For kids looking to experience the fun of technology without the expense, the VTech Little Apps Tablet is an excellent educational toy. It is not a full-featured device — your toddler won't be able to connect to the internet or stream Netflix — but the VTech Little Apps lets a child pretend to be just like mom and dad. More than just a toy for playing make-believe, this tablet takes children on a learning adventure.
Is this the right tablet for your youngster? Electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones make for a controversial parenting subject. However, this little tablet takes a lot of the dangers away, leaving you with a fun, educational tool.
Tablets and Devices are an Inevitable Part of Life
Children are getting their own real-life devices younger and younger, with some parents giving an old smartphone to their kids as a gateway device.
For children between the ages of two and five, a better option is a learning tablet. These integrate educational features while familiarizing kids with some of the basic workings of a mobile device. Some experts believe that babies should be handed a device upon birth, while others think limits on devices are crucial. Although you may be instituting limits one day to your teens and tweens, toddlers benefit significantly from learning through a mobile device interface.
Schools know that mobile devices are powerful classroom tools. Many schools incorporate iPads and other tablets into the lessons and some technology-at-home programs. An entry-level option such as the VTech Little Apps Tablet is a great way to make sure your little ones are up to speed before entering school. Learning tablets are tons of fun for kids, too.
About Vtech Products
Vtech is a well-established educational toy brand. Its product line includes devices and toys for infants to nine-year-olds. Some of the toys are focused on traditional play, while others are more about technology.
Vtech's entire product line incorporates some level of technology. From a bear-themed baby laptop with a handful of colorful buttons to Kidizoom smartwatches, VTech is one of the top manufacturers in the tech toy space. Vtech also makes a host of other tech devices, such as telephones and baby monitors. The company has been making technology toys for over 40 years. Parents can enjoy peace of mind about reliability and customer service when dealing with VTech.
VTech Learning Tablets
The VTech Little Apps Tablet is part of the company's learning tablet line. These have fewer features that VTech's main tablet product line, the InnoTab series, which features an Android operating system and carefully selected educational Android apps. The Little Apps line is more of a toy — appropriate for toddlers who want the feel and visual experience of their own device. It lacks most real tablet features, but for the price range and purpose, it's an excellent tool to incorporate learning into playtime.
How the VTech Little Apps Tablet Is an Educational Tool
Unlike a fuller-featured, more expensive device, VTech carefully contains this learning tablet's play in an education world of its own. Cody the Smart Cub guides your child's educational journey, providing activities and structure. Contrast this with the environment of a tablet or smartphone. When you hand your three-year-old daughter a device to keep her occupied while you drive to school, you might not be able to control her usage. While you can tell her to play an entertaining game or watch YouTube Kids videos, there are few simplified ways for a toddler to crack open a world of education. VTech's Cody the Smart Cub gives structure to tablet usage.
How We Reviewed
We understand how much you care about getting just the right educational toys for your children, we do too. So, to make sure you get the best information, we scoured the internet for real user reviews, product specifications, and possible problems. We took everything that you would spend hours and hours searching for and brought it to one place.
Complete Overview of Vtech Little Apps Tablet
This simple tablet has many features for its small size. VTech designed each element at keeping kids engaged and entertained. Here are the most important tools for interactive learning fun:
Built to resemble a tablet, but with toddler-friendly buttons
Young children can quickly figure out how to work the touchscreen of a fully-functional smartphone or tablet. Aimlessly swiping and tapping away at a screen is not a ton of fun, though. VTech makes it easier for a child to positively interact with a device. The VTech Little Apps' design assigns commonly-used functions to individual alphabet letters. It also features a mini piano keyboard and a handful of quick menu access keys.
Yes, you read that right, this tablet is more Blackberry circa 2005 than iPhone X, but that's all the better for eager-to-learn tots. Some online reviewers noted that the keys take a little time for younger kids to master, but learning small motor skills might be a developmental bonus for some children.
With guided learning, parents can relax
When turned on, the Little Apps Tablet fires up Cody the Smart Cub. This character provides vivid animations and sound effects to accompany activities. The tablet features four major learning areas: musical creativity, language development, basic math skills and imaginative play. 12 activities are organized in a progression. As your child learns, they move through to more challenging (and rewarding) areas. Your child can develop basic reading skills by learning letters and simple words through several activities. Basic math and music are also weaved into the educational experience.
Just like mom and dad's phones and tablets, kids can play games on this device, too. The keyboard lets kids make some music, but the camera is just for show. Toddlers most likely do not need a tutorial on taking selfies, anyway. The tablet runs on two AA batteries, which VTech includes in the package for your convenience. It also features an auto-shut off after a period of inactivity — helpful in saving battery life. Together, these features allow children to pretend to be like their parents, older siblings, or pretty much anyone else older than them who are all likely to be glued to their screens.
Priced low for entry into the learning tablet world
The VTech Little Apps Tablet is reasonably priced, with a range from $14 to $20.
- Stacking the VTech Learning Tablet Up Against Competitors -
The Little Apps Tablet is not alone in its market. Several other manufacturers offer similar learning tablets, some with more features and some with less. For a modest jump to the $50 to $60 range, parents can get their child an entry-level bare-bones tablet, but again, this option lacks the toddler-appropriate learning environment. The following are learning tablets that have similar price ranges and features.
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn
The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn tablet is a bit more expensive than VTech's model, at around $30 to $40. For the extra money, parents can get a learning tablet that comes a little closer to looking like a real tablet. Beyond its visual appearance, though, the educational experience is similar to that of VTech. With its Smart Stages technology, Fisher-Price's tablet is meant to adapt to your infant or toddler's progress. The manufacturer geared this device to a slightly younger customer: 12 months to 36 months.
Leapfrog My First Learning Tablet
Leapfrog's line of educational toys are similar to VTech's, and its My First Learning Tablet is near identical in features and pricing. Available at a price of between $14 - $20, Leapfrog's tablet features a guided learning environment with lessons and activities that cover math, reading, music and creativity. Its Explore Mode adds another layer of learning, where science topics like weather and animals. Leapfrog built its tablet with the rugged needs of a toddler in mind and touts this model as "kid-tough."
Some reviewers didn't love the use of nonfunctioning keys in the design, saying that the tablet has too many fake features that may frustrate children.
Boxiki kids Learning Pad
Another learning tablet option is the Boxiki kids Learning Pad. Priced at around $20, this kids' tablet has educational and play features including spelling, ABC's, music and more. Designed to look just like an iPhone 7 or 8 Plus, kids might feel like they are playing with the real thing. This product is recommended for kids age three and up, so it may be too advanced for younger learners. Some commenters noted that the buttons are tiny, which make it less fun for a smaller child to use.
Pros and Cons of the VTech Little Apps Tablet
This happy little table rates a solid 4.5/5 stars. For what it is — a learning tablet — the VTech Little Apps Tablet is an inexpensive and feature-packed toy that little kids will love. When your kids are bored during car trips, give them their own device, not your expensive smartphone. With the VTech tablet, your child can explore language, math, music and more.
Featured Image: Amazon