Our review of the iPad Air (M1, 2022) with magic keyboard, including fun ideas for using the iPad Air while cooking with kids and some fun recipe ideas for kids to follow.
Today I'm sharing my review of the iPad Air, with particular focus on how we've been using it as a tool for helping when cooking with kids. I was really pleased to be asked by Very to pick an iPad Air from their great iPad Air selection, to try out and share the results with you here. I chose to try the iPad Air (M1, 2022) 256Gb in Space Grey, with the magic keyboard.
My 10 year old has had an Amazon tablet for a few years, but he gets frustrated that it doesn't do everything that he would like to use it for, particularly gaming, so he was super excited to hear that we were getting an iPad Air! Whilst he just wanted to get stuck in and add all his games onto it, I had other ideas for how I wanted to use it with him!
The iPad Air is really intuitive, especially if you've used apple products in the past - I have an iPhone and the iPad Air effortlessly set itself up using my phone settings - I literally had to put my iPhone close to it and off it went! Even if you don't have an iPhone, the setup is still really easy as it walks you through the settings as soon as you turn it on. My 10 year old found it really easy to use too, he was off installing apps and playing games on it as soon as he could get his hands on it!
Whilst it is great for games, of course, I also wanted to use the iPad to encourage my son to get hands on in the kitchen. I showed him how to use the browser (safari) and encouraged him to browse the Eats Amazing site for recipes. Because of the glorious summer weather we're having at the moment, he found his way to the kids drink recipes section and chose to make our Strawberry Milkshake Ice Cubes recipe.
We opened the notes app and copied all the ingredients across to make our shopping list, then checked the kitchen to see if we had any ingredients already, before heading off to the shops to buy the ingredients we needed.
When we had all the ingredients we needed, we brought up the recipe again and got cooking! This was a super quick and easy recipe to make and it was great to have the iPad on hand to refer to throughout the process. We propped the iPad up using the magic keyboard so we could easily see what we were doing and to scroll through the recipe steps as we went along.
My boys, like most children, are very enthusiastic about using technology so it was great to be able to use it to encourage a hands on activity like cooking instead of just gaming! My 10 year old is definitely much more interested in cooking at the moment because he knows he'll get to use the iPad as a part of the process, and frankly, from a parenting perspective, if it works to encourage kitchen activities and help the kids learn essential kitchen skills, then I'm all for it!
PS - top tip for getting your kids to go to the supermarket with you without too much grumbling, if yours are normally as reluctant as mine... set up Pokemon Go on the iPad and use your phone's hotspot to get it online. My 10 year old is much more keen to walk to the shops with me now if we can make it a 'Pokemon Go' walk!
If you're looking for some fun recipes to cook with your kids, you'll find hundreds of ideas in our Fun Food Tutorials for Kids and Child-Friendly Recipes sections. Here are a few of our favourite fun snack ideas that you could try this summer:
Recommended Additional iPad Accessories
I highly recommend the apple Magic Keyboard, that is also available from Very as an add-on to the iPad Air. It's magnetic so you just pop the iPad on it and it automatically attaches and activates the keyboard. It functions as an iPad stand, with the keyboard extending away from the iPad in the same position as a laptop would, you can fold it back on itself to get it out of the way when you don't need it, or when the iPad is not in use, the keyboard folds over and acts as a cover to protect the screen.
I would also recommend buying a screen protector for the iPad air, especially if children are going to be using it! I bought a set of 2 screen protectors so that I have a spare on hand in case the first one gets cracked.
Although the magic keyboard functions brilliantly as a cover, I would recommend buying an additional cover if you are taking the iPad out and about and don't always need the keyboard. Because the smart keyboard is magnetic, it is possible for the iPad to fall out of it if roughly handled by kids, and the corners of the iPad aren't protected either. For ease of use I just ordered a flexible clear iPad cover, similar to the one I have for my iPhone, so that I can quickly pop it on and off as needed.
Overall, we're really enjoying using our new iPad Air! It has so many functions that are useful for the whole family, from fun activities like gaming and streaming films and TV shows, to more practical applications like searching for recipes online, writing shopping lists, and following recipes. Other things I've used it for so far include using the calculator, measurements app, weather app, Spotify for music (I've been pleasantly surprised by how good the sound quality is!) and the google docs app for work and studies.
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Very. I received an iPad Air and was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.