The past few months have been quite hectic in our household. In accordance with Murphy's Law, important conference calls always seem to happen at the least opportune times -- when the 3-year-old misses the toilet, when the 6-year-old gets her hair caught in a zipper.
Yes, I am guilty of using the television as a babysitter. However, I have noticed that recently, that even this once dependable child care option is losing its appeal with the young-uns. Even the Wii and Nintendo DS are losing luster. However, one device seems to captivate their attention for the crucial 20 to 30 minutes. And that is the iPhone or iPodTouch.
Now I will provide you with my thoughts on why the iPodTouch has succeeded where other devices have failed:
1.) It is Mom's device. There is a mystique with being allowed to play with an adult "toy."
2.) It's instantaneous. Push a button and it's on it full, sharp, colorful glory. No warming up, no waiting, no cartridges
3.) It's tactile. With young children, fine motor skills are still not well developed. With the iPhone/iPodTouch interface, even the little greasy fingers and thumbs can manuever around.
4.) It changes all the time. Not only can children move the icons around themselves (they love the jiggly icons) but new apps appear all the time.
5.) It also holds music, photo and videos.
Having purchased and downloaded far too many apps in the past few months, these are the ones that continue to be hits amongst our young children:
1.) ichalky. A chalk, stick figure moves around the screen. children love putting their own photo on the head. This app in itself is a 30 minute time-sink!
2.) Breakout. The 3-year-old boy loves this game. Perfect for kids who love ball games.
3.) imilk, ibeer. Avery simple game (doesn't do much) but kids seem to like to make whipped cream (imilk)
4.) ifart. need I say more?
5.) Snowman. Perfect for the little kid
The biggest challenge is now coordinating iPodTouch time among the two children. If only they had a solution for this!