....which get our thumbs up?
Here in the Apps for iPads offices we rely on our Rocketfish iPad stands to hold our devices secure while our tiny testers play with them as they give us their feedback on apps. We have often thought of getting some cases so that the kids could be more mobile. So we set to work researching what is available, assembling feedback we got from readers and colleagues and thought we would share that with you.
Two cases that are consistently cited by parents and reviewers for being very protective are the Griffin Survivor and the Gumdrop Drop case. So let’s take a look at those two cases first:
Let’s start with the Griffin Survivor. Not specifically made for kids but tough enough to outlast them!
The Griffin Survivor is actually said to protect an iPad (and they have the records of their tests to prove it) if dropped on flat concrete for a height of 6′. It passed their wind/rain test: 1 hour at 200 mm/hr. But they didn’t stop there. It passed a rigorous vibration test: 18 hrs at 20 – 2000 Hz. And then just because they could they put it through a sand/dust test of 3 hrs at up to 18 meters/sec and passed that too!
Don’t believe it? Well maybe if you see it with your own eyes:
Survivor is built on a shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame clad in rugged, shock absorbing silicone. A built-in screen protector seals your Multi-Touch display from the outside environment, while hinged plugs seal the dock connector, camera lens, headphone port, hold switch and volume controls. The included stand clips on, then folds open for landscape viewing and typing. Survivor is independently tested and verified to meet or exceed environmental testing standards for blown rain, blown dust and grit, vibration, shock, temperature and humidity.
Duststorms. Rainstorms. 6-foot drops. The hellish maelstrom that is your pocket. No matter what life throws at you (or your iPad) Griffin Armored cases are Ready – for – Anything! I think if they are built to withstand all of the above that they will survive and help protect your iPad from your children! The Griffin Survivor iPad case rates 4.3 out of 5 stars in unsolicited comments and reviews on Amazon. People like it because it does it’s job. Period.
The Griffin Survivor is available for your iPad 2 and 3.
Next we take a look at the Gumdrop kid-friendly iPad case.
When we asked a group of reviewers that specialize in children’s apps the iPad case that invariably was mentioned along with the Griffin Survivor is the Gumdrop. The Gumdrop cases are made to withstand just about anything a child might dish out.
- Durable cover provides complete security
- Constructed from soft silicone and tough polycarbonate for drop protection
- Easy-grip surface texture
- Reinforced rubber corners and port protectors
- Replaceable snap-on screen cover is easy to clean
The only cons I got for the Gumdrop vs the Griffin was that the back camera has no cover and the speaker grille is open when the case is in use. If you don’t have a problem with that then the choice is pretty much a dead heat between the two. The Gumdrop case got 4.6 out of 5 stars over more than 400 reviews on Amazon. Those reviews that only gave it one star cited that the screen shattered when the iPad was dropped from relatively low heights.
With that in mind we went looking for tests that specifically tested the screen protection and found this video:
As you can see even under these extreme conditions the Gumdrop case did well in protecting the screen of the iPad.
The Gumdrop case is available for all versions of your iPad.
So let’s move on to the other iPad cases for kids we found…
First off we want to show you the Otterbox Defender.
Since it was featured going up against the Gumdrop in the video above we thought we’d show you the Otterbox Defender. Otterbox has long been known for the cases it produces and the same can be said for this series of iPad cases. The one main complaint I heard and read repeatedly was that users don’t like the screen protector on this iPad case.
While the Otterbox Defender gets 4.5 out of 5 stars the screen protector, which is built in and cannot be removed gets the most complaints. The pros and cons listed below pretty much sum it up:
- The case is rugged and fits well with access to all of the ports
- Cover that doubles as stand is nice
- Poor quality screen protector
- Screen protector cannot be removed
- poor instructions for case removal
- screen protector seems to float above the screen giving a “tic” sound when pressing and releasing at times
The Otterbox Defender is available for all versions of the iPad.
