Technology and Summer Fun for Kids

CATEGORIES: The Scoop

Recently I was sitting in my office typing something up in Microsoft Word and I clicked to print it.  I asked my 8-year old, who standing nearby to grab the paper out of the printer and  hand it to me.  He picked up the document, gave it a quick glance, and said in a mildly judgmental tone, “Sooo, decided to go with Century Gothic, huh?”

Um, how do you even know what that is??  He knows because unlike me, who took her first keyboarding class as a Sophomore in high school, our kids start learning typing, word processing, and other computer skills starting in Kindergarten.  My second grader this year was making PowerPoint presentations in class and learning how to type and edit papers.  This blows my mind!

We definitely live in an age where kids are very familiar with technology.  As a mother to 3 (almost 4!) boys, electronics are a huge part of our lives.  And while my husband and I make sure to encourage a well-rounded, balanced life full of activities like sports and outside play, we also embrace technology and have found it to be a great way to keep our active kiddos engaged, entertained, and learning.  I’m going to share a few of the ways we do this at our house.  I’m featuring the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, but these things all apply no matter what type of devices you may have in your home. (Check out yesterday’s post for more about the Surface Pro 3)

Safety First

One of the best things about kids having access to electronics is that the world is at their fingertips.  One of the worst thing about kids having access to electronics, is that the world is at their fingertips!  Parents, I urge you to make good use of parental controls on the electronics that your children use.  One of my favorite things about the Surface Pro 3, is that just like my PC, and other Windows products, I can set up an account for each of my kids and have control over exactly what they have access to.

They can’t access the profile of anyone else, and theirs is set up just for them.  On our tablet, my husband and I use it for work, so aside from safety, I don’t want my kids messing with my stuff!  I’m happy to know that I can hand it off to my 8 year old and on his profile he has limited access to the things we allow.  His favorite games are there, a few appropriate websites and apps, and we can set timers (my favorite!)  With the timers, he can play for say, 30 minutes, and then it locks and tells him time is up.  There’s an option there to ask your parent for more time, and I can easily give him 15 more minutes.  I can also get detailed reporting of what my kids are spending their time on, and any websites they access, which really gives me peace of mind.

Art and Creativity

Want to know a secret?  We don’t own paint.  Never have.  I see pictures on Facebook of my friends’ toddlers covered head to toe in water colors and finger paint with captions like, “having fun with art today!” and I can’t look.  It’s not cute; it looks like a disaster.  You know what’s not a disaster?  This.

I’m not going to lie, I am just as obsessed with the app FreshPaint as my kids are.   If you have a Microsoft device, try it out.  Little fingers have just as much fun as big fingers.

My kids’ favorite thing to do is snap a photo of themselves with the built-in camera and then convert it to a drawing that they can then paint.  It always starts off cute, and then they inevitably put monster eyes on someone or paint their face green.

There are so many fun art and design applications on tablets these days, and it’s a great way to get kids interested in being creative and using their imaginations.  And let’s face it: it’s much, much cleaner.

Education

As a parent, my favorite aspect of my kids’ obsession with electronics is the ability I have to trick them into learning stuff.  The simple fact is that games make things fun!  During these summer months we have rules at our house that along with lazy summer days, we also do chores and we do school work.  They don’t even know half the time when I’m making them do homework when it’s disguised as  a fun math game, or story time.   The summer is a great time to pick a random topic and spend some time learning more about it.  My boys have a particular interest in space, planets, and stars, so we’ve had tons of fun laying out on the trampoline on warm summer nights studying constellations with SkyMap.  Like I said, the world at your fingertips.  Literally!

Crafting

My comments about painting may have made it sound like I’m anti-crafting, which is not true.  I’m just all about selective crafting.  I often get overzealous and hand my kids books and websites about science experiments and craft projects and tell them to pick something fun we can do together.  Then I look at the supply list and realize I need 8 cans of liquid nitrogen, a Moroccan horse hoof, extra strength super glue and 4 acres of open space and I say, “Um….so is there anything in there that uses tape and a piece of paper?  We can do that one.

I created a brilliant solution (if I don’t say so myself) by collecting projects I already know are doable and organizing them all on a Pinterest board.  That way, just like when I “let” my kids choose what they have for dinner (between two options I’ve already picked) they can browse through the fun activities at will and I look like super mom when they point to homemade rockets and I say, “Sure!  Because I’m an awesome Mom and we do things like that!”

We have tons of fun ideas like this on Our Best Bites.  Check out our tutorials for Ginormous bubbles, or Homemade Lava Lamps and have some fun with the kiddos.

Entertainment

I’m not all about homework and creativity.  Sometimes it’s also okay to just relax and have fun!  We keep our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 loaded with age-appropriate games and entertainment for our young boys as well.  Sometimes after a long day of playing out in the sunshine, you just want to relax on the couch and look for Waldo.

Or build a blanket fort and watch a movie inside. The Surface Pro 3 has awesome Dolby® enhanced sound, and the kickstand and large screen means there’s no fighting about who gets to hold it or sit closest.  There’s definitely something magical about watching a movie in a blanket fort.

We have an upcoming road trip, and we’ll definitely be loading a microSD card with our favorite movies in hopes of lulling them into a comatose sleep.

As you can see, technology can be a great part of balanced family life, helping everyone to stay organized, entertained, and engaged!

We’d love for your family to integrate a little more technology as well, so we’re thrilled to be giving away a $500 Best Buy Gift Card to a lucky reader!  Use it toward a Surface Pro 3 or any other fun electronics or accessories that your family will enjoy, and have an extra fun summer!

