Having a kid aged zero to five means constantly having to come up with entertaining diversions. Fortunately, even this early, the iPad is absolutely brimming with those. If you have a small kid, the iPad bandwagon beckons.
There’s no trick to it, no Jobsian black magic: Touchscreens were made for little kids, and the bigger the touchscreen, the better. Sure the touchscreens get smudged and salivated upon, but it’s nothing that oleophobic coating can’t handle with a little help from Mr. Sleeve. iPads do break however, so I encourage you (with all my heart) to buy the $39 iPad Case, or something like it—it’s eased quite a few blows to our iPad, and it makes the device itself easier to grip and to keep clean, too.
Some of my favourite kid-friendly apps are just “HD” versions of iPhone apps, and that is all they need to be. Others are new apps created specifically for the iPad’s more spacious screen. What’s great is the quality and diversity of apps available already, with more popping up each day. Here are the best of the bunch, a month after the iPad showed its glossy face:
Memory matching games of all kinds -- pick the size of the grid, whether you want to match pictures, numbers or letters, whether you want it timed or not.
It's great for kids ages 4 to 6, who are finally getting the hang of memory and critical thinking.
iPad only (but version available for iPhone) - iTunes link
Since my expertise stems from interactions with my precocious two-year-old daughter, I've capped this list off at around five years of age. If you want to share some great apps for slightly older children, feel free to email me or, better yet, post a screenshot and description in the comments below.