Everyone in our family has an iPhone or an iPod Touch. This includes our not-quite-yet three month old son. No, the three month old isn’t holding toys at this point, but several months ago, we replaced our four year old’s iPod Touch 3rd Generation with an iPod Touch 4th Generation. Only the 4th Generation of the iPod Touch can run the latest version of iOS (and the newest version will be announced tomorrow), and there are a number of apps that can only run on the latest version of iOS. We decided to hold on to the old iPod Touch for the newest member of our family when he is ready for it.
A little history: our four year old unlocked our iPhones and started interacting with iOS when he was just about 14 months old. It’s easy to remember because it was a stormy night during our family’s annual reunion campout. The four year old has been using an iOS device ever since…from iPhones to iPod Touches to iPads. Our twelve year old has had an iPod Touch of his own since 2009. We didn’t mind having our middle son using our iOS devices, but we were always worried about breakage (which occurred, incidentally, about a month ago). This was particularly true of our iPhones which carry a $650 replacement cost.
This past January, Fisher-Price announced the Apptivity Case, a $20 case that can be used for babies or toddlers. It is a round armored case made of plastic, with a protective screen that has a strip of non-conductive hard plastic over the home button that keeps your child from accidentally pressing the home button. There are “rattles” on the sides of the case, and a mirror on the back. You can access every part of the iOS screen. The charging port, volume controls, power button, and headphone jack are inaccessible. The only way to get a device in or out of the case is to turn the big red button on the back with a quarter. Fisher-Price offers three free apps as a part of the marketing of the case, and has authored other apps in the past (a Little People on the farm app, as well as a Chatter Phone app (think of the phone in Toy Story 3).
In other words, if you put your iOS device in this case, and give it to a young child, it will be safe. Your child can watch a video or play an app, and you know that they won’t break your device. You may need to change sleep settings on your iOS device (if your device times out, you cannot use the home button to turn it on), and if you want to change any settings (e.g. volume) or charge it, you will need a quarter and have to take the phone out of the case.
We found the case at a Target, and instantly bought it. We know of several cases that sell for more that are thin and shallow and resulted in cracked iPod Touch screens. If you are a person who will either let your young child use your iPhone, or will buy your child a relatively inexpensive iPod Touch (either a used model or a entry-level model), you might want to consider this case, too.
Fisher-Price also sells an iPad case, but at this point, the amount of time our children spend on our iPads is rather limited…so that is not an priority purchase in our household.