Looking for an iPad case that will work well with kids? We have 2 iPads for our 2 toddlers and we learned early on that in order for them to be able to play with the iPads, we would need to invest in nice iPad case.
If you are in the market for an iPad case for kids or for toddlers – here are our recommendations!
Best Kids iPad Cases – 2018 Edition
When we originally wrote this post, we were in the thick of the toddler years. Yes, we let our toddlers use iPads – but not without an iPad case! Over the last 4 years since this post was originally written, we have acquired 2 more Apple iPads and guess what? We required an iPad case on each tablet before the kids use it!
Buying a Kids iPad case is worth your investment. We now have 4 Apple iPads, and I can tell you that 2 of them are over 6 years old! The ONLY reason that we have had such longevity with our iPads is because we keep them in a case at ALL times.
Yes, our kids iPad case is gross and looks like its covered in dirt and snot. That can be washed! Once you take the iPads out of their cases, they look brand new.
Featured are the brands we recommend. Click on the link and make sure to purchase the right case for your iPad version. Make the investment – here are our suggestions to look at when shopping iPad cases for kids.
Otterbox Defender iPad Case
Our favorite Apple iPad case for kids is the Otterbox Defender. Two of our iPads use these cases for protection. Also, everyone in the family who has an iPhone has an Otterbox Defender phone case. You can say we are quite big fans of the Otterbox Defender line of products.
Why the Otterbox Defender for a Kid’s iPad?
If you are looking for the best protection against kid damage, go with the Otterbox Defender. When our oldest son was a toddler, he had a iPod Touch (remember those?) He had a Otterbox Defender on his iPod Touch. We were going thru his iPod touch videos one day and found a video where he threw the iPod Touch down the stairs.
Protective iPad Mini Case for Kids
I know a lot of parents buy their kids minis and are looking fro the kids ipad mini case that will protect the best. The Defender is a kid proof iPad mini case that will do just that. Click Here to buy a Defender iPad 4 mini case on Amazon.
Best iPad Case for Protection
Years ago, another kid threw my iPhone that had a Otterbox Defender case on it – off the second story balcony in our foyer. It landed on the tile – no damage to my phone.
These were just our experiences and this is why we trust the Otterbox Defender iPad cases with our kids’ iPads.
You will pay more – but It’s built for defense. The Otterbox Defender is the best iPad case for protection. While this case is bulky and pricey, your iPad will be protected and you can worry a little less about your digital investment.
Griffin Survivor Case
Next, let’s look at the Griffin Survivor Case.
I wasn’t sure how the Griffin Survivor case would match up to the Otterbox Defender. We had purchased our second iPad and were needing a case. I decided to try out the Griffin. It had come recommended by another mom and it was cheaper than the Otterbox Defender – at the time.
I went for it and we still have an Pad! The case works great, is very similar in protection to the Defender – would definitely recommend it.
The Survivor iPad case comes with a built-in screen protector like the Defender and offers solid protection for your iPad.
Lifeproof iPad Waterproof Case
And now – let’s talk about a waterproof iPad case. Yes, Lifeproof iPad case is waterproof.
While I haven’t used the Lifeproof Waterproof iPad case, if you have kids that like to take their iPads near water – this maybe a good option for you. I talked with the team at CES this past year and saw this case first hand. It is super nice and is much thinner than the Otterbox Defender.
If I was a bath person – I would totally invest in one of these. The Lifeproof iPad case, like the Lifeproof iPhone case is WATERPROOF! And in addition to waterproof is drop proof, you can drop the iPad and no harm done to your tablet.
Big Grips Germ Resistant Kids iPad Case
Big Grips has a design made specifically for kids! The Big Grips Kids iPad case has been redesigned in recent years. This case now features a handle. One of my good friends swears by this iPad case and she is extra picky, so I trust her recommendation.
