… sitting in a basket on our counter. haha! so is there a way to get games on it without having a phone plan? do you still have to pay a monthly fee for data? i'm pretty sure the phone was wiped when i got my 4 (it was my old work phone) so i don't think there are any apps on it currently?regardless of that 🙂 we let the kids use our phones all the time to play games… it is so GREAT for in the car, restaurants, etc… and the only thing that concerns me is them dropping it and breaking one of ours. sooo… i would obviously say go for it. 🙂

  6. I was one of those people who used to say “my kid will never have one of those” (yeah learned to never say never) …mine is in Maya's room 90% of the time because when she goes to play in her room (which is now her haven away from the babies) she loves listening to music-she has a dock that just lives in there. When I get my new one that one will just be for her songs, which a lot of them I don't want taking up room on mine (she loves Beastie Boys and I don't, for instance). So in the same vein I say go for it. It's not like he's using it to call his buddies, he's not going to be a zombie in front of it… I think it would be a good little “tool” to have for us even when we are waiting for appointments and stuff!

  7. in the words of the great nike gods: JUST DO IT! haha! tucker has a leapster and has kind of outgrown that. so, then he got a DS for his birthday and i don't have a problem with his usage as it's normally random times here and there or if we're going somewhere. however, once he figured out my phone had games, he started to use that more. and now that he has discovered MUSIC the games are a thing of the past. he'll just sit and listen to the ipod on it. i bought an otterbox case for it and put a screen protector on to help kid proof the sucker. i have an ipad, but he kids are NOT allowed to play with it. i say you have that poor little iphone sitting there being unused … what better to than recycle it for your kids!also, levi (16 months) now knows how to unlock my iphone. i'm screwed.

  8. Nic- I'm also against too much indulgement in video games. Makes me physically SICK when my students say, “I went to bed at 4:00 because I played _______ for 6 hours and I vowed NEVER to be that irresponsible parent. We have a PS2 and Lincoln earns money to buy occasional games (he's purchased 3 now). His PS2 days are Saturday with daddy 1-2 hours tops. We recently purchased a used DS from one of his buddies (totally trust the family) but that's limited too. Usually only long car rides, grocery store trips and rewards for exceptionalities. We store his DS on the microwave and there are other rules. For instance before he had PS2 time today he completed the O-Z page in his journal from the “homework drawer.” I think it's totally appropriate as long as it's in moderation, just like anything else. I can't envision you saying, “Go ahead Porter, play for 6 hours tonight.”

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