I am often asked which iPad cover I recommend for preschoolers. I’ve written before about the Garmin covers we use in our classroom. I’ve always appreciated how rugged they are, but I had to hack them to make them accessible for preschoolers. I bought a cover for my new phone this week. I’m in love with it and think it would be perfect on electronic devices in a preschool or kindergarten classroom.
Here’s what I like about it:
It has a really rugged protective shell. I have no doubt that with the reinforced corners and a sturdy plastic shell, our iPads would survive being dropped. I’ve bought covers before that have *looked* sturdy online but turned out to be made of flimsy silicone and cheap plastic. Like dollar store toy plastic. Yikes. With those covers, I had no confidence that my device would withstand even a 12 inch fall. Ballistic covers are designed to withstand a 6 foot fall and I’m conviced they would. (The more challenging and perhaps more entertaining question might be under what circumstances would my preschoolers find themselves six feet up, and holding an iPad. )
Another thing I love about the Ballistic is that it doesn’t offer too much protection. While I can be confident that iPads in the Ballistic Urbanite (and my phone) would survive preschool style handling, there aren’t a zillion little extra tabs and covers that get in the way. The headphone jacks and speakers are all uncovered for easy access.
Yep, I have a new favorite device cover. So, to recap, here is my current 2014 list of best iPad covers. I may have a new favorite, but there are still plenty of other covers out there that will get the job done.
This is my new phone cover. It’s my current first choice cover for preschoolers. Solid protection, but no extra flaps and covers make it super easy for preschoolers or kindergartners to manage.
Our Garmin covers are still doing their job well. We survived a whole year and didn’t break a single iPad, so I’m happy. If you think you’re going to be taking your iPads into the great outdoors, into the woods or into the wild, then this is your cover. (As an aside, I think there are so many teaching possibilities when we think about taking our iPads outdoors. What a great way to change technology from a passive interaction in to a creative, active endeavor!) However, for simple classroom use, I think these covers are a little overkill. For preschoolers, all of the extra protective flaps just get in the way.
This is the cover we have on my son’s iPod touch and is close to what I had on my old phone. It will absolutely keep your iPad safe. I didn’t realize how well it protected my phone until I took it off for a couple of weeks. In just that short period of time I managed to drop my phone and break it beyond repair. I guess I’m harder on my phones than I realized. Like the Garmin, the Otterbox does the most important job: it keeps the device safe. Also like the Garmin, it’s probably a little much for the preschool classroom. There are little flaps that have to be opened and cumbersome screen covers to manage. We just haven’t needed that much protection in our classroom.
Finally many of my readers have enjoyed the Gripcase. I’ve still never actually seen one in person, but readers are raving about them . They’re a bargain compared to the Otterbox and Griffin cases and teachers really seem to love them!
New covers come out faster than new Apple devices! There are always more to discover. Let me know in the comments if you’ve discovered another fantastic choice for preschoolers.