5 things your kid can safely do on an iPad

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It’s become a popular daily tool for adults, but arguments on its use for children keep parents neatly divided into 2 camps. Nevertheless, the iPad does offer your child great educational and entertainment value, and we cover some of the options that makes managing playtime easier for parents.

But first things first: secure your iPad. Under Settings > General > Restrictions, you should tap “Enable Restrictions” and put in a four-digit password in case your child gets to your iPad before you do.

The Restrictions section also has options to restrict app recommendations based on age, and the ability to turn off in-app purchases so you don’t end up paying for your child’s accidental clicks.

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GazilliWords

GazziliWords (formerly known as GoodieWords) is a well-put together educational app that helps parents to teach their young children concepts that are hard to explain, such as time, blood, patience and dreams. Each term begins with a comprehensive explanation followed by a game your child can play that interactively enhances your child’s understanding of the subject. Best part is, it’s free!

Happly

Happ.ly curates and aggregates age-specific content for the Web (including Youtube videos, Wikipedia articles and kid-friendly online games) and puts everything into a beautiful grid interface for your child to browse. The app also supports family communication as parents can leave messages to tag along content they want to show their kids.

Famigo

Famigo is a website that fills an obvious void in mobile application categorisation: mobile apps for children. You can filter the apps you want to see based on your child’s age, type of games and even platform (the website serves both Android and IOS applications). The website even has a different rating system for the apps it features; instead of popularity, apps are ranked according to family suitability.

Famigo also offers Sandbox, a parental control and content management app for your mobile device. While still in development for iPhones and iPads, Famigo Sandbox is now available for Android devices.

Kid Paint

If all your child wants to do is draw, Kid Paint will do just nicely. Instead of crayons and paper, Kid Paint lets your child freestyle with his fingers in any colour he chooses. There are also options for straight lines, curves, shapes and even stickers for your little one to go crazy with.

Fruit Ninja HD

No, seriously. Fruit Ninja’s overwhelming success lies in its plain simplicity. Swipe to slice; even a 3-year-old can figure it out quickly. It’s quick, portable, highly interactive and forces your kid’s attention -- at least for a few minutes. Not to mention it has the word “Ninja” in its name. $1.28 for full version; free version also available.

Of course, we don’t encourage the use of iPad or any mobile device as a parenting substitute, but do consider the use of the device as a lesson and an exercise in moderation to your child.

Make sure to enforce rules of device engagement (absolutely no play during mealtimes) and restrict usage to 10 or 20 minutes each time, making sure your child understands that your mobile device is not something he or she can take for granted.

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Written by

Winston Tay