I received my iPad yesterday. You can read what I think about it here. But I also think it will be a boon for children (and parents). Here are some examples:
Stories come alive on the iPad. Literally. For instance, in this Toy Story 2, the TV in the background is actually showing moving images. Every page evolves and many of them have little games and songs. This is a completely new experience and all for just $8.99.
For older kids, The Elements shows how much potential there is. Apart from the great Tom Lehrer song, each element has a story, scientific information and the ability to explore objects made primarily from it. It is simply wonderful.
Smule's Magic Piano brings music to life and allows children to experience the tempo of a song or piece. It is visually satisfying and makes you wonder whether music is going to be fundamentally changed by electronic instruments of this kind.
The great iPhone app, Word Magic, has been ported to the iPad. My 5 year old is learning to read and spell with this thing. There are few substitutes that can do this so efficiently.
Again, for older kids, the free This Day in History app from World Book gives you the anniversaries of events but also information on them in a beautiful layout.
Finally, I can't tell you how excited my son was to see that BrainPop (which we subscribe too) had brought a free app to the iPad with one movie each day as well as a quiz. Somewhat fittingly, today's move was on 'Supply and Demand.'
All this is just the beginning and there is too little here to make it a rush purchase. But it has the feel of something important for children. I look forward to future developments.