Last night, my son Parker returned from the Adirondacks; he had been on vacation with my in-laws for a week. I missed him terribly, and he me. After our normal run through of the toys: cars, trains, balls, and books, he wanted to play Thomas the Tank Engine on the computer. They have tons of games and activities on their site, and he especially likes using their online coloring books.
Instead of having him sit on my lap and have me use the mouse on the Mac, I thought we might give the tablet a try.
I felt like I was in the audience at TED when Jeff Han was speaking, as his interaction with the machine totally changed. He is not yet 3, yet there he was controlling the screen by himself. He was picking colors, clicking on icons, changing the screens in a manner that was somewhat self-directed. I exclaimed to my wife that this is the machine he will start out with when that time comes. We used Imagination Cubed to give him access to some basic drawing applications.
It really changed everything for him, at least for a little while, at which point I looked at the clock and realized that it was 10:30–well past his usual bedtime. Sometimes, though, I can’t help but break the rules.