My children have their own iPads, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Anybody who disagrees and thinks that is a bad parenting choice can feel free to observe my two year old son do puzzles and play matching games at a third grade level.
With that said, my son does have a much easier time handling the size and weight of the iPad Mini than he ever did his sister’s regular-sized iPad. New data from KinderTown (an educational app finder for parents of preschool and kindergarteners) agrees: the iPad Mini is the preferred tablet for kids.
As I was making the choice to purchase another iPad, I knew the smaller format was attractive. Were there alternatives with slightly better specs at a slightly better price (thinking Google Nexus 7 as I write this), certainly… but this was the tablet that let me share my now considerable app library with all of the tablets in my home.
According to KinderTown, among those people choosing Apple products in late 2012, the iPad Mini was a strong competitor. The latest iPod Touch and fourth generation iPad also had good gains with fewer people choosing the iPad 2 (still available for sale despite now being a few versions behind) and the iPhone 5 (perhaps not surprising given the lower likelihood of gifting an item that requires a service contract for the recipient).
KinderTown’s observations are based on usage which indicated that the iPad Mini “increased by 270% after the Christmas, compared with the iPad 4th gen’s 190% increase.” Their information seems to validate two suppositions that have often been made: children are inheriting their parents old devices when the upgrade and many people are choosing to gift the lesser-cost, smaller-form-factor iPad Mini for the young tablet users.
If you haven’t taken a look at them yet, KinderTown offers a selection of apps from the App Store pre-vetted for educational value and then organized by age, category and price.