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744 comments

  1. We are probably the last family we know of to have a tablet, so it’s great to see a good in-depth review. We’ll be road-tripping too, so one of these would be aaaahh-MAY-zing!!

  2. The thought of raising kids in this world filled with technology is a little terrifying to me! When that time comes, I will certainly be relying on lots of advice like this post, on the web and from real-life moms!

  3. Don’t know that I would use it for cooking, as shown in yesterday’s post (I’m a messy cook and I don’t have much counterspac, so all my cookbooks have ingredients all over them) but I don’t have a tablet yet and I love the idea of the parental controls (TIMER!) for kids’ use. I like the idea of that thin keyboard with the weighted keys. I’m pretty sure I’d come up with a host of uses for it once I had it, but right now I’m thinking it would be great for organization and taking notes @ Ward Council and Pres mtgs and for indexing later this year when it becomes web-based.

  4. I would use it as my cookbook in the kitchen! That screen is so much bigger than my phone and it looks so much more efficient and easy. Love the kickstand!

  5. My daughter is 3 and she’s never really used our phones or computer because she’s not the most gentle child…. But as she’s getting older,I think this would be a great tool for her!

  6. I might be a lot older than your kiddos, but that art program looks awesome! I would love to try it and share it with the kids I nanny!

  7. It would become my new bast friend. I would read books on it. I would organize myself with lists. I would look up things to do. I would just have an easier life.

  8. I’ve got 3 grandkids (3,10 and 13) who are all into different things but I love that fresh paint app and know they would have fun doing that together and my daughter would be ever so grateful that her 3 year old wouldn’t be adding her “art” onto the walls into the carpet or all over herself .. peeking around a corner saying… “look at me mommy.. I’m pretty!”

  9. The Surface Pro looks like so much fun. I like the thought of using it for notes & for recipes while I’m cooking. A few games don’t hurt either! Thanks!

  10. I love the idea of a tablet that acts like a laptop. I think an Android tablet is like a large phone–I’m often disappointed in the create/produce/process capabilities.

  11. I’m in the minority of people with a Windows smartphone and love how easy and intuitive it is. Our laptop is dying and I would love to replace it with a big, giant version of my phone! 🙂

  12. I would use it to replace our large laptop – it looks like the perfect size to have on the countertop while cooking. I usually use my phone , but it’s really too small.

  13. This looks like just the technology that I need to make organizing my home/work life a ton easier!! I’d love to give it a try!!

  14. Iove the fact that it’s basically a PC tablet. No more switching between my iPad and laptop. I would use this baby for teaching school and everything else!

  15. Although my going-to-college daughter would want it for herself, I have never owned a tablet of any kind, and my laptop died. It would be all for me (recipes, organizing my life, etc.).

  16. I already use my laptop when cooking but it can be bulky and it gets dirty, this would be PERFECT! And my husband works out of town it would help us to put things on a calendar and add things to keep our schedules in sync.

  17. Looks like technology is once again passing me by. If I had a surface pro I would definitely think I was making great strides to keep up., but honestly I’d probably use it most to look up recipes.

  18. There are so many uses for this, but the kickstand makes it perfect to bring into the kitchen when I’m using one of your recipes! I don’t have a printer and am always bringing my rather large laptop into the kitchen and it takes up way too much counter space.

  19. Probably pretty much everything! But mostly stuff for the family – crafts, hairstyles for my girlies, recipes – and then keeping all the crazy fun stuff we find organized! 🙂

  20. um. I don’t think it will take me long to figure out what I would use the Surface 3 pro for….I’ve got six boys under 13. I am certain I would be last in line to use it (and get instructions from them). Though we do keep a very low profile on electronics in our house (no game devices or ipads, ipods), we understand the necessity for our kids to learn to use technology.

  21. I love the tablet/laptop combination! With so many kids needing to do homework at the same time, this would definitely be used at our home.

  22. i would love to have one of these to use in my kitchen. right now, i have to go to the other room where my computer is and since i don’t want to print everything off, memorize a couple ingredients/steps at a time. i like that it has a built in kickstand too. your review was fantastic!

  23. I’ve been thinking about this. Now I REALLY want one after reading the posts. I actually just want it to use for nothing but digital scrapbooking. I think it would be so nice to have something sleek and light to take with me and quickly do a little scrapbooking here and there. thanks for the great info.

  24. My daughter is almost 2 and she loves playing apps on our phone. We currently don’t have a tablet. It would be amazing to have one for her to play games or help out with entertainment in long car rides, especially since baby #2 is due next month!

  25. great ideas here. I especially love the ideas of loading it up with movies, games & stories for kids, my nephews would LOVE that!

  26. We have a Kindle Fire right now and it sucks! It doesn’t do anything NEAR what the Surface does! I would just be excited to have a tablet that actually does something!

  27. I would use like we use our iPad – to play for the whole family. Often, when I’m the last one awake in the house, you will find me on the tablet reading blogs.

  28. I would love to use this for my family. My kids are getting older and want their own tablets/Ipods, etc… But I don’t think they’re quite old enough yet. This would be perfect!

  29. I love the idea of a tablet in the kitchen. I cook almost entirely from recipe blogs these days, so my laptop is always set up (somewhere safe but far away) in the kitchen. A tablet would be much more convenient

  30. My current laptop is about 6 years old and is at the point where I can’t use it unless it’s plugged in to the wall – sort of defeats the purpose of a laptop! I’d love to replace it with the Surface and feel like I could really be on the go and have a full computing device along for the ride (which I didn’t even feel when my laptop was still portable). I hope to do more traveling in the next year or two, so I know it would come in handy then, and it would keep me from dragging my work laptop on personal excursions!

