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Is the iPad a Modern-Day Babysitter?


Do you let your kids play on your iPad while waiting at restaurants? How about when on those long road trips to grandma and grandpa’s house? If you answered yes, you’re certainly not alone. According to a recent survey by Nielsen, 41 percent of parents report using the mighty tablet at restaurants and 55 percent while traveling to keep those kiddos quiet in the backseat. 

Tablets are taking over as main sources of entertainment among kids. Nielsen also found that 70 percent of kids aged 12 and under in households with tablets get to use them regularly. While Angry Birds, games and apps dominant tablet time, 57 percent of kids use tablets for educational purposes and 41 percent use them for watching TV show and movies. 

The rise of tablet usage among kids is no surprise, considering the iPad topped kids’ wish lists this past holiday season. The Nielsen survey found that nearly half of kids aged 6-12 listed the iPad as their most coveted item for Christmas. Other popular gadgets like the iPod Touch and iPhone followed in desirability, making Nielsen dub this past holiday season as “iHoliday 2011.” 

And while this holiday study focused on grade school kids, there’s no shortage of apps for kids much, much younger. Babies are playing with iPads, learning about the swipes and taps before they even learn how to walk, in some cases. Take a look at a previous Screen Play post about this one-year-old who is confused why this darned magazine isn’t responding…