My oldest (she'll be 8 next week) has been begging for a cell phone. Most of her friends have one. However, I don't see a true need for her to have one and I can see it leading to problems (and I don't need another thing to monitor).
We did get the girls a Chromebook for Christmas. Madi has weekly homework that she has to complete online and both girls are into Webkinz and some educational sites they use at school. Having a tech toy really isn't that outrageous for this generation of kiddos.
My mom got my kids kid tablets for Christmas and they are Androids. They use it for their apps instead of stealing our phones (we don't have an Ipad just a laptop) with DD1's issues she has a hard time running a mouse either traditional or the built in on laptops but can work a touch pad very easily. It's helping with her motor skills with tracing and writing.
I would not buy a smartphone or a 400.00 Ipad for these kids. Nope.
My kids are still technology free (at almost 6, almost 5 and 2.5) but the gifts of choice amongst my friends with the turning 6 YO's this year was either Ipads, leapster2's or kindle fires. We will wait a while yet.
We are big technology nerds, but the kids use our stuff...when they're older we will start figuring out when they should have their own.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 6 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
There is no way I'd buy a smartphone or an iPad for my young kids (under 13). My oldest is 14, and he just got a smartphone about 2 months ago when his phone died. Luckily it didn't make much of a difference to our monthly bill. My younger two boys (11 and 9) each have an iPod 5, but they used money and gift cards they got for birthdays and Christmas to buy it themselves. We don't have to worry about an additional monthly fee for the wifi, which is nice.
Carolyn - 37
Wife to Chad - 39
Mom to Tom - 15
Nathan - 10
(None of it was my choice or money. Or it wouldn't have continued for as many phones as it did. One didn't even last a month before meeting sidewalk.)
I haven't bought any of these specifically for my kids, but my parents gave me their old iPad and I've never used it. My kids play Reader Rabbit on it sometimes though, and watch some movies on it when we are on trips.
They also have use of my old iPod Touch. They only get it on trips, it's special for then. Keeps them occupied on long international flights or long drives to soccer. They are also very very careful with them, perhaps because they realize it's a special treat.