  31. Many, many ways! The first thing that comes to mind though is keeping kiddos entertained while we are waiting for fireworks to start at the park tomorrow.

  32. How I would use the Surface Pro 3- recipes in the kitchen, love that idea because I never print off recipes and am always carrying my laptop around the kitchen.
    How my 4 year old would use the Surface Pro 3- movies, games, pictures, probably way more often than me!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. I would use it for everything it can do! As a mom who doesn’t have a smartphone yet and whose laptop is literally falling apart, I can see myself using this tablet to the full extent of its abilities!

  34. My ancient laptop is gradually losing speed and reliability and I’ve been looking into tablet options to replace it when that inevitable day comes. I’d love to get a Surface Pro! I lug my laptop to the kitchen all the time to look up recipes, so I’d definitely use it for that, among other things like the usual email and facebook. Pretty cool technology!

  35. This is a fun series, and I think it fits fairly well with your blog theme. I like the specific examples you gave about things to do with your kids (I have none but have 4 nephews we visit). I had no idea about the child profiles, and I LOVE the idea of timers.

  36. Laptop replacement! My power cord has a short in it and I have a battery life of about 5.15908 minutes (give or take). A Surface Pro would also help me to conquer my fear of Windows 8 🙂

  37. This gift card would be a HUGE blessing for us! Our laptop died and we need a new one, and my daughter is starting Chinese Immersion and they require a tablet – $500 would go a long way here!!! Pick me 🙂

  38. Hmmm… maybe this is better than my iPad! I like that you can print so easily from it and you can use it with a keyboard!

  39. I have a Samsung tablet and my kids LOVE IT. But I don’t think it can do near the stuff that this thing can do. My oldest uses the desktop computer because she knows what to do but I find that with my youngest I have to sit there with him and *GASP* I don’t always have time. He can work the tablet like nobody’s business though. I.WANT.ONE.OF.THESE. 🙂

  40. I have 3 teenagers – one about to go to college. This would be wonderful for them to use for papers, powerpoints, and other assignments. Great write-up.

  41. Currently we only have my laptop from work, and I don’t think my employment will last much longer. This would be awesome to get a replacement that we actually own.

  42. This is exactly what I need! I really need to add a computer or tablet to the mix for my 4 boys as we have more and more need to use electronics and only my little computer to pass around. Thanks for the giveaway!

  43. With 4 kids, a Surface Pro 3 will help out with the fighting over who needs to use the computer for homework vs who wants to use it for fun.

  44. I would use definitely use it for cooking. Our computer is on a desk on the side of our kitchen and right now I have to keep walking back and forth to check the recipe and this tablet would make it so much easier. I also the Kindle app to read books on my phone, but with such a small screen you have to “turn” the page constantly. That problem would be solved with a tablet!

  45. WOW!! What a great tablet I could really use one of these for the ease and multi-functionality of it. I will definitely be looking into one of these for our family possibly 2!

  46. I would use the Surface to organize my recipes. Just like you, I have scraps of paper with recipes at my house with recipes written all over them, and then of course when I need them, I can never find them. It would be great if I could preserve the recipes from my country this way, so later on, as my kids move out of the house, the first one might leave in three years already, I can hand down their favorite german recipes to them.

  47. Love this! I would love to use this for a blog I am starting about my family adventures in building a new orchard! Plus all the great ideas Sara had!

  48. What wouldn’t I use this for?! I’m still in school and my laptop is about to bite the dust so I’d LOVE it to use for school, but that would only be the beginning of my plans.

  49. I am looking for jobs as a school social worker and would love to use something like this to help create social stories for my students!

  50. I love the idea of controlled profiles for the kids and the built in timer for games! Then I don’t have to stress out over what my kids spend their time on with technology, because I already have approved it! The Surface sounds like a great addition!

  51. I have been thinking about a Surface 3 as I head back to grad school, but I don’t know if I’d be willing to share with the kids 🙂

  52. I would love to have something to use while my husband uses our computer for school. All the distractions would also be nice for my little boy sometimes too

  53. This looks pretty amazing! would love to have this as a personal organizer and of course fun with movies, games, etc. 3 year old would love some time on this as well!

  54. Being able to make something from a recipe without wasting paper to print it out would be so awesome! Plus my recipe drawer is overflowing.

  55. To be perfectly honest, I love my iPad Air. But I can’t do work on it because it’s not as functional as this looks. It would be great not to have to drag home my laptop every night.

  56. Now that is incredible! Love love love all the features you showed!!!! I’ve been reading all sorts of reviews about it since you posted yesterday. Seems to fix all the ” fears/problems” that I’ve had about getting a device…. Now just wishin’ and hopin’ that I win!!!!! Eek

  57. I’ve been torn with how much technology to introduce to my almost-2-year-old, but the iPad did make a trip to Hawaii MUCH easier. I’m very intrigued by the Fresh Paint app…

  58. My husband and I have been talking about getting a tablet for ages. I can’t wait for backyard Hulu date nights when it happens!!!!

  59. I would use a Surface Pro 3 exactly like you do: for myself, the kids, work, play! It looks awesome and I LOVE that everyone can have their own profiles!

  60. I would use it to catalog recipes that I find and menu planning along with the grocery list. Plus family history so that it would be more moble to take.
    Love your blog and trying your recipes. Thanks!

