Birthday gifts for a 4-year-old: iPhone, Angry Birds, and Temple Run

Dad's got no excuse: Ideas for birthday gifts for a 4-year-old have been clearly stated. She wants an iPhone, Angry Birds, and Temple Run.
Oh, and the password to his iPad.

By , Guest blogger

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    Dad's got no excuse: Ideas for birthday gifts for a 4-year-old have been clearly stated. She wants an iPhone, Angry Birds, and Temple Run. A fan plays Angry Birds on a smartphone in Washington, D.C., in February 2012.
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Today my nearly 4-year-old-daughter asked me to get her an iTouch with all the games pre-loaded onto it. This may have been surprising or cute if she hadn’t previously asked for her own iPhone. Curious to test her knowledge, I then asked, what games would you want on your iTouch, to which she rattled off “Angry Birds, Donut Maker and Temple Run.

For full disclosure we have a family iPad with all of the above games on it, so her recollection wasn’t completely out of the blue, however when she mentioned that we can buy more in the App Store I couldn’t help but laugh.

You see a few months earlier she and my older daughter figured out my password and purchased over $80 worth of sprinkles, frosting, and toppings for their cake and donut making apps; this led to my enabling parental controls and now not even my wife knows the secret to downloading apps on our iPad. As an aside, the nice people at Apple customer service credited my account claiming that this happens all the time (Apple: What a great company!)

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So the question I pose to myself and readers: Is this mini Apple Fan-girl I’ve created good, bad or just entertaining?

It seems very familiar to my own Atari obsession in the early 80’s where my days and nights were spent shooting Space Invaders and Asteroids. On the bright side, my daughter is developing digital skills, a familiarity with technology, and a cool factor among her friends at a very early age, which I believe will serve her well in our new digital world and economy. On the other hand, is the iTouch just a gateway drug to even more games, YouTube videos and hours spent staring at a screen that will consume her life and free time at a point in her life when interaction with others and playtime is essential?

My wife and I still haven’t decided whether to get her that iTouch, however, she made a compelling argument for purchasing one the other night as I saw her chasing her sister around the house for a solid half hour. When I finally stopped them to ask what they were doing, my youngest daughter replied “we’re playing Temple Run for real.” Well played, well played……

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