My toddlers are a little too destructive for me to feel that the iPad would be safe with this case, but you never know! Her child’s iPad has yet to be damaged! I would recommend a screen protector film if you do opt for this case.
Germ Resistant iPad Case
Free of BPA, lead and latex
Free of Phthalates and PVC
Resistant to oils, stains, molds and germs – great with kids!
Durable, lightweight and easy to clean
This case had me at germ resistant iPad case. I admit, my kids’ case is pretty gross – makes me want to buy a Big Grips!
HDE iPad Case with Handle
The HDE iPad case features a handle.It is made of a shock-resistant foam that helps prevent dings to the corners.
Affordable Kids iPad Case
This shockproof iPad case is the most affordable kids iPad case in our round-up, coming in at under $20! Not only is the HDE case affordable, it has a high Amazon rating of 4 stars with over 2400 reviews.
Last, we have the iGuy iPad case. Yes – there are 6. We are adding in another kids case due to popular demand. We’ve heard that several like the iGuy iPad case and was included in our iPad 2017 kid case round up.
Here is what we love. It’s durable. The iGuy iPad case stands up easily which is great for toddlers. It’s squeezable and kid friendly to the touch.
Our biggest concern is the iPad screen being broken. So like the HDE case and the Big Grips case, we are recommending you buy the iPad screen film protector
Do you have an iPad case that you prefer for kids?
Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about screen time and limits with kids on various devices.. Times change, kids grow and technology evolves. Here is how we are handling teens and technology limits in 2018.
Teens and Technology Limits
We have 4 kids. Our older 2 are now TEENAGERS. I cannot believe half of my tribe are now teens. When I started this blog, they were so little – and then I only had 2 kids, not the 4 we have now. I remember about blogging about being pregnant with our third child. WOAH.That was 9 years ago. My oldest who is now 15, was just 6-years-old. Our now 13-year-old was just 4-years-old.
*sigh* I may need a glass of wine in order to finish typing this post.
The years have indeed passed quickly. I know, it’s SO cliche. When we are pregnant, everyone tells us this. Same thru the toddler years and so on.
When we started the blog, the internet was here but iPads weren’t! Apple didn’t introduce the iPad until 2010. And back then, kids had iPod Touches, not iPads to play with. There was no Nintendo Switch or Xbox One – we were still bowling and playing tennis on the Nintendo Wii and playing Rockband on the X-Box. Times have changed. Technology has evolved.
Setting Technology Rules
So what are the rules that we have for our teens with technology? We still put technology limits on our teens. We were early adapters in regards to getting them cell phones. We have kept a lot of the same rules that we had back then – regardless of their age.
Here’s the deal. Teens need supervision. Yes, they will spread their wings and fly and I want my kids to be GOOD, successful and most important – HAPPY members of society. In order to do that, they will fail. As a parent, I have to understand that. There are things that they can fail at that I cannot do anything about. But then there are things that I can control and that I can help them learn from. Therefore we have rules with technology.
I am often asked, what are the tech rules and what boundaries should I set for my kids. Well, I honestly believe that is up to you. What works for one kid, may not work for another. Same with your household and the values and environment in your home is most likely not the same as ours. AND THAT IS TOTALLY FINE. The world is made up of different people with different backgrounds and that is what makes this place beautiful.
Copy/paste in parenting doesn’t work. Rather than copying how someone else parents, just learn from them. Take-away what works best for your family. Each family dynamic is different. Find what rules and boundaries works best for your people and do that.
Here are some of our technology rules and limits that we put on our kids. I will say that I am writing this in the middle of summer. And like most parents, we are a lot more tolerant and flexible then in the school year.
No Screens in the Bedroom
This past year, we had to live in a hotel for 137 days. It was terrible and to make things crazier, our teens lived across the hall. We couldn’t fit 6 people and live sanely in 1 hotel room. The teens had their phones because I was frantic. AND OF COURSE during that time technology limits were out of whack, to say the least. I will say, this created chaos and totally reiterated why we have these tech rules and boundaries to begin with!