  61. What a fun looking tablet. I woukd use it for homeschooling. Probably like a little command center for all my assignments and projects for the kids!

  62. whoa, that is awesome! I like the note taking feature and the paint by number looks really fun. 🙂 we’ve never owned anything other than a desktop computer.

  63. Honestly? We would most likely let the kids have the cheap tablets we have and use this one for my husbands work. It would be perfect for him to take to clients homes when he goes on an estimate as well as being able to bring work home instead of staying at the office late.

  64. I am having baby #2 in october, and man I would love a tablet to be able to read blogs/pinterest/etc. while nursing the baby at all hours of the day/night. I used my ipod with #1, and it was tiny, but it was also really nice too!

  65. This looks like a great tablet – my children would love it to do some of their reading homework during the school year… and probably also play some Plants vs. Zombies!

  66. Wow! I’ve seen the ads but I didn’t know how much more you can do with it than regular tablets. I really really love that OneNote app with the “pen”. I’d love to be able to take notes like that and save them on the Surface. Awesome giveaway!

  67. I would use it in almost exactly the same way you do. I’m all about a balance of homework, outside playtime, and watching good clean movies to relax during the hot summer. I love your explanations on how your family uses it and we would do the same!

  68. I would love to use a tablet in the kitchen to have recipes close at hand instead of running to the computer every 5 minutes, but I’d also LOVE to use it to entertain my kids in the car, waiting rooms, etc!!!

  69. Thanks for offering this opportunity. I would love to use the Surface Pro 3 to organize all of my favorite recipes, and soon to be favorites. With all that the Surface Pro 3 has to offer, I’m sure that this will only be the beginning!!! Thank you again for sharing.

  70. These great multimedia champs are popping up everywhere! As a homeschooling family, this kind of technology would blast our learning to a while new level!

  71. I would give it to my husband. He’s been wanting a Surface Pro for a while now, I know he would love it! He loves to use his tablets for work, for games, and he even uses it for making dinner. 🙂

  72. I’ve found that our iPad is a great motivator. As long as we monitor and limit its use by the kids, they really value the time they do get on it, so it has obtained magical motivator status.

  73. I can’t say for sure how I would use the Surface Pro, but I think I might start in the kitchen. I’ve long wanted to use a tablet in there, but the tablet we have seems so slow, and there isn’t a way to create separate profiles on it so that we are not all using the same account. (Not super keen on the kids seeing my private emails.) Once separate profiles are set up, seems like that would open the door to LOTS of new opportunities!

  74. There’s so many uses! I would probably watch movies while I did the dishes or folded laundry. The kids would love playing games I’m sure, but we might need two to keep the peace!

  75. In the Las Vegas heat, it isn’t very fun to be outside from about 11AM til the sun sets unless you are in the pool. Tech diversions are nice to do inside when it’s just too hot outside to do anything else on those afternoons. As far as the Surface, I like that it is primarily designed to be a tablet rather than being a laptop that transforms into a “tablet.”

  76. I would used the Surface Pro 3 in the kitchen. I love trying new recipes but looking at them through my smart phone just doesn’t cut it! I am sure that my kids would love to play Minecraft on it as well!

  77. I don’t always “embrace” technology. But with kids in school I find I need to know something about it. My kids are learning fasting than I. It is crazy. There are so many cool things about tablets. They are a great supplement for learning.

  78. I’m one of those moms whose kids are covering in paint. And I do think it’s cute and fun. Our table might think otherwise, because there are some colors that just don’t wash off very easily.

    That being said, electronic paint -so much easier to clean up after!

  79. How fun! My almost 2 year old already knows how to use our phones. The trick for us is learning to balance screen time with the rest of life!

  80. I couldn’t find the terms and agreements to find out if this is open to Canadian residents, but here’s hoping. My husband has a technology crush on the Surface Pro 3. I’ve always been an Apple girl, but he may be swaying me with this one!

  81. My husband is wanting to get into sound editing, and I think this would be perfect! When I wasn’t using it in the kitchen, of course… 🙂

  82. I would use it for everything! We don’t even have a computer in our house!!! I know, what year are we living in? 😉 I think it would be another way to let my three boys enjoy learning!

  83. I seriously need to expand my knowledge of parental controls. My daughter is getting to the age where she wants to play computer games and watch cat videos on youtube.

  84. My kids would love to have a surface pro 3 to share. They feel behind the curve because we have one tv in our house that is password protected, and they don’t get a lot of access to screen time. I love the way you can do profiles on it- this would be perfect for us!

  85. I would pretty much use it everywhere in everything – this looks awesome! I’ve been browsing laptops and ipads deciding what I want. How is it in using Word?

  86. My daughter is just going into first grade in the fall, and she’s learning to read. I would love to get her as hooked on reading as I am 🙂

  87. I got a job for the first time in over a decade so I would use it to look up information I need. And the kids would LOVE it for games and movies.

  88. What a great post–I need to incorporate a few of your ideas…especially the internet profile safety tips. My kids love to get on the computer, and now that they can both read there are quite a few things I would not like them to view on the internet!!

  89. I would replace our aging PC. We have iPads, but they aren’t a computer you know. But this has the portability of the ipad and the PCishness of a laptop. Love it! Thanks for the opportunity!

  90. I would definitely use it for the ease of access with arts and crafts. The fact that it’s portable is a plus when I need to bring my youngest with me on errands.

