A review of the Samsung GALAXY Tab3 for kids and a chance to win something handy!

Sponsored by Samsung and Nuffnang

As I have mentioned before, I have been struggling with my kids’ addiction to technology as of late. I was on the search for some practical ways to control the screen time as well as how I could leverage their love, enthusiasm and natural talent for this sort of play into learning. Only Gemma had her own tablet though and the twins were left to a dvd and/or video games. Samsung sent us their new GALAXY Tab 3 for kids. I am already a devoted Samsung fan girl, so I was excited to see what their tablet was like. 

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

GALAXY-tab-for-kids

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

In our family we are very technologically set. Our calendars are all online and synced to each other, we share books from a digital library on all of our devices and we believe in the good of being up to date with the world. The twins have never really benefited from any of that beyond getting really awesome at playing Angry Birds on my phone in waiting rooms while I run out of other options to keep them quiet. Until now they’ve been too young for much else. Honestly, I did not want to fill up my phone with games and learning apps and then have to deny them access as I needed to use my phone. I was concerned about over usage if we bought them their own tablet. I was also worried that they would only play games. 

Not-Just-Games

Samsung knows these issues and has built this tablet to both alleviate the worries of parents and engage the kids! The tablet itself is bright and comes with its own removable tough rubber casing to protect its edges against bumps and excited handling. It is designed to open in Kids Mode where the screen is set up with only the apps and games the parents allow their children to use. Everything is password protected so that the parents are in complete control. Since it arrived on a Friday, I allowed the twins to really play with it without many restrictions over the weekend. I let them test every app and game that was appropriate for their age. I’m glad I did because I discovered that one of the Samsung apps that came preinstalled on the tablet (Inventions 1 & 2) was a huge hit. This is a building app where the child has to figure out and put together a virtual device to solve a problem. It takes imagination and ingenuity. It isn’t an easy app and I was extremely surprised and pleased to find that they were very good at it. Of course I’ve also loaded their favourite games but here’s what I really love. 

GALAXY-Tab3-kids-time-limit

The parental controls can be customised so that the tablet can be used for certain set amount of time and when the time is up they get a friendly little warning from a cartoon character one minute before it gently turns off instead of me, their mother, screaming for them to put it down for the 14th time. When the timer went off, Kieran ran to me with the tablet and said that “a little dog” told him time was up and he was going to do something else. There was no stomping of disappointed little feet, nor rolling of angry little eyes. He was happy about it. I was pleasantly surprised, but I guess coming from a happy little cartoon dog on the screen is much better than when it comes from me. I wonder if I can program it to tell the twins to eat their vegetables as well? Or clean their room?! I digress, back to what the thing can do! 

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

Another time control I have implemented is that the device can only be used during certain times of day so that there is no temptation to play on it while they should be doing something else like getting ready for school. It is only on from 4-6pm which is homework or chill out time in our house. There is no more arguing with me. No matter how much they plead or try to get away with it anyway, the tablet is off until it isn’t and I am not really in control of that in their eyes. I don’t have to be the bad guy this time. That tablet doesn’t fall for any of their tactics. 

With the parental settings, I am also completely relaxed knowing that the twins can’t get to the internet, accidentally delete anything important nor access any areas where purchasing virtual stuff with real money happens. 

It is so easy and quick to configure what apps they are allowed to use. Ticking a simple check box is all it takes to add it to the menu available to them in Kids Mode. (It comes preloaded with eight best selling kids apps, but you can also download and install more from the kids app store! We bought a few from there and downloaded some I had already purchased from the Google Play store.) The checkbox system of app control has come in handy after I discovered they were quickly becoming addicted to one game. While I wanted them to use the tablet to practice some reading words, they would click back over and start playing that other game. Instead of having to uninstall it, I just logged into the parent control panel and un-ticked the box next that app. I have now decided that since it is so easy to manage this way, I would turn off all the silly games during the week leaving them only with the fun learning apps until the weekend. Now I know when they get their 20 minutes of screen time after school, it is put to educational use!

The new GALAXY Tab 3 for kids has the ability to turn into a normal tablet for adults, but this one will stay just for the kids. I like that they have their own device. While the twins will get a lot of use out of the Kids Mode, the tablet can change with their needs and interests. If you are considering buying this for a child at the older end of the age range, you will not be stuck with something they outgrow.  

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 for kids fills the exact requirements of the playful learning device I was looking for while being the toy that the twins are excited to spend time on.

Note to parents of multiple children: I did buy a headphones splitter for the tablet as the twins like to sit together and watch each other play. With the headphone splitter, it is easier to get them to “share” the one tablet as they feel they are still involved during the other’s turn.

