Why Kids Prefer iPads To Toys As Christmas Presents

Apple won’t reveal how well the company did this quarter until next month, but by all accounts the company may have yet another record quarter of sales and profits. What’s the biggest surprise of the holiday season?

The iPad mini is the gift of choice for kids.

My unofficial survey of three Apple Stores in New York this past weekend probably just reveals the tip of the iceberg. Kids where everywhere at Apple Stores and most of them were either playing with iPads, or screaming that they wanted an iPad mini.

I would hate to be Hasbro or Mattel or any other traditional toy retailer. Why? Toys typically entertain the pre-teen set for a few hours, and then they’re on to something else (hence the need to buy plenty of toys for attention span deficit pre-teens).

The iPad mini is almost the perfect toy. Add a few dozen free games from the App Store and kids will stay busy for days, not hours. Toss in a few drawing apps and Netflix, and iPad mini toting kids could have their attention deficit increased.

My niece and nephew are perfect examples. The former is three and she’s a whiz on the iPad, navigates with ease, and selects which apps she wants her parents to buy.

The latter is worse. Or, better, from Apple’s perspective. He’s five and already knows how to Face Time and Skype his friends, has multiple folders with only his games and apps, and just won’t leave home without the iPad mini.

Those examples are being repeated all over the world. What does it mean when kids from pre-school to pre-teen would prefer an iPad mini to a trip to Toys R Us?

Giant toy makers Hasbro and Mattel are not insensitive to the changing trends. Check the iPhone and iPad App Store and do a search for Mattel and Hasbro. There’s Barbie and Easy-Bake and Scrabble and Boggle and thousands of other kids games. Transformers even made the shift from toy store to iPad and iPhone.

Why do kids prefer iPads to toys? iPads are more engaging, more useful, and a better learning environment. It’s difficult to upgrade or add functionality to a toy, but it’s easy with an iPad mini.

Guess which device most of the pre-schoolers and pre-teens will want to carry around in their backpacks?


  1. So true, my granddaughter simply loves her iPad.

    Perhaps the all time best minder a kid should have.

  2. It doesn’t take much effort to see how far this has gone in a short period of time. Check out any Apple store to see how many kids of all ages are fondling the iPad mini. That’s what they want. It’s their size. It’s easy to use. It’s fun for both games and learning.

    And, importantly, kids don’t ‘fee’ the same way about a Google tablet or a Kindle.