  91. I LOVE the commercials for the SurfacePro! My husband just started his own business and it would be so nice to have a computer for him away from his desktop! We might actually get to go out once in a while 🙂

  92. I think the Surface Pro 3 would be great for traveling–less bulky than my laptop. I’d love to take one on my trips out of state to see my grandkids!! I love the idea that each person can have their own profile and cannot access other users–that would be great for the grandkids that live with us too.

  93. I have used a surface 2 and loved it. If I had a surface 3 it would replace my laptop and get used for work and play. Looks amazing.

  94. I would use this all for myself in the kitchen! My kids have taken over every other electronic this summer! Mommy wants a new toy! Selfish I know!

  95. My kids are multi-lingual, so we would add Norwegian & German apps & videos for them. Also, I think they’d love the photo / drawing bit!

  96. I would love a tablet for organization and for doing my CPE in the summer so I don’t have sit at the computer in our super hot bonus room! It would be great for my five year old too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  97. I had no idea the tablet could do so much! I’d love to have one and explore all the features you mentioned. Setting timers and controlling internet access for my girls would be great. I love the portability aspect too- almost a easy to carry as a phone, but does so much more.

  98. I would use the Surface Pro to keep the kiddos entertained on long car rides and also keep them on track with learning over the summer!

  99. Our oldest is going into 6th grade and we need another computer for her school work. Too hard to share just one. The Surface Pro might just be our answer. Thanks!!

  100. I would use it for personal organization. I like the stylus writing capability, and it is powerful enough to run most of the programs currently on my desktop. Of course, I won’t rule out the child entertainment/education possibilities.

  101. I am so into onenote after your comments about it. I checked it out, and I love the stylus option. I would keep this for myself since we currently all share the computer we have. I would love to have a place to organize me and my “stuff” without having to wait for my turn 🙂 Selfish, I know, but I think I’ve earned it.

  102. I’d carry the tablet with me when I go grocery shopping. What a handy tool to use when I’m logging onto my CouponCenter to check to see what’s on sale! Thanks for the opportunity to win!
    Dianne

  103. Well, with six kids 9 and under, I’m sure it would get plenty of use. 🙂 Movies, games, “painting” (I don’t do paint, either), you name it! Crossing my fingers!

  104. Love that you can have different accounts so I could allow my kids to watch a movie or play a game, but not alter my do to lists etc as they randomly open aps and push buttons. Awesome!

  105. I am amazed at the things my kids can do–typing is even one of them. It’s very impressive. They don’t use the correct fingers like me but they can zoom over an ipad keypad SUPER fast.

  106. I would SO use this. Reading recipes while I cook, entertaining my 3yo on a plane/ long car ride, doodling because I’m bored, or surfacing the net from the comfort of my couch. Thanks!

  107. Wow! So many great uses! I’m always looking for ways to corral my recipes and quilting ideas. I think it would be handy “on the road” and when my grand kids visit. Thanks for the opportunity to win one!

  108. I teach high school and could use this in so many ways, apps for extra practice for my high schoolers. Plus i’ll probably be sharing a class room and this would be easy to move with me on my prep periods. I could use this planning lessons and also so many other ways!

  109. I would use it in ways you have with your kids and also especially with recipes/cooking!! Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  110. I have a niece that would be entertained for hours with all that it offers so she won’t get restless on the days she can’t go outside and play!

  111. I would use the surface pro for recipes (easier than carrying my laptop into the kitchen) and I am sure my kids would use it too. Doing a 2 year old’s hair is a challenge (she has long hair for a 2 year old), and I would love to let her play while I get the hair out of her face.

  112. I’m actually an elementary school technology teacher and I love that my students go home and blow their parents away with PowerPoints and Word documents–even the little ones! The Surface Pro would be amazing to use in my classroom to be able to demonstrate individually all the cool things our students can do in Microsoft Office. What a dream come true! Love it!

  113. I would give it to my almost 12 year old that has been begging for a computer for ages! He would LOVE it (as would I). Thanks for the giveaway.

  114. I would love to use a Surface Pro in the kitchen…I also love that note taking feature with the pen! I love to write things down and then I lose my notes!

  115. I would love to try something like this out in the kitchen. Right now, I go old school and print recipes out from my laptop. My kids would love it for the educational games too!

  116. I would use it for just about anything I use my laptop and android phone for now. I use pinterest a lot and the bulky laptop or the android phone are hard to use.

  117. Viewing step-by-step recipes from Our Best Bites in the kitchen would be such a luxury! I love how you show and tell so I know I’m doing it right.

  118. Our old Samsung Galaxy has died, so we would love the Surface Pro for. . . everything! Between my husband, six kids and I, there is always someone on the computer!

  119. I would use it to do some of the things that you do. When we do games and learning about things in a round about way, he doesn’t realize he’s doing homework, or learning! It’s great!

  120. I would use it like you guys do. We do lots of learning games for reading and math and so they don’t feel like they are doing homework! It’s great!

  121. I have always liked the idea of taking my laptop places with me, but I’ve always hated the idea of packing up and hauling my laptop places with me. This looks like the perfect solution!

  122. I’d probably stop printing off new recipes, and just look at this. I print off recipes that I want to try, and am sometimes underwhelmed by the results and feel sorry that I wasted paper on that recipe. hahaha It would just be nice to have a tablet in the house.

  123. I just started my Masters in Nursing Education Program. The Surface would be great to pack around to school and back. Thank you for your opportunity, and for your site. Love it!

  124. I would use the Surface Pro to finish nursing school!! I LOVE the idea of being able to easily take notes all in one place instead of in several notebooks (because I am also a little OCD and need a different notebook for each class), to study for the NCLEX, write my papers, and use excel all in one EXTREMELY portable version!