Let’s look at the Big Grips Frame:
The biggest thing that we found everyone said about this kid-friendly iPad case is that its big a SQUISHY! This durable, lightweight cover is not only secure and very grip-able, it’s non-toxic, lead and latex-free, phthalate and PVC free. So you don’t have to worry if your child puts it into their mouth. One review on the Amazon site has a father of an autistic son saying that he was having a bad day. He had his ipad with him in the car watching a movie. As we were driving, he rolled down the window and threw out his iPad! When we got to the iPad it was not damaged and still playing the movie. Thank goodness I had purchased the Big Grip just days before. I’m sure I would be out an iPad had I bought another case.
The Big Grips Frame only has seven reviews but those that have it love it and give it a big thumbs up with 4.9 out of 5 stars. The two reviews that gave it 4 instead of 5 stars cites the difficulty of plugging in cables while the cover is in place because of its thickness. Anyone that uses a cover on any iDevice knows that feeling and unfortunately it’s a trade off for protection no matter how thick.
The Big Grips Frame is available for all versions of the iPad.
Next up is the Disney Hybrid Case and Kit:
If you have a child that loves the movie Cars they are going to love this iPad case! In bright red with checkered flags and a stylus thrown in that matches it completes the whole look while protecting your device. Of course it’s not something you are going to want to keep on your iPad all the time but then you won’t want the big lime green squishy one on there either. The strap for holding it onto your car’s headrest is a nice bonus too.
- Pass-through touch screen provides 360 degree protection defends against scratches and sticky fingers
- Included nylon strap securely fastens Kid Kit to car headrest and doubles as carrying strap
- Included themed stylus
- Built in stand enables portrait and landscape viewing
The Universal foam inserts make this kid-friendly iPad case suitable for your original iPad or iPad 2.
While we are not familiar with the Ekto brand the users that purchased it seem to like it. It looks very similar to others we have seen and the cushioning seems adequate also. Here’s a video the company released showing it being dropped. Note though that they never drop it on it’s screen.
The case is made of the same material you are familiar with the Wii controller cover. The one drawback that was mentioned by a number of people is that the fit is not as snug as they would like so while fine for older kids they do not recommend it for toddlers and pre-school aged children. Users give it 4.6 out of 5 stars.
The Ekto case is available for your iPad 2.
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition:
Fisher-Price has become synonymous with quality when it comes to toys for kids. While most users say that this kid-friendly iPad case protects the device they aren’t as happy with it as I thought they would be. They mention that the sound is too muffled through the case and that the flippers might be good for rocking the iPad while the young child plays it will serve as a stand for older children. The video below mentions that the home button is covered which inhibits closing down one app to launch another… a definite con in our book.
The Fisher-Price kid-friendly case got 4 out of 5 stars by those that purchased it but we feel it has too many drawbacks to use in our offices.
This iPad case is available for the original iPad as well as the iPad 2.
Next let’s look at Gripcase:
Right off the bat we like that this lightweight case has handles all the way around! Perfect for apps that utilize the built in gyroscope of the newer iPads! The case itself is made of a foam that is resistant to surface abrasions, mildew and bacteria, making it ideal for for special needs learning environments. While it only has two reviews they both gave the Gripcase a full 5 stars. One is from a teacher that uses it in a classroom condition where 60 kids are constantly using it and it has withstood their use and abuse well.
While the screen is not covered in this case you can clearly see in the video that if a child sets the iPad down on the front it will not come in contact with the object. I like this case a lot as it will give our tiny testers the ability to still access all the parts of the iPad while giving them an easy way to grip the device. I would love to get one in to give it more rigorous testing than the reviewer did in her video. While the teacher stated that the handles held up fine in use her users are 6th graders and know better than to play tug of war with them.
