Toddlers and technology: What is old to you is new to them

Did you recently upgrade to a new smartphone, tablet or iPod? Do you have children who love to play with your smart devices? Well if the answer to both of these questions is “yes” then why not give them your old device?

Most children love to mimic everything we as parents do and in todays world that includes getting their little hands on our smart devices.

Jaydon plays a game on his iPod Touch.

Jaydon plays a game on his iPod Touch.

Recently my son Jaydon saw an iPod Touch sitting on my desk. “What’s that,” he asked in his cute toddler voice. I picked up the iPod Touch and showed it to him. Right a way Jaydon wanted to hold it so I gave it to him.

The iPod Touch was a 2nd generation device that I had not use for quit some time. Also apple stopped updating the OS and most of the new apps would not work on it so I did not see any harm in letting Jaydon play with the device.

Within a couple of minutes and to my surprise not only had Jaydon figured out how to unlock the device but he also started the music player. I sat in my chair and watched as Jaydon, with a big smile on his face, danced to the music.

In the last couple of months the iPod Touch has become a handy distraction for Jaydon especially when he gets board in restaurants or on car trips. Even though it is an older model I was still able to find a few educational apps that would work on it. Also Jaydon like most toddlers can be rough with the things they get their hands on so when Jaydon throws or drops the iPod Touch we don’t cringe or get upset as if it was a new device.

Droid 2, Droid X and an iPod Touch.

Droid 2, Droid X and an iPod Touch.

Now, if you do not have an iPod Touch then most Droid smartphones, that are only a couple of years old, should work.

My wife and I recently upgraded our Droid 2 and Droid X phones to the Samsung Galaxy S III. We kept our old Droids even though you can no longer make calls or text with them but using the wi-fi you can still access the web and the Google Play store to download and use apps.

I checked with Verizon and they said, yes I could do that. The sim cards no longer register on Verizon’s network so the phones are nothing more than small tablets now.

I plan to clean out most of the apps on the Droid X and install educational software for Jaydon to play with. Even though the Droid X is 2-years-old the OS was updated before we got the SGS3’s so I know almost any app I want will work on it.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vgonis
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 08:11:22

    I like it when kids are technology aware and even better when they can use it. I just wonder if at the same time we provide inferior stimulants, that in fact have only the value of distracting them and not actual learning. It has little to do with technology really, but mostly with the modern pace of life. See, I am truly scared when I saw both my kids mimic speaking to a telephone, or singing in a microphone. I find that they are just mimicing (which itself is a normal procedure) but they have not developed the criteria of what to mimic. And imagine that I avoid speaking to the telephone in front of them and I don’t have a working TV at home. What do you think?

  2. Maggie
    Feb 24, 2013 @ 00:24:18

    We haven’t upgraded phones yet so my 2 year old still plays with my phone. my husband and I are still thinking if we are going to get an iPad.

    • Chris Hall
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 10:46:43

      My wife would give Jaydon her phone to play with from time to time. But after a couple of months of dropping it and randomly opening multiple apps over and over we think he eventually broke it. The phone started acting funny. Some apps would not open and others would crash. Luckily our contract was up and it was time upgrade.
      We do no not allow Jaydon to play with the new phones, only the old ones.

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  4. AMotherhoodblog
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 15:23:29

    Both my older kids have an iPod touch. My 8 year old started using mine at the age of 3 after I upgraded to iPhone 😉 now they also try to sneak the tablet or iPad. They are very tech savvy and smart!

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  6. jmpoland21van
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 15:41:41

    Wordpress linked me to your blog once you found my toddler Grandma poem. Glad to read about the old phone use and the savvy use of technology.My grandson is only 2, and he loves the apps on ipad, iphone and nook.
    Jeanne Poland

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  8. melly1982
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 11:27:55

    Nice, I had never realized before getting comments back on the blog that you could still access apps on old phones – I will def be setting this up for Miss K

    • Chris Hall
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 13:05:15

      I was not sure if I could continue using the internet at first but I figures without the phone service the device was basically nothing more now than a tiny tablet.

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