I think it’s a bit late for me to wave from my moral stead regarding my kids with gadgets – after all, I was on national TV openly admitting that I let my kids watch pads/TV/their phones when they’re eating dinner (sometimes!). But just ‘cos I let the herberts get their daily dose of Peppa/The F2 while chowing down on their grub, doesn’t mean I’ve gone completely bonkers when it comes to free roaming of the internet on extortionately priced gadgets.
That’s why, when the gang from Argos got in touch about their affordable, easy to use, child-friendly gadgets from their Alba range, exclusively at Argos – my electronics ears pricked and I was intrigued. But, I’m not sure if you’ve met a kid these days, they tend to rate high on the fussy-factor and scale-shattering on the knowing-what-they-want-ometer! They’re also pretty keen to conform – what their friends or big brothers have, they want/need too! So, while the Alba range tickled my gizmo fancy, I was a bit worried I’d be met with the impenetrable, toddler/tween brick wall of “NO!”.
The Alba range is awash with tech from tablets to TVs, radios to mobile phones, all at family/purse friendly price points (perfect for this time of year!). We were sent the Alba 5 smartphone for Bruno, the Alba 10” tablet for Cas and the Alba White 24”HD ready TV with built in DVD player for Hugo – which come in at a total under £300!!
But how did we/the fussy farts get on?
Casper’s 10” Alba Tablet (16GB)
Before I had kids, I envisaged them playing with sustainably sourced, fair-trade, wooden toys carved by an artisan on a Peruvian hillside; then I had kids! The reality of childhood these days (at least for us) is that at some stage kids will get their sticky mitts on a pad/phone and become hooked. But, like all potentially addictive things – chocolate, shopping, the odd G&T – it’s about balance, clear early rules/limits and ensuring what they feast their wide, hungry eyes on is safe and parentally controlled. We loved that the Alba pad came with the parental control app installed, so we control what Cas has access to, while he loved that the 10” screen allowed him to view Blippi (if you don’t know who he is, don’t go looking – it’s a rabbit hole of earworms!) in all his primary coloured glory!
Having his first pad has made car journeys, big boys’ football training and lazy mornings so much more enjoyable bearable. Just be prepared for the “stuck music syndrome” (yes, it’s a thing!) that educational apps and Kids Youtube channels induce!
Bruno’s Alba 5 Smartphone
At nearly 10 I’d, so far, put off giving Bruno a phone – in part because he’s so forgetful and clumsy, he’d forget where he was going in a padded room and break a non-existent window! But at £79.95 for the Alba 5 Smartphone, Bruno was given the benefit of the doubt; in a similar way kids of the 90s were tested on their ability to keep a Tamagotchi alive before being allowed a real life goldfish – Bruno’s ability to keep his phone about his person and charged has been successful!
It’s left me wondering why I left it quite so long to give him a phone. For a long time he’s been walking home from school with friends, going to the skate park or being dropped at football training – just being able to text or call him to let him know I’m running 5 minutes late or to discover he’s detoured and is coming home via the sweet shop – is one less thing to stress about.
With games consoles in every room of the house and boys taking over like termites on a decaying tree-stump – TVs are always in short supply around these parts! The criteria for bringing a new TV into the house are: easy to install, good value for money and look the part. The Alba 24” HD ready tv ticked all these boxes and was set-up in Hugo’s room in less than 5 minutes!
So, if you’re considering a new gadget for your tech savvy cherub this Chrimbo I would definitely suggest considering the Alba collection – unless, of course, you enjoy throwing money into a force 10 gale and watching it disappear?!? And if you need it toot-sweet, thanks to a small, ravenous tech hungry monster (or, if you’re just a but behind on the present buying!) why not use Argos’ market-leading Fast Track services including their super-speedy, nationwide same-day home delivery for just £3.95, seven days a week, and faster collection in 800+ stores for no charge!
This post was sponsored by Argos, who also kindly gave us the above products to use and test according to the Only Girl boys destruction tests. Even though I’ve been paid and have been given these gadgets, all opinions, comments and anecdotes are my own!