The Gripcase is available for all iPads.
i-Blason ArmorBox Series for Kids Friendly 2 Layer Protection Case:
This case is getting very mixed reviews. The company specs make it look good:
- Inner enclosure hard shell constructed from impact-resistant polycarbonate and double-enforced with a shock absorbing silicone inner-sleeve. Corners feature double-thick silicone for outstanding protection against drops and other impacts.Features robust silicone–durable and absorbs impact force
- Built-in screen protector–simplifies installation, protects from scratches and is easy to clean
- Scratch-resistant clear PET screen protector shields the device from fingerprints, smudges, scratches and moisture while maintaining complete touchscreen interactivity.
- Built-in screen protector seals edges of the device while the headphone jack and the 30-pin connector port are fully protected under silicone plugs when not in use.
- Built-in screen protector
- Dust covers over microphone and speaker bays
However the users are not happy with the screen protector. Some say it was so hard to install they didn’t both while others complain that it scratches easily. Others say (all in the same review) that the fit is great but go on to say that it doesn’t fit tight. Too many contradictions to get a firm grip on whether or not this kid’s iPad case will give our tiny testers a firm grip!
The iBlason ArmorBox is available for the iPad 2 as well as the new iPad.
Next up is the KaysCase KidBox iPad Cover Case:
This case is a fun as well as functional way for kids to carry and use your iPad. Made of safe, non-toxic EVA foam, plus, we love the way the handle doubles as a stand to prop the iPad up! We would love to get our hands on one to see just how study that stand really is while in use! One review (the case only has two currently with one giving it 5 and one giving it 4 out of 5 stars) mentions that the case falls over when her little one changes apps. Without getting the case in for testing in-house we cannot
The KidBox Cover is available for the iPad 2 and 3.
Last, and certainly not least, is the Speck Products iGuy Standing Cover:
If I showed this entire article to my tiny testers I can guarantee you that THIS iPad case is the one they would pick! Who can resist the form of the tiny iGuy? So let’s look at the actual specs and see what he’s made of. They say he is lightweight, easy to hold, and he can stand on his own two feet! iGuy may look like he’s all about fun, but his soft, squishy body disguises tough EVA foam protection. iGuy will help you feel more secure as you hand your iPad over to your baby or small child!
The foam body is made so that even without a screen protector the screen would not come into contact with a flat surface if laid face down. Of course you can add a separate screen protector to help insulate the screen from abuse from the kids. We recommend the invisibleSHIELD screen protector by ZAGG for maximum protection, especially when using your iPad with kids. Another good one although not as durable is made by Speck, the makers of iGuy; Speck iPad Protective Screen Film. One of the very first things we ever do to a new iPad here in the offices is to add a screen protector and you should to. It protects your iPad from oils and other contaminants you may have on your hands and while that won’t protect it from drops or spills it does protect the capacitive quality of the screen from unwelcome sprays of glass cleaner that sometimes happen.
- Fits all iPads (even the new iPad!)
- Kid-tested. With its flexible, foam construction, the lightweight iGuy is the perfect iPad partner for families with young children.
- Free-standing. For cartoon hour, the iGuy stands at attention—while it holds your iPad—offering a convenient viewing angle for short people.
- Plays nice with all iPads. New iPad? iPad 2? Original iPad? No problem. The iGuy holds ‘em all.
- Squeezeable. The iGuy’s little arms and soft foam make it easy—and even fun—to hold.
Amazon buyers gave it a 4.3 out of 5 stars and the one review that pulled that down complained about the smell. She is pregnant so that may have something to do with it although one other person mentioned it too so if you are sensitive to odors you may not want this case BUT how can you resist him? I know our kids couldn’t!
iGuy is compatible with ALL iPad models.
So there you have it! ELEVEN kid-friendly iPad cases to consider for keeping your iPad safe while the kids play. What you want or need will depend on your personal preferences and if you want one that is generic enough (the Griffin Survivor perhaps?) to do double duty for you or one that is adorable like iGuy that you can change into when at home with the family.
I hope this gives you insight into what is available and our research helps in narrowing down exactly which is best suited for you and your kids!
So… which will it be for you? We would love to hear what you decide, and why!
Please leave a comment below and please share this with all your iPad loving friends that have kids too!