Apple worker Andrew Child, left, helps lead Camp Apple with students Lucas Bobaco, 8, center, and his sister, Audrey Bobaco, right, 9, work on Apple iPads at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

Our take: Blog writer Heather Clayton Staker examines how to turn an iPad into a learning handheld for her children and other elementary students, including what programs and apps she would add to their devices.

Todays blog is a how-to for converting an iPod Touch into a tricked out e-learning handheld for pre-K and elementary students. Disclaimer: I dont own any stock in Apple and I am not paid by any of the vendors below. Im just doing this for my own holiday recon and hoped some of you might find it helpful too!

Background: This Christmas were flying and driving with our kids. Im sure well bring along copious goldfish crackers and sippy cups, but Id rather avoid the traditional craziness of our bursting carry-ons. Im looking for small devices that will be easy to carry aboard, simple for our kids to use, and make better use of the travel time than a DVD player. Plus, on normal days my kids spend too much time in the car shuttling to activities. Id love to fill that void with productive learning time.