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For a time, all photocopiers were called Xerox machines. Regardless if it was a Canon or Minolta, if you need a copy of something, you often asked some to "Xerox it" for you.
Same with tissues. You ask someone to pass you a Kleenex, even if it's a Scotties on the counter.
Ask a teen in 2005 what they got for Christmas and they would have said "iPod," even if they ended up with a player by Creative or Samsung.
Ask a kid what they want for Christmas this year and they'll most likely say "an iPad" - and here are 3 reasons why you should get it for them.
1. Better (and Cheaper) Than TV's In The Car
I have 2 small boys and on one nasty 15 hour drive between Vancouver and Calgary we handed my son a Creative Zen Vision loaded with his favourite videos. It was awesome. Having the distraction in the car worked, but the difference with this device is we can take it away from him so he's not sitting in the back seat with a blank screen flipped down from the roof begging for his attention. It's there when he needs it - not all the time.
The basic iPad is $550. Getting a dvd and 2 headrest screens is a $2000 option in some Ford vehicles. Get three iPads, you're ahead $400 and the kids can take the devices to their bedrooms, on the plane and they can do more than watch Backyardigans and Dora dvds over and over and over again.
This is a device that can grow with your kids. It's just as useful to watch truck and animal videos on YouTube with my infant on my lap as it is for my preschooler to play vocabulary games and navigate Angry Birds levels. The books from the like of Dr Seuss and PicPocket make bedtime stories a more interactive experience.
3. You Can Use It Too
Get your kid the Fisher Price version of the top line gadgets and it's a toy for only them. After my son's nightly "iPad time" before bed is over, the device moves from the couch to the bedside table in our bedroom where my wife will read the Globe and Mail, I'll hack into a Canucks game on Ustream or we'll watch a show together with the CityTV app.
I will concede, the iPad is NOT a toy. $550 is pretty steep for any budget to toss at a toddler, but you'll be amazed at how easily the kids can get the hang of it. (To be honest, an iPod Touch satisfies all the above points if you want to start smaller). If you keep an eye on them when they've got it in their hands, you're more likely to catch misbehaviour before it starts.
You'll also want to make sure you check the settings on your iPad to disable one click purchasing. It's very easy for a child that can't read yet to swipe into the app store and start punching at buttons and buying apps and upgrades.
catch the buzz ... pass it on.