Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Kids test latest toy gadgets

Eamon Rooney tests the Apple iPad. Photo / Michael Craig
Eamon Rooney tests the Apple iPad. Photo / Michael Craig

Thinking of putting a Tablet in the kids' Christmas stockings? Who better to test these gadgets than those who have them on their wish list. Four under 12s reviewed three tablets - the LeapPad2, a Meep! and an iPad.

Pippa, 3
LeapPad2: Pippa loved it. The voice commands and touch screen meant she didn't need help. Children can use the stylus or their fingertip to write and draw. Pippa enjoyed designing her own "pet" and writing letters to get treats.
Meep: Pippa enjoyed some games on the Meep but long load times and an unresponsive screen meant she lost interest. She could navigate it well when it was working even though it was recommended for 6+.
iPad: Pippa loved the screen size and colours of the iPad and enjoyed the free apps, such as learning to tell time and a piano tutor.

Briar, 6
LeapPad2: This was Briar's favourite. She found the camera and recording device easy to use and created art in the studio. Learning levels are auto-adjusting so Briar's learning was extended.
Meep: Briar found the Meep screen sensitive and was annoyed by the time it took for games to load.
iPad: Briar found the iPad easy to use and loved the screen size.She found the touch screen responsive and mum helped her download free educational apps.

Eamon, 9
LeapPad2: Eamon said the LeapPad2 was for younger children but enjoyed the SpongeBob game.
Meep: Eamon was frustrated by the Meep. With the help of his brother, 15, he set up musical instrument games, but didn't play long.
iPad: Eamon's favourite. It had the best screen and the controls were easy. He found the apps store and got his mother to help him download two free apps to play on.

Jordan, 12
LeapPad2: Although it is for 3 to 9-year-olds, Jordan enjoyed some games and said he would have loved it when he was little.
Meep: Jordan liked the paddling games but had to keep the Meep plugged into the wall to keep a charge. The screen was frustrating. Although Wi-Fi capable, the response time was long.
iPad: Jordan loved it and said it was easy to use. He could access the internet and said the iPad was fast.


Top toys

Under $50
Trash Pack Street Sweeper, Blingles Bling Studio, LeapPad Scribble and Write

Under $40
Sylvanian Families, Pillow Pets, Lego Dirt Bike Transporter, Nerf basketball set

Under $30
Lalaloopsy Littles, Shimmer and Sparkle Messenger bag, Angry Birds Star Wars

Under $20
Lego Friends, Fashion Angel, Sweetpea Pop Up Rocket, Nerf Super Soaker


Giveaway: The Herald on Sunday has a Meep! and a Leap Pad 2 to give away. To enter, email editor@hos.co.nz with your contact details and which tablet you'd prefer.

- Herald on Sunday

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