The kids played on their phones all night and had TVs. I’m not sure how many good nights of sleep they actually got! They could not make good decisions, especially when their friends are texting them at all hours at night and had access to Netflix. We are SO glad that we are out of the hotel and back to the no screen rule.
Each of our kids has an Apple device. Our older 2 have iPhones and our younger 2 have iPads. First, let me say how great it is when one of these devices goes missing – OR when a child forgets to tell me that they are making an extra stop with a friend after an event – I can track the device (or child) down with Find My iPhone. Any who – our kids do not get free reign to download whatever. We have setup a family account with Apple and I have to approve all apps. This helps on multiple levels, everything from how much money they spend on apps to what apps they actually have on their phone.
If you don’t have your Apple devices setup for a family, do it! In IOS 12 that comes out this Fall, Apple has incorporated screen time controls (FINALLY!) That’s right, you will be able to limit how much time your kid plays online and what apps they can use. This is exciting stuff, I will share more on Apple screen time controls as I learn more! I know parents will be doing a happy dance once they learn the specifics on using – but I do know that you NEED to have a family account setup and your kids as child accounts in order for this to work.
I’ve written a parent’s guide to Roblox and actually was approached to write a book. I politely declined, while I know this popular game has made strides in regards to parental controls – it just rubbed me the wrong way when one of our kids was approached about cyber sex and our child just didn’t understand what was right and what was wrong
It led to many discussions and we still hear “when can we play Roblox!” to this day. Sorry kids, we are not cool parents.
Screen Free Sunday
My beloved No Screen Sunday, how I love thee. Somedays, we do this on Saturdays and the kids have successfully negotiated this summer to do this on a Monday – but regardless we take one day (most of the time on Sunday) to go screen free. The kids don’t get to play on the computer, phone or iPad.
We spend time as a family and we catch up on chores. Did I mention this is glorious?!! Did I mention how much the kids hate it and I really don’t care because I am sure it’s building character. A break from screens one day a week doesn’t hurt anyone. While my husband and I still keep our screens, we really do make a purposeful effort to not be on them for recreation as much and to enjoy our time with the kids, technology-free.
Yes, Snapchat is ALL THE RAGE – well kind of. It’s fizzled quite a bit. And yes, I TOTALLY know that kids can send secret photos on Facebook and Instagram – but we’ve just put a hard no on Snapchat. It is just another social media platform that we would need to monitor and it is NOT easily monitored. In the last month, I have had 2 different parents message and ask if I let my kids yet on Snapchat. Nope. Sorry.
I will say this. I know of a family that used Snapchat extensively when a parent was ill. It was his way of still having fun with his kids when he couldn’t actually be there. I love this and remember how I say, you do what works for you – yeah, this is one of the reasons I say that! It may work for some families but for ours, it just doesn’t.
Ever-changing Rules – Just Like Technology
Just like technology, our rules will be ever-changing. I am sure that when I write this in 9 more years, when our 2 younger kids will be 16 and 17-years-old – everything will be totally different.
You do you, but do set limits. Kids need boundaries, technology limits and guidelines. We as parents need to be their light in this dark, crazy world. Our parents did NOT have to deal with technology limits or anything of the such. We need to learn as much as we can so that we know how best to guide our kiddos.
And by the way, I feel the need to share this little nugget. I see so many parents beating themselves up when they try so hard and sometimes (or a lot of times) things just don’t work out as planned. If something you do as a parent doesn’t go right – give yourself some grace. There is no parenting handbook.
This truth holds major truth in regards to technology limits and parenting teens in 2018!
Ataribox – sound familiar? Yes, the old school Atari is making a comeback. Our kids could soon be bugging us to buy them an Atari – but don’t worry, this isn’t the Atari of the 80’s!
