Okay, I said it. I know you must be thinking that I had an awful childhood and that we lived in poverty. I don’t know if we were poor but I know we weren’t rich. We played outside, we never got to watch tv but we got to rent movies sometimes on the weekends. We never had cable and until my younger brother was a teenager, there wasn’t a single video game in the house. I guess my first statement wasn’t entirely true. Our family owned a video camera that my parents didn’t ever get to touch once. My brother and sister and I were constantly making movies and documentaries.
Since this was my experience as a child, I’ve always been surprised when young children have cell phones, laptops, Nintendo DS’, ipods, leappads and everything else under the sun. I married a guy who loves gadgets and techy stuff so I knew that our kids would have access to electronic toys but I never imagined it would happen so soon.
My daughter loves my iphone and she’s pretty good at using it too! When we went on a long road trip last fall, we borrowed a tablet device and loaded it up with her favorite show (Dora) and let her watch (BUT DON’T TOUCH) during part of the drive. It was such a peaceful car ride and she slept that night at the hotel when we wanted to sleep instead of during the car ride.
We are about to go on a family vacation that will have a lot of car time so we are looking for something that she can easily use for entertainment, something that is toddler tough and something that both my husband and I will be able to use for our jobs. Verizon allowed us to borrow a Motorola XYBoard for a few weeks and we really liked it!
My favorite feature of the XYBoard was that it had a data plan so we could access the internet (4G LTE) from the car (we never had any network issues), from a restaurant, at home, at work, at the pool, ANYWHERE! We subscribe to Netflix so this was one of the first things we used on the XYBoard. What did we watch? Dora the Explorer and Yo Gabba Gabba of course! The 4G speed was so great and so convenient.
I also loved the size and weight of the XYBoard. It was 8 inches and not even a pound which means it fits VERY nicely in my purse, my glove compartment or in my toddler’s hands. I’ve never held a tablet device that is this manageable and it really makes a difference as far as how often it gets dropped by a two year old or her momma. In addition to the size, Motorola has added additional features to safeguard your tablet. This device is SPILL PROOF AND SCRATCH RESISTANT! Doesn’t that scream toddler-proof to you? Even before I had kids, I was an accident waiting to happen when it came to technology — nothing has changed, I just have a lot of help with it now.
We did not personally pay out of pocket for the monthly data plan while we borrowed this device for a few weeks but I see it as a fantastic investment in our sanity and productivity. The good news for Verizon wireless customers is that a “Share Everything” plan has been introduced and it begins next week! On June 28th, customers can add a device to their plan for a small fee AND turn their smartphone or tablets into a personal mobile hotspot for no additional cost! The plan information is here but I’ll tell you right now that adding a tablet device to the Share Everything plan is only $10!!!! I recommend the XYBoard ($399) if you have a lifestyle similar to ours.
I was not paid or compensated to tell you about the XYBoard but I was permitted to borrow the device for a short time through a program with Verizon Wireless. The above thoughts and opinions are my own and I hope they help you if you are looking for a tablet device.
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My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indianapolis with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!