Nursery school children in the US are using iPads to help with their ABCs and 1-2-3s, despite critics worrying that districts are spending too much on students too young to appreciate the technology.

Next autumn, nearly 300 nursery-aged children in the central Maine city of Auburn will be given their own iPad2 tablet computer to learn the basics about letters, numbers, drawing and even music.

They will be the latest batch of youngsters around the US using the newest technology to supplement their crayons, finger paints and flash cards.

Auburn approved the plan on Wednesday. Superintendent Tom Morrill said iPads are ideal for young pupils because they are easy to use.

But some people question whether iPads are appropriate for children so young.

Sue Millard of Auburn said: “A five-year old is a little too young to understand.”