Launching this Fall on Indiegogo, the Ataribox is positioning itself as a PC like gaming experience, but it will come pre-loaded several of the old school Atari games that we grew up playing.
Meet the Ataribox
Get ready for some old school Atari, well kind of. The Ataribox may feel like the Atari 2600 – but with a modern design. Get this, the team at Atari is making an Ataribox WOOD EDITION – which is made of real wood.
Ataribox will be powered by an AMD customized processor, with Radeon Graphics technology. It’ll run Linux, with a customized, easy-to-use user interface. That said, Ataribox is also a full PC experience for the TV. It will offer streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more. This device will let you play old school games that will come pre-loaded but is also set up to play new titles as well. The studio will soon be releasing more info on the new games soon.
Since most TV devices have closed systems and content stores – Linux will allow a more open system. You will be able to access and customise the OS, games you’ve bought from other content platforms and more.
How Much Is This Going To Cost Me
First and foremost, if you want to get in on this new Atari game action, you will want to pre-order on Indiegogo. No launch date has been set for the Indiegogo campaign, but we hear that it will be very soon. We’ll make sure to share the news on social media when we get the green light that the pre-order is live.
The expected price range is $249-$299 – depending on what edition and memory configurations you order.
When Does the Ataribox Ship?
The plan is to ship late Spring 2018, so yes – you will have to do some waiting.
You can join the waitlist now, but until the Ataribox launch, go ahead and order you that old school Atari shirt 🙂 Available at Amazon
Back to school technology products – the school year is about to start,
we’re sharing the top tech products to add to your school list.
Can you believe the new school year is already here? Doesn’t it feel like school just let out? Nope, summer is coming to an end and those late nights the kids have had must come to an end as well. Early morning wake-ups are approaching quickly and back to school shopping is in full gear.
Our 2 oldest kids are entering high school and another middle school. As they get older, our back to school shopping list changes. Technology is so integrated into everything that they do both in the classroom and at home. So naturally, our back to school list now includes technology.
Back to School Technology Shopping List
Here are 7 Back to School Technology Must Haves.
Headphones are now a requirement on our school supply list. Here are a few affordable options.
Here’s the deal, headphones are fabulous but for school – stick with the basics. Someone once reminded me that the kids will most likely share headphones and then reminded me of how lice are shared. You are welcome. Buy the affordable and functional headphones for school and save the nice ones for personal use!
RCA 7” 16GB Voyager III
Next on our list of back to school technology products to add to your school supply list is the RCA Voyager III. This low-cost option is perfect for your high schooler and middle schooler as it doesn’t break the bank, offers the functionality needed for class work. But God forbid they lose or break it – you aren’t out the big bucks!
The new Voyager from RCA impresses with spectacular performance. Updated with Android 6.0, Marshmallow, the new Voyager showcases the operating system, clean design and performance upgrades. With an included 16GB of internal storage the Voyager has plenty of room for apps and media. The snappy quad-core processor makes multi-tasking a breeze. Use the front-facing camera to take a quick selfie or the rear camera to take in the scenary. Pick up all the new Voyager with Android Marshmallow, perfect tech for back to school!
The newest in its group, the RCA Voyager III will not disappoint! With it’s long-lasting battery power, this 16GB tablet is perfect for students who have back-to-back classes! Other features include a front and back camera, a hi-def screen, and compatibility with Google Play.
Graphing Calculator – TI84
Can you believe in today’s world of apps, that the graphing calculator is still on the school supply list? The TI-84 Plus graphic calculator is still a thing! One of the reasons it is still of such use, it is that the TI-84 calculator is approved for use on the following exams:
PSAT*, SAT*, and ACT* college entrance exams.
AP* Exams that allow or require a graphing calculator.
Approved for use on the IB exam.
SAT and AP are trademarks owned by the College Board. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. International Baccalaureate is a registered trademark of the International Baccalaureate Organization. None was involved in the production of nor endorses TI products.