  125. I would use the surface pro for planning: home, work, church, kids etc. Scheduling, cooking, traveling, entertainment, financial planning, accomplishing tasks, wasting time, education and so much more. I’m a mac person but this device could easily convert me…

  126. Love your ideas for making the Surface something for the whole family, especially the pre-selected craft/experiment ideas on a pinterest board.

  127. I would use this for a million things! Recipe research & collection, Pinterest, Netflix, Skype with my faraway family…. I would have so much fun with this.

  128. I’m not going to lie, I would use it a ton. But, it would be nice to let my kids use it. I have a 3 1/2 yr old smart phone, which doesn’t do very many cool kid games on it. And our pc is great, just not very mobile. I would love the portability of a surface. Add to that the fact that it’s as capable as my pc, well what’s not to love about it. Except for the fact that Russell Wilson did a commercial for it. Yes, I’m a Bronco’s fan that’s still recovering from that disaster.

  129. My Sweet husband is going back to school to earn his masters degree. He had a laptop to get him through his undergrad, but it is not working so well anymore. He has told me for months how badly he wants a surface pro. He loves one note and he loves using a tablet form for notes. However the money is just not in the budget. He has always been so sweet to work full time while going to school, allowing me to stay home with our kids.

  130. Wow”. What a fabulous giveaway. I have so enjoyed reading about your experience with the Surface. I’ve been looking at it for a year and wondering if I would like it.

  131. I am an engineer who likes to dabble in the fine art of cooking. Honestly though, I would use the Surface for mostly nerdy things…

  132. I would use this to help my little kindergarten students! A Microsoft Surface Pro 3 would help make a HUGE difference in my students education!

  133. Very cool! I read the last post about the Microsoft Surface and forwarded it to my husband thinking it would be a really cool option for our family. We’ll see!

  134. I am a home-schooling mom of 6, and I love the options that the Surface Pro 3 would give me in meeting all the needs of my kiddos! (Not to mention having all my stuff at my fingertips)!

  135. This would be awesome. We don’t have a lot of electronics at our house, so it would be so great to be able to get a Surface Pro.

  136. This looks like a great alternative to a laptop. Mine is getting up there and I would love to replace it with something lighter and cooler! I love the profiles option for family use too.

  137. I have a friend that just got a surface pro and it’s actually really awesome! I would love to have one for myself!!

  138. Looking to upgrade my “tablet” and would love this! Spending much of my summer – including a 4 day weekend, next weekend – with my 6 y/o and 2 y/o great nephews so was fun to read about what you do with your boys. Blanket forts are a must!

  139. Love that! Since the screen on our Nabi got cracked to the point of no more use on the 2nd day of summer, this would make for a lovely replacement! Thanks!

  140. I’ve got 7 kids so I know it would gets tons of use around here!! I’d like it to get rid of the laptop that has to live on my kitchen counter because if it gets unplugged for more than a minute it dies!

  141. I just got my husband an ipad for his birthday. Granted, it’s his, but between him and the kids, I hardly get to touch it. I’d love a surface of my own to read, email, and cook with. And it’s cooler than the ipad, so there’s that 🙂

  142. I would use it to help with my church lessons. I would also use it in the ways that you mentioned. And for reading books. I can do that on it, right?

  143. I would use the Surface Pro for work & play! I have a small business & have been looking at buying the surface pro so I have the convenience of a laptop in a lightweight tablet. Would love to win the gift card! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  144. A Surface Pro 3 is just what I need. Especially since my computer is so old I was told it would be put to it’s best use if I just anchored a boat with it! I have been searching and researching for what would be the best fit for our family, and I think this is it!!

  145. I’m not sure how we’d use the thing… but I’d love the opportunity to find out! Watching movies in bed? Emailing from the kitchen table? Sharing it with my Mom?Possibilities do come to mind.

  146. So many thing to use this for…..work, monitoring my daughters diabetes pump/ glucose numbers, movies etc, recipes ….Also think that setting the kids up with their own profiles is a great idea! Hope I win!!!

  147. Technology is so great. I love the balance of work and play you use with yours! The Where’s Waldo app looks super fun…I kinda forgot about that from my childhood 🙂 I would use it similarly.

  148. I love that it has a timer! That would definitely come in handy…and keep me from always being the bad guy who turns off the electronics. Hard to argue with the timer!

  149. I would use one for looking up recipes while I cook – the screen is so much larger than the kindle fire I have been using. And in general it seems like a great device for our whole family. I really hope I win!

  150. I’m sure I could talk myself into buying a Microsoft Surface with the money. Have never used one but would love to learn. Thank you for the opportunity and all that you do for so many. Happy 4th of July!!!!

  151. I would use it like the original Surface, with its portability, but with the added advantages of being able to download and use software like a regular PC computer, not just apps

  152. I would use the educational games. I loved the math game suggestion. I have a child who struggles with math so I am excited to try this with her.

  153. My husband and I have been looking for a tablet that would work for recipes in the kitchen! And I would totally use it to organize my shopping list by store – the interface on my phone is so clunky and you can’t see lists side by side to make sure you got it all!

  154. Man, I would love a Surface Pro. I would probably use it like I do my laptop and more…games, movies, entertain the kids in the car, etc.

  155. I would love to use this to organize my recipes! Meal planning is one of my least favorite things and anything that could be helpful would be great! I really love the notes feature too – I’m a “make a list” addict. haha!

