We love electronics in our house. The kids are constantly asking to use my phone (that’s a big NO, mostly because I’m selfish and don’t trust them not to break it) or they’re staring over John’s shoulder when he’s using his tablet. A couple weeks ago we got a VTech InnoTab 3S Plus Learning Tablet.
The VTech Innotab 3S Plus is a 5″ tablet recommended for ages 3 to 9, and it has an MSRP of $79.99.
I really think the VTech InnoTab 3S Plus is a great first tablet for kids. It seems pretty sturdy, with rubberized bumpers on the corners and a recessed screen, and easy to grip in small hands.
The screen display is colorful and easy to navigate, and the stylus is attached to the tablet with a string and has a slot to fit in the back when it’s not in use. You can create different profiles (so it’s perfect for siblings to share), or users can choose the “guest” profile.
One of the things I don’t love about electronic toys is the battery replacement. It seems like we never have the right size batteries, or I can’t find them, or the battery case requires several tools to open it. (I may be exaggerating just a bit…) Batteries are a pain. The InnoTabs 3S Plus comes with a rechargeable battery power pack so you don’t need to worry about replacing the batteries constantly and it saves money!
One of Dexter’s favorite things to do is take photographs, so I knew he’d like the 180° rotating camera. Not only can he take selfies or pictures of his brothers, but he can also use over 55 special effects to enhance his photos, and make movies with the video recorder.
The highlight of the VTech tablet for my kids is the VTech Premium Kid Connect. Kid Connect is an app that allows kids to exchange text messages, drawings, photos, and voice messages with family members on their iPhone or Android smartphones. I downloaded the (free) app to my Android phone and immediately received a deluge of messages from Cooper, followed by him yelling from the other room, “MOM! Send me email!”
It’s a lot of fun and the kids really love it. The VTech Premium Kid Connect is great for entertainment and communication, but it makes me feel a little safer, too. I like that the kids have a means of communication in addition to my cell phone should they ever need it.
The Kid Connect features will be enhanced later this fall to include a parent-controlled group chat and a fun multi-player game.
The InnoTab 3S Plus features Wi-Fi and it comes with 16 apps, including the Premium Kid Connect, the My Magic Beanstalk Game, and the Art Studio. It also offers access to more than 800 educator-endorsed, age and stage appropriate cartridges, software, and apps that you can purchase and download from VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.
Kids can even explore VTech and websites with kid-safe Wi-Fi. The InnoTab comes with VTech approves sites kids can access, but parents can also approve additional sites for kids to explore.
Overall, the kids can do pretty much anything I can do with my tablet – play games, read books, communicate with others, take photos, etc. They can even import and listen to their own MP3s with the music player. I love that they are learning while playing, and that they are safe from any inappropriate apps or sites.
We did have one difficulty with our VTech InnoTab 3S Plus. Although we charged the tablet a few times without any problems, we started to have difficulty getting the battery pack to recharge. Our tablet will work without any problems when plugged in, but for on-the-go use we have to use regular batteries for now. Since we’ve always been very satisfied with VTech products we’ve purchased or received as gifts, I feel like this is probably just a fluke bad battery, and I’m pretty confident that VTech will help us to get a replacement if we can’t get it to work.
Here’s the part I’m most excited about: one of you will win a VTech InnoTab 3S Plus Learning Tablet! Enter on the form below. The winner will be contacted by email and will have only 24 hours to respond to claim their prize. Winner must provide a mailing address in the United States; the prize can NOT be shipped to a P.O. Box.