Okay, before you say “a notebook isn’t technology, isn’t this suppose to be a tech for school list?” Let us introduce you to the Rocketbook Notebook. This back to school technology is so cool, you just may want to pick up one of these notebooks for yourself.
This isn’t the notebook we grew up with! The Rocketbook notebook is reusable. Yes, you read that right. It comes with 36 reusable pages wipe clean with a damp cloth when used with Pilot FriXion pens. Use the Everlast Rocketbook notebook with pens, highlighters and markers from the the Pilot FriXion line and let the ink dry for 15 seconds to allow it to bond to our specialized paper. When you’re ready to reuse, just wipe pages with a damp cloth, and watch them erase like magic.
To take this notebook a step further, download the app and take a photo of the notes. There are marking symbols at the bottom of each page that tell the Rocketbook app where to send your content. When you’re ready to scan, Just hold your phone above each page. In milliseconds, the app detects and captures each page, producing images more crisp and vibrant than the real thing. Pretty cool, right?
This notebook is amazing for those of us who live in the digital world but love taking notes on paper.
I’m all about the kids NOT having an excuse for a dying phone (hence this suggestion and the one below.) Rather than the long charging cords, purchase a keychain phone charging cable that the kids can clip to their backpack. Give them NO excuse for that dead phone! This back to school technology is something is affordable and necessary with just about every kid having a phone now adays!
I’m a total believer that everyone should carry a power brick! I cannot tell you how many times I have needed a charge and this thing has saved me! Equip your kids with a small power stick or external battery, that way that dead phone excuse just won’t work!
Fingerlings – what in the world is a FINGERLING? Let us introduce you. Our friends at WowWee emailed us a few weeks back saying they had the hot new toy for 2017 and wanted to send us one to see what we thought of it. So, here is what we thought – more importantly we are given you the thoughts of kids because they are the ones who will be playing with these things.
What are Fingerlings?
So a Fingerling is a little robotic baby monkey. Think interactive pet. They come with a battery already installed, so all you have to do after unboxing is turn them on. There are 6 varieties of monkeys – you can order in white, black, pink, purple, blue and turquoise. Each monkey comes with a name.
What does a Monkey Fingerling do?
Here is what the Fingerlings do. These interactive pets love to hang onto your finger, blink their eyes, turn their heads, blow kisses, swing by their tails, and talk in monkey babble
Clap your hands twice and your Fingerlings will sing together. Fingerlings respond to sound, motion, and touch with blinking eyes, head turns, and silly monkey babble. Blow them kisses and they will kiss you back! Hang them upside-down by the tail and watch them monkey around! Pet them to sleep or make a loud noise and watch them get excited! They are VERY gassy.
What do Kids Think of Fingerlings?
The kids loved the Fingerlings. I would say they are good for ages 4-10, though our 12-year-old did fight over getting his turn to play with the monkey. The kids have had the monkey for the last 5 days and each day it’s a fight on who gets to play with the monkey when. They make great car toys as they are small, while they make noises – it isn’t obnoxiously loud and it’s nice that the kids aren’t on screens actually playing with a toy.
Paint Coming Off Fingerling Monkey
One thing to note, the paint did start to chip off of the Fingerling after the first day. I’m sure this is due to our kids scraping, playing or possibly chewing on the toys – but something to note.
Fingerlings retail for $14.99. They are currently available on Amazon. If you are wanting to order a Fingerling, I would suggest you do so soon. Remember the craziness last holiday season and outrageous prices to get a Hatchimals?
Hot Christmas Toy
The 2016 hot toy was the Hatchimal – I predict that the 2017 hot toy is the Fingerlings. I’m not the only one predicting this. They are slated to be one of the 2017 hot Christmas toys by many industry toy giants, so order now.
Apple Camp 2017 is in the books. We all want our sanity during the summer months and between child care, camps and what have you – things can get pricey quick. Thankfully one week of the summer we were able to enjoy a FREE activity for our son. If you are an Apple fan, you won’t want to miss learning about Apple camp!