  156. What a fun giveaway! Balance is best when it comes to technology and outdoor play. I know my littes would just love that painting app!

  157. As someone who likes to doodle, the Surface has some great art apps and associated stylists that look like real pencil/paint!

  158. I’ve been thinking about getting my 8-year-old a tablet for her next birthday. She always feels left out, technology-wise, because her teenage sister has a smart phone and her own laptop. I’ve been intrigued by the commercials for the Surface. If I won one I would be able to set the parental controls and share it with her! I really like the timer option so she can’t veg out on it all day.

  159. I am always using my phone to look up recipes. A surface would make it so much easier to read! I would use it to watch netflix on too and then I could stop stealing my husband’s tablet.

  160. We desperately need a new home computer/laptop and this would be perfect. My husband has a surface for work and he has really enjoyed it.

  161. I’ve been wanting to get a tablet, but haven’t been able to justify it. This best buy gift card would certainly be enough to justify it!!! You guys are the best!

  162. If I got the Surface Pro 3, I would definitely go crazy and just try to learn how to use it the first day and not want to share it but I will anyway because I know I can’t do that… 🙂 It would be awesome to have!

  163. I would love a surface pro! My kids are constantly asking to use my phone for apps and movies. I would love to have a computer that can do all those great things and more to give to them to use!

  164. I would love to use the surface pro how you described you use it in the kitchen! I’d also let my kids use it in waiting rooms and at drs appointments so I could pay attention to the child being seen.

  165. I would use it buy a surface pro as we only have desk top right now and we really could use this. Or maybe a camera for my son who is leaving to Brazil for two years. Thanks.

  166. I would love to win a gift card to give to my husband! He just got called to be a seminary teacher and would love to have a tablet for his lessons. 🙂

  167. Thanks for another fun giveaway! I’d use it mostly for organizing photos and recipes, for blogging and keeping up with projects!

  168. I would love some educational help through the summer so my kids don’t lose so much- but something that they would love also! A cool device always helps the learning along!

  169. I would use it for all of the educational opportunities for my 4 year old to help him in his next year before becoming a kindergartner.

    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  170. I would use the Surface Pro 3 to introduce my young children to education through technology at their finger tips. I have been looking to buy a tablet, but just haven’t found the extra money on our budget.

  171. I use my phone to access my recipes right now in the kitchen, usually saved on pinterest. But this would make things so much easier! I would use a tablet for in the kitchen, at church, with my kids, reading books, etc.

    Thanks!

  172. I would definitely use this tablet in the kitchen!! Right now I use an ipad but sometimes the recipes are a little hard to see and when my hands are dirty I don’t want to get the screen dirty either, what to do!

  173. My husband just got one and he is using it a ton. I love that it is so compact, yet a full computer too. I think I have finally found the device that almost does it all. I would love it to keep track of all my recipes!

  174. I am always taking my husband’s tablet and using it for online recipes, listening to music, or checking out pinterest. Plus it’s a fantastic entertainer for my kids while I’m teaching voice lessons. If I had my own, then my husband wouldn’t have to worry about me and the kids always using his. Awesome!

  175. I would love to get my husband a Surface Pro. He’s been talking about them since before the first one came out. Of course, I’d probably adopt it as my own, but it’s nice to pretend I’d buy it for him.

  176. I would LOVE being able to actually have a tablet that can have a real keyboard, and use windows so there could be different accounts and passwords for my kids! I would use this for just about everything! Recipes, blogs, shopping, entertainment for family, typing up e-mails/papers…etc. OH i would also LOOOVE having a timer that let’s my son know that his time is up.

  177. We’re just getting into homeschooling and I can imagine a ton of possibilities now that I discovered my favorite curriculum has e-book versions!

  178. Love these ideas! I have two littles and four bigs. My littles would love getting come “electronic” time, and I won’t have to the mean one that takes it away after 30 minutes. I can have the device do the dirty work of telling my kids their time is up.

  179. I just started following your blog and everything looks so great so far! I would love to let my kids try that painting you mentioned–taking a picture and coloring it yourself. They would love that!
    Thanks for the great ideas.

  180. On October 2 I’m having the first of two hand reconstruction surgeries that will leave me with only one useable hand for up to 6 months, and I’d die to have Surface Pro. I only have a huge desktop and I won’t be able to use a mouse at all, or buttons, snaps, hooks, zippers or elastic waists! I will go into withdrawal, and then have to repeat it with my left hand.

  181. Um, I’d do all the stuff you said :). Actually, my son is doing Spanish dual immersion this fall and I’d love to have a way for him to use some learning apps for that, cuz I’m no help!

  182. I’ve been seeing the commercials for this lately and it looks awesome! I would love to replace our laptop with one of these! Thanks for the opportunity!

  183. I’ve never used a tablet before, but I think it would be great for looking up recipes and for reading, if I can keep it away from my kids!

  184. Sorry didn’t see directions to share how I would use surface pro – I would use it for work and entertainment, a lot like listed in this post!

  185. Both our computer and laptop just bit the dust! Wouldn’t this gift card be perfect for us to get a nice new computer? Hope we win:)

  186. Oh the things I could do with this gift card! 😀 Great giveaway! I am interested in the surface pro, as well as a new camera bag,ipod for the hubby…choices choices!

  187. I love the security features you mentioned. We have three little kids, so I would feel a lot better with features like those to protect them (and my work). Thanks for sharing. I love to get tips from people who are more tech savvy than I am.

