|VTech's Flip eReader|
When I hand him a book in the car, I call it Healthy Entertainment.
When I put him on my lap and look at a book with him, I call it Snuggle Time.
I recently learned that eReaders for young children are available and becoming popular. At first I wondered how any eReader could survive in the hands of young children. I have kids. I've taped pages back in books and repaired bindings more than once. Then I saw the companies involved. VTech. Fisher Price. Nintendo. These giants are experts at making indestructible electronics. I have "computers" from VTech and Fisher Price that have survived seven kids and four years. I can imagine them making a durable eReader.
The real question is, "Would I want one?" It could mean less time in my book repair shop. It could mean happier car rides. Is there really anything wrong with a book that reads itself? I do think kids' brains receive helpful sensory input when they feel textures and turn pages, but buying an eReader wouldn't mean throwing away all our books or canceling library trips. The fact is, I can imagine Early Literacy and Healthy Entertainment with an eReader.
When I imagine Snuggle Time with an eReader, I start to cringe. Then I realize what is really important: the snuggles. And learning to read, of course. As long as snuggling doesn't get replaced with the newest technological trend, I won't fight the eReader.
How do you feel about eReaders and kids? Is there a place for them? This article lists a few eReaders for preschoolers and this article announces VTech's newest plans.