GALAXY-Tab3-kids

Of course, I can’t review this with my kids without talking about the camera, now can I? While its resolution is not something that I would be able to use for myself, it is perfect for the twins! The built in stickers that they can add to people had them laughing for a long time. I have not added any extra editing apps to the tablet although I did install Instagram on the “adult” side so that I could share their hilarious creations. Samsung has made taking photos even more fun for my kids!

It was only fair...

It was only fair that I let them photograph me too. Right?

To stand a chance of winning a $100 Google Play voucher*, please tell me in a comment below:
“How would the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 for kids fit in your life?”

Get in quick as the contest closes on 25 April!

 

*This is a game of  skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. Open to Australian residents only. Entries open 9:01am AEDT on Monday 14 April 2014 and close 5:00pm AEDT on Friday 25 April, 2014. Terms and Conditions apply. Please click here for full Terms and Conditions.

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    • Karen Linnell via Facebook - For some reason I can’t leave a reply on the blog. Love the idea of a cartoon telling then that time is up instead of me! That would be a huge help. Also the fact that you can have it set to only work certain hours of the day is brilliant!ReplyCancel

    • Rachel Devine Photography / sesame ellis via Facebook - The comment section is enabled, I don’t know why it is not working!!!! That is not good!!!!ReplyCancel

    • Rachel Devine Photography / sesame ellis via Facebook - Those features being really easy to use and immediately available upon turning on the tablet make it so great for kids!!!!! Karen LinnellReplyCancel

    • Nicola James - It would lower the whining factor, having the Time Manager means I can stop clock watching and nagging the kids about their time on the computer, it would probably improve their learning how to tell the time rapidly!ReplyCancel

    • Narelle Rock - games for the kids on a rainy cold day,
      fun for me when the kids are sent to play!
      banking and emails, browsing the net too,
      so many options, so much to do!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Scriven - When she has dance and he sits,
      It would be a real hit.
      She hates watching his football,
      But with this Tab3 she’ll have a ball!ReplyCancel

    • DawnK - Too bad they didn’t have cool stuff like this, when my kids were little. They would have loved it. The internet was just a new thing, when my kids were young.ReplyCancel

    • David Olive - Would be great for my son as he is always trying to play with my Samsung phoneReplyCancel

    • Falon Downing - It would be a lifesaver on long trips!ReplyCancel

    • Mikaela.C - When the kids are nagging away,
      I’d hand them the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 to play!
      playing games,taking photos theirs so much to do!
      their will be peace for a minute or two!ReplyCancel

    • Sandra Tsanaktsidis - The kids would love to have for free
      The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
      Hours of fun when there’s no more sun
      And they would have a much happier mum!ReplyCancel

    • Judith Senese - My sons playing while learning, each on their tablets, no fighting, no arguments.
      Samsung Galaxy tab’s are the best, and last a long time.ReplyCancel

    • Melissa K - When my kids are driving me crazy and I’m stressed to the max,
      The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, would set me free where they can play and I can relax!ReplyCancel

    • Amanda Gorton - We will always be on time for appointments, work, and school with an inbuilt time management tool!ReplyCancel

    • Abby Lee - I love that you can set a timer as I believe technology is great in moderation!ReplyCancel

    • Kate Dvornik - The educational games
      my daughter would love
      But adding in the timer
      is something I’d make use of!
      …Plus I’d get my Galaxy S4 back to myself!ReplyCancel

    • Beenish Mumtaz - Its a great brand tab which comes with all important features which are great for educational purpose & it is a great value of money to every family with growing kids.ReplyCancel

    • Christine - Very nicly thanks! ;)ReplyCancel

    • Joanne Stegeman - My 5 year old feels a little left out when Mum and Dad are playing on their tablets. He would love to have one to match.ReplyCancel

    • Katie - My kid would love it! And I could also use it to migrate the games i develop to this platform.ReplyCancel

    • Kirsten W - As the adult in charge, I like the educational apps on the Tab Kids, as it somehow convinces me that leaving my child playing with it for hours is actually doing some good!ReplyCancel

    • rowena mccarthy - The kids are quiet
      So there is no riot
      Hip hip hooray
      Mum is having a good day!!ReplyCancel

    • Belinda Bann - When board games become boring or battery toys become flat,
      When Mummy’s out of ideas and they begin painting the cat!
      The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, keeps them enthralled, educated and amused
      Everyone’s happy but the darn cat is still blue!ReplyCancel

    • Kerryanne Bourke - 1 tablet + 2 children = a fight!
      Galaxy tab = pure bliss alright!
      no more arguments over who’s turn…
      and whats even better they will learn!ReplyCancel

    • tracy wedding - with a Galaxy Tablet My grandson will be happy as a pig in mud , as hes always trying to use my tablet or Samsung phone now he can have his ownReplyCancel

    • Carmen Oliver - This would be a great thing for the kids to play educational games and take photos – it would also help keep them off my smart phone!ReplyCancel

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