Children in the kindergarten through third grade can be rough on toys. If one of these toys for your child in that age group is an iPod, you want to make sure it is protected. The Tadpole iPod case for the 30GB, 60GB, and 80GB iPod with video by iFrogz is a case you might want to consider.
I have reviewed a couple of the iFrogz cases recently, and the basic Tadpole case is just as good as those. The case is one of the thickest silicone cases I have seen for the iPod, providing protection from bumps and (hopefully) light falls. The iPod easily slips in and out of the case. The case is designed to fit around the larger iPod models. If you are using a 30gb iPod, there is a silicone insert to fill in the gap. My 30gb iPod fits perfectly with this insert installed.
What sets the Tadpole apart from the other iFrogz cases, and from any other case I have seen before, is that it has handles. The handles are designed for hands of youngsters. I could fit three of my adult sized fingers through the handle openings. To help with getting a good grip on the case, the handles also have bumpy grip down the sides. Not only do the handles help in holding the iPod, they help in protecting the iPod. The handles are about a half an inch of solid silicone. If the iPod falls and lands on one of these handles first, it definitely has a better chance of survival.
The top of the case has an opening for headphones and the hold button. Third party headphones easily fit through the headphone hole. The bottom of the case does not have a dock opening. This is a good idea, since kids can get into anything and the case is designed for use by kids. Not having the opening protects the dock connector of the iPod from spills, sand, glitter, and whatever else you can think of. It might be annoying for a parent to remove the iPod for syncing, but the alternative of a protective cap or flap will eventually be explored, lost, or torn off by any child. I think it is better to just leave it sealed.
The Tadpole is available in six colors: purple, orange, red, royal blue, lymon green, and pink panther. Just like the other iFrogz cases, the Tadpole comes with the protective clear screenz overlay to protect the face of your iPod. Plus, your child can choose the click-wheel decal of his/her choice to customize the case to his/her liking.
In every other iPod case I have reviewed I look for a belt clip. This is the one time I think a belt clip is not needed, because of the target audience. An iPod clipped to the pants of a first grader is asking for trouble. That is assuming the clip does not get lost. However, I think an adjustable lanyard for this case would be a great idea to prevent the likely scenario of the iPod being set down someplace and forgotten about.
When I first got the Tadpole I showed it to some of my first, second, and third graders. They really liked it. Not only did they like the look, but they liked the smooth, slippery feel of the case (which is a dust and lint repellant coating). Some of the students’ gut reaction was to take the case and start pulling and stretching it in all directions. I’m happy to report there was no damage to the case.
I even showed it to some of my older students, and they also liked it. I even like it. Even thought my hands don’t totally fit through the handles, I like being able to hold the handles while watching something on the iPod, as opposed to wrapping my hands around the iPod.
Personally, I would leave the full sized iPods to the older kids. However, if your youngster has a full sized iPod, you want to protect it with a case. The tadpole is definitely worth considering and very affordable at $24.99. You might even want it for the older kid in your household (even those over 18).