Is an iPod Touch suitable for an 8 year old?

Is an iPod Touch suitable for an 8 year old? In my heart of hearts, I really don’t think so. I’d much rather see him playing with friends, or toys, or reading books. However I have to accept that what I see as age appropriate is a reflection of the fact that I grew up a generation ago, when a Merlin was the most threatening piece of electronic gadgetry around.


This is not an iPod Touch
Pretty cool, huh!

I agonised over this for quite a while, but in the end decided that we would get our eldest his much desired iPod Touch for Christmas, but with the following rules:

  • It doesn’t go to bed with him at night
  • It doesn’t go to school
  • In term time, the same rules will apply for the iPod Touch as for the Wii – Friday to Sunday only
  • He has an Apple ID for iTunes/the app store but he doesn’t know the password (i.e. I get to see what he’s downloading)
  • He has an email address which is also set up on my computer  for the moment
  • I have used the IOS settings to manage the allowed content for Safari, apps, music and video (general/settings/restrictions)
  • I have locked the Safety Mode on YouTube through Safari (you can do this by signing into your google account on the relevant device/browser, activating the lock, and then signing out again – this also enables & locks Safesearch on Google)
  • I have set the filter to strict on the You Tube app (I haven’t figured out how to lock this yet – if there is a way please let me know!)

I’m hoping this is a sensible approach to letting an 8 year old loose with an internet enabled device. What do you think? Is it too control freakish? Or on the other hand should kids not have these things until they are older? And as always, If you’ve been there and done that, I’d welcome your accumulated wisdom!

Thanks for reading,


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8 thoughts on “Is an iPod Touch suitable for an 8 year old?

  1. Not knowing Merlin, that looks rather futuristic to me! My advanced piece was Tetris! I am amazed how many safety arrangements there are for making children protected by the bad side of the internet. Parents will really have to start being on top of with the latest technology. You seem to know more than I do! I guess just making sure that he knows what is bad in the real world or if he gets exposed to something on the internet, then understanding why is it bad.
    katdesigner recently posted…Post 2! So Many Good News Coming From Everywhere! 120 posts to go!My Profile

    1. You’re right – at the moment it’s about making sure he doesn’t stumble across inappropriate stuff but in the not too distant future I guess the focus will need to change to how to understand what’s good/safe and what’s not, because he’ll come across it all eventually…big responsibility for me as his Mum, just hope I get the balance right.
      LearnerMother recently posted…When a child is overtaken by a younger siblingMy Profile

  2. We agonised, then did it last year for the boy when he was 8. I completely agree with you but would add that once the novelty has worn off it is seen as just another toy and nothing special. It’s the wanting it so much because it’s all shiny that attracts the magpie children.

    Gabriel loves his, takes it out if we are going somewhere where the adults will do ‘grown up talk’ but spends more time at home with his Lego than his ipod.

  3. Will be interested to see how you get on. I already think my 3 are already too dependent on electronic stimuli so loath to add to our sizeable lot. That said we did go down DS route at Christmas and am seeing how it goes. Two of mine are more keen but my middle one would still rather draw or play cars. I will watch with interest….

  4. I personally dont care for I-devices such as ipad ipod iphone etc. But have given a 7″ tablet (not a child version) to my 2 kids since they were 5 and 3. (ANDROID) I just disabled wifi not that hard to get a third party app to prevent it from opening back up…. but at that age they didnt need anything like that, now I am considering device for my second grader that allows him to use his ability to read and write … that is great idea … I remember getting a bag of marbles for christmas … truly never would have thought about it but he came home with a computer keyboard on paper from school for his keyboarding class, …. parental controls are important, when I was younger I would have had to find my fathers adult magazine collection to see what you can see with the type of 1 word

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