  188. I’d love to have a Surface Pro 3. Sounds like a great way to entertain my grandkids and a lot of fun for me! It sure sounds versatile.

  189. I would use a Surface Pro 3 to help entertain my almost 2 year old on trips in the car while his Daddy is away for military training! And I would also use it in the kitchen for recipes so I don’t have to lug my laptop in there to get dirty!

  190. Forgot to mention how I would use it…I just started up my own business and the Surface Pro 3 would help me have everything with me that I need and keep me organized!

  191. I would use it to look up recipes on your site. Right now I use my phone and the screen is so small I have a hard time reading the recipe when I am in the kitchen.

  192. I have struggled with an illness that has kept me in bed for months. Having a tablet would help me recover fine motor skills by assist me with relearning to crochet – this time via video. Now that I’m more mobile, having a light weight access to re,cipes would be very helpful. But besides function, this tablet shouts, “FUN”!

  193. Oh! We have seen so many commercials for the Surface Pro 3 while watching the World Cup and now you end up reviewing it for me. My laptop is on it’s last leg and I have been wondering if the Surface Pro is the answer. If OBB recommends it, I know I can’t go wrong!

  194. I’m a homeschooler to two young kiddos, so we would use it everyday for school (and fun too)!! Thanks for the great giveaway.

  195. I can think of about 900 uses for this tablet,not the least of which are all the things you just mentioned for my smarty pants little girl who loves any game that has to do with the alphabet or letters. I’d use it for cooking and for making shopping lists!

  196. We are fortunate enough to have grandchildren everywhere !! We have spent the summer going to pick up the grandchildren and bringing them to Oklahoma for a visit, then returning that batch and setting off to gather another batch. This Surface Pro 3 seems to be exactly what we need. Either for the long car trips or the every once in awhile home sick moments… Love the educational side too !!!

  197. I think we’re the only family who doesn’t have a tablet of some type… We would definitely use it to watch movies, netflix, play games, use cool apps. I think it would get used very well! 😉

  198. I NEED a Surface Pro3!!! Next month I will be starting high school online and this is the computer I’ve wanted ever since it was announced! The only reason I don’t have it yet is because it’s expensive, but a $500 Gift Card would definitely help with that! Thanks:)

  199. My husband has an iPad and a laptop, but is in school (and he works full time), so he kind of uses all the electronic devices! I would love to have one of my own!

  200. My husband and I are moving away for graduate school and I am certain we would both get great use out of this! Him for his schoolwork, me for my baking blog and other tasks. Thanks!

  201. A tablet in the kitchen is amazing for pulling up recipes and conversion for me! I’m always trying something new and often I have to convert grams to tablespoons and cups and back and forth until I’m dizzy. Love having movies etc on hand for my little one too when we’re flying and stuck in airports.

  202. We travel a lot so it would be fun to use in the car. I like the idea of loading movies on the sd card so all the memory isn’t used up on the tablet!

  203. My husband has been secretly wanting a surface pro and his bday is coming. So honestly it would be his bday gift and I could be the best wife ever 🙂

  204. I would love this tablet to do my school work on, I recently went back to school online full time to finish my degree and my computer is slightly…old and falling apart. Thanks!

  205. I would love to have this tablet for my sixteen year old quadruplets. They are always needing to do research for their school work. They have to wait in line for access to the computer. The tablet would help alleviate some of the wait. They could research while another sibling is typing on the computer. I am sure they would love to play games on the tablet too. I would use it to access your blog while they are busy doing other things! Thanks for the chance to win blog candy!

  206. This looks. so. awesome. You guys can sell anything because when you say something is good I believe you!Fortunately, you would not endorse something that was totally lame. 🙂 thanks for the info. Both surface pro posts were very helpful.

  207. PS I would use it as my notebook/day planner/list keeper, I would definitely use it in the kitchen, and I would watch videos, including workout youtube videos. It would be so great because you can take it anywhere!

  208. I would love to get this for my 4 kids and I. I love all your ideas, and the timer feature is awesome. Thanks for the chance to win.

  209. My son needs a tablet with a keyboard for middle school this fall! I can’t believe that is even possible. Am I really that old? The surface pro 3 looks like it would be a riot for the whole family!

  210. The menu planning sounds awesome. And I love that you can make a profile for each member the littles don’t get somewhere they shouldn’t be. And I love the time limits. Wow, everything you showed me was awesome. I didn’t realize it was so versatile.

  211. I think there are so many things my family could do with this, from educational to play time to homemaking, we would use it for everything!

  212. We have an older version of the Surface, and would LOVE to have the Surface Pro 3!! I would use it in the kitchen, for sure! And we are also going to be building a house in this next year, and I would love to be super organized with the help of an awesome tablet/laptop!!!

  213. This looks amazing! I’m always needing to look at your recipes right when my kids are using the computer as a TV for Netflix, so I would definitely use it in the kitchen. I would also use it to help me teach the 7-8 year olds at church!

  214. Great, now I want one of those. I’m a big fan of tablets to help teach my kids about our world. I love any app that will get them to use their imagination. That drawing one would blow their minds. I get paints for them because they love it, not having to clean it all up would be fantastic!

  215. I would definitely use it this fall when I start my return back to
    college to finish my education. Also let my 8 yrs old explore the endless educational fun! Can’t wait to win!!

  216. Would use for writing documents need something big enough to see but not heavy and bulky. Plus the kids can use for entertainment use. Thanks

  217. How WOULDN’T I use it? Recipes in the kitchen, entertainment for the kids, to-do lists, watching movies…the list could go on…

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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