My daughter just turned three measly months old, and she’s already a fan of our iPad 2. It’s only a matter of time before she starts grabbing it with her grubby little fingers and giving new meaning to the phrase “drag and drop.” But does that mean we should make the iPad a “grown-ups only” part of our household? That just seems churlish. And now there’s a Kickstarter-funded product called MyKidPad that might just answer the question for us. It’s a lightweight protective frame for kid-proofing your “magical, revolutionary device.”
MyKidPad is the brainchild of Thomas Lehman, Mara Ribone, and Regina wheeler of Idiom+, a small design firm. “We are designers as well as parents, and creating the MyKidPad Case was a labor of love,” they write. It turns the iPad into something that looks like a combination of an Etch-A-Sketch and the OLPC: The frame is soft-edged and bendable, so kids can’t chip or scratch the edges of the iPad (or each other, with it), and it includes rugged handles and a kickstand so they can easily tote it around and set it up wherever they like. And, of course, it’s shock-absorbent: as the designers write, “you know they’re gonna drop it.”
One possible caveat to this otherwise delightful-looking product is the fact that kids tend to take these kinds of “protective” measures as little more than a challenge to subvert them. I don’t think it’s cynical to imagine that the first thing your little rugrat may do when presented with the MyKidPad is start trying to pry the iPad out of it. But I’m not sure any design can solve that problem, and in the meantime, the MyKidPad looks like a great way to extend your iPad’s shrinking-by-the-minute lifespan.