by Thrifty Nifty Mommy

When I was a child, I often enjoyed watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad. I watched the original series with him as well, but was particularly excited when I was first introduced to The Next Generation. I loved the special effect capabilities of the newer show, especially when compared to the original series from the 60’s. Seeing the technological capabilities of this fictional future made me often wonder if any of it could ever be made real. Much of the technology seemed so far-fetched (and much of it still does), but a significant portion of it is actually possible today. My adolescent self would be absolutely giddy to see such fantastic things made real.

It is funny how we take so much of technology for granted. I use a laptop for my job which was almost unthinkable in the 80’s and early 90’s. I use a tablet for work, recreation and entertainment which neatly emulates similar devices from the show. I use a smartphone to stay connected to friends and family all over the U.S. including the ability to make video calls, similar to the communications abilities that were so prevalent in that space drama. My younger self would be ecstatic to be a part of the world we live in now, with much of the digital and electronics accomplishments bearing such a resemblance to Star Trek, but I oddly give it hardly a second thought.

I guess, in all honesty, my adolescent self would be really disappointed in me because of my apathetic approach to the technology I wield every day. Actually, as I write this on my laptop from the comfort of my living room, I am a little disappointed in myself.

As a child, we view the world through a fantastic and imaginative lens. What changes us? Why do we lose our sense of wonder at the things we encounter? The modern era in which we live affords us the greatest educational opportunities in the history of humanity. The capabilities we possess bring the world to our doorstep in the most literal sense. I want my children to keep this “lens of imagination and wonder” into their adulthood and to see that even if something seems too fantastic to be possible, it is still possible. The only thing that limits us is ourselves. Education and imagination are the keys to unlocking the full potential of us all as humans.

Beginning education early is important, but I think it should be fun. No child wants to sit still for extended periods of time on tedious, boring work. The information generally won’t be retained that way. Applying the learning process to a topic that your child truly enjoys can often help make the boring things palatable enough to learn the subject matter. Tablets offer a fantastic mix of education and fun. They are truly a godsend for parents looking for a few quiet minutes to accomplish work and would prefer to avoid using the non-interactive TV as a babysitter.

The Little Scholar® tablet from SchoolZone publishers fits nicely into the niche of an affordable, kid-friendly tablet. Preloaded with 150 educational apps, the tablet is a great value for the price. In fact, if you add up the price of each app, e-book and song you are getting $400 worth of content already loaded onto the tablet at purchase. You can’t beat that kind of a value.

The apps cover a range of core subjects including math, reading, spelling, logic, creativity and geography. Parents have the ability to tailor which apps, e-books and music are appropriate for their child’s age or ability. The “A+” app quickly generates a report showing parents exactly how their children are spending their time on the tablet and their “grade”.

The Little Scholar runs on Android 4.2.2, but it is almost unrecognizable as it is fleshed out in a completely kid-friendly interface and home screen. Little Scholar also uses its own special pre-designed and approved app store rather than the full Google Play Store. This helps simplify the process of choosing appropriate apps for your child.

Maggie loves the camera function as she is quite a shutterbug. The camera app includes fun effects to apply over your images along with the ability to save your gallery. All-in-all, Maggie being who she is, loved this function the most!

Jake seemed to enjoy painting by numbers the most. The rest was still slightly beyond what he found to be interesting at this point.

The 8″ tablet is skinned with a blue rubber on the back and plastic on the front. The HDMI port to link the device to your TV is a nice addition for when you are using the tablet as a family. If you enjoy a large variety of apps, a Micro SD slot for expanding the device memory is placed next to the HDMI port. My only complaint is the readability of the screen in bright sunlight.

The Little Scholar is a fantastic starter app for children ages 3-7 and a fantastic value for its price. It is available now at Toys R Us for $169.99 as part of a back-to-school promo. Give it a look.

Connect: More information about the Little Scholar tablet can be found on the SchoolZone site. Be sure to “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+.

Buy It: The Little Scholar is available now at Toys R Us, Amazon and most other major retailers!

Win It: One lucky reader will win the Little Scholar tablet!

Little Scholar Tablet {The Perfect Starter Tablet for Kids 3-7}