If you are one of those “Unplugged Parents”, stop reading now. You are about to want to set your hair on fire.
One third of children under five have their OWN tablet device. A third.
It is safe to assume that since your average iPad costs between $500-$800, the toddlers did not save up and buy them themselves. So that means an enormous number of parents are spending a lot more on their children than I do.
And now, it seems those children are using their new toys to fully enter the consumer economy. Yes, some of them are using their new devices to buy more stuff.
In a recent wide-ranging survey about kids and technology out of the UK, it was found that of those kids who had access to a tablet, between 10-13% of children UNDER TWO had bought things online.
Things? What things?
Apps, mostly. Even the tiniest of children know that the free apps parents have approved are really only a tantalising gateway to the good shit if only mum will let you UNLOCK THE IN-APP PURCHASES.
But give a baby free-rein with your credit card details and a device in a kid-proof case, our house would be a mess of all things that we won’t let them buy. Things like:
Expect a crate of sugary jelly snakes to arrive on your doorstep tomorrow. And they will not be eked out, one-by-one over several days and put away at least 90 minutes before bedtime. That is not how this is going to work.
You know how your mother-in-law bought the kids tiny bongo drums as a means of self-expression? And you burnt them? They’re coming back.
Yes, the pig herself, and if Peppa isn’t prepared to sell out, then every kind of trashy Peppa merch you could ever imagine, each item more lurid than the last. Soon, there will be a Peppa doll that recreates the controversial “F-word” scene, over and over.
WATCH: Peppa Pig teaches children how to say the F-word.
Just lots and lots of puppies. The fluffier and more chocolate-eyed the better. Yappy, pooey, real-life puppies.
Woolworths’ animal cards
Here’s hoping they don’t find their way to the eBay black market of Animal Cards, Pixar dominoes and Sound Cards. Because if they do, your house is toast. But those albums would be full, which would bring with it a certain sense of satisfaction.
From Dinosaur Train to Jurassic World, a daily delivery of prehistoric playthings. And every parent knows that it’s the tiny plastic triceratops that hurts the most when you stand on him. So… many, many tiny triceratops.
Slime. Mess. Snot.
There is nothing a preschooler loves more than a mess. What kind of mess can you buy for $29.99? A hell of a big one.
It’s been two years, children. Two years. So what’s with all the Elsa dresses? STILL? Let. It. Go.
Books and books of stickers. Why oh why do preschoolers love stickers so much? Especially incy-wincy tiny little stickers that never-ever come off your floorboards/cupboards/tiles/face.
Why would any two-year-old stop at one iPad. They also need their own iPod, and their own iPhone and their own iHop, and… I don’t know, I might have made that last one up.
Look, the upside to tiny kids being all over technology and gadgets is that by age five, they can take care of all your technology problems. They can sync all your devices, they can stop Apple TV from doing that thing when it stalls and tells you, ‘Sure, you can watch that movie. In 37 hours’, and they know, almost instinctively, how to connect up that HDMI cord that’s been sitting next to your television for six months.
Embrace the Future.
Just keep the Future the hell away from your credit card.