What is Apple Camp?
Apple Camp is a free camp put on in the summer months by various Apple stores. There are usually a few options on topics to choose from. The camps are available for ages 8-12 years old and last 90 minutes, 3 times during the week. BONUS! The kids are given a free Apple shirt!
This year, we had 1 kid eligible for Apple Camp. Not familiar with Apple Camp – keep reading. He went, he learned and now he won’t stop playing with his Sphero collection!
This is our second time doing camp with Apple. The first time, our son learned all about Garage Band and iMovie. This time around it was all about robotics and baby stepping into learning code. My husband is a software engineer and has taken our son to several of coding club meetings – so he has a general interest in coding.
Our son spent his time at camp learning in more detail how to program Sphero. We have a few Spheros at home. The Apple Genius taught him a whole new array of tricks and gave him some tips for maximizing his play with the device.
Now he is obsessed. He has hooked the Sphero app up on his sister and brother’s devices and showed them how to play. We have these robotic devices flying thru our house like it’s nobodies business!
2017 Apple Camp Choices
In 2017, Apple is offering 3 different camps.
Creating Characters and Composing Music
Kids ages 8-12 will create their own stories through drawings and sounds. Campers will start their session by sketching characters and scenes with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, then they’ll explore the basics for composing a track using GarageBand. They’ll bring their story to life by adding vocals and finishing touches.
Stories in Motion with iMovie
Future filmmakers ages 8-12 will explore the creative process of turning their ideas into real movies. In this three-day session, Campers will learn how to brainstorm and storyboard. Then they’ll get hands-on with movie-making techniques like learning camera angles and editing with iMovie. On the final day, they’ll present their masterpieces.
Coding Games and Programming Robots
In this three-day session for kids ages 8-12, we’ll introduce programming through interactive play. Kids will learn visual-based coding by solving puzzles with Tynker. Then they’ll learn how to program Sphero robots, and even create fun stories starring Sphero as the main character.
One caveat I should note – while Apple Camp is free, parents must stay in the Apple store while camp is in session. So no leaving. This is such a smart move on Apple’s part. I mean, come on – leaving me in the Apple store for 15 minutes is dangerous, let alone 90 minutes on 3 different days. On the first day I made the mistake of bringing our 2 younger sons with us. It was hell. I don’t recommend bringing small children for your sanity and their’s.
An Apple Genius called my kid Darth Vadar so he turned his shirt around and told him he was talking to the wrong person.
Something new this year, for 2 of the sessions they offered a “parent camp” while the kids were in camp. An Apple Genius walks the parents thru what the kids are learning. He or she also talks about setting up iTunes for family sharing, setting perimeters on your Mac and more.
I was able to attend on the second day of camp and the Genius was super helpful in answering my questions and suggesting various apps and configurations that would help with certain issues.
Sign Up Early!
If you are wanting to sign your child up for Apple Camp, SIGN UP EARLY! Every spring, I sign up on apple.com to receive a notification when camp registration opens. Last year we went on an epic road trip that spanned the course of the whole vacation. This year, we vacationed early and was able to get our son in no issue.
If the camp is full at your local store, I suggest giving the store a call and seeing if there by chance any openings or perhaps a wait list. OR wait, have you heard of Kids Hour?
One thing I learned about at Parent Camp was another free opportunity for kids at Apple. Various Apple stores offer Kids Hour. This is an hour where an Apple Genius teaches your child on subject. This varies by stores and appears to be offered once a week, but looks like this could vary as well.
The closest Apple Store near me this week offers Garage Band Kids Hour and Making Movies Together Kids Hour. Again, you will need to stay in the Apple store, but this gives your kids a chance to learn and BONUS – IT IS FREE AND YEAR ROUND! So if you missed out on this year’s camp, at least give the Kids Hour a try!