Real books never run out of battery power. They never need to be charged. They won't ever get a virus. And the best part is their technology will never get outdated, since there is no technology. A book might go out of print, but at least you can still read it the same way you did when it was first freshly printed.
Let it also be said that I in no way believe toddlers or kids should have an extended amount of screen time. We know it isn't good. Pediatricians have told us so.
But there are those moments in a mom's life when your toddler is screaming in public because you won't let him lick the sidewalk, or do tumble saults in the parking lot, or because he is insisting the credit card reader at Kohls is "Mine!" Those precious moments you used to avoid going into public for fear you would be "embarrassed." Those precious moments where a screaming toddler has numbed your emotions from embarrassment and turned them into just wanting to not have your child screaming the same word over and over again. ("Kangawoo Song! Kangawoo Song! KANG-A-WOO SONG!") You just want something...anything...to distract them.
Enter the IPAD.
Okay, yes I admit it. I originally used the IPAD or my phone as a nice distraction to quiet him down. And it worked great. But I had no idea there were apps out there that actually had some real learning power behind them.
So where this is normally a blog about writing and reading, let's talk about some technology for those early learners.
Below I will give you my tried and true recommendations for some amazing apps.
But before I do please keep him mind the following guidelines when using technology with your young child.
1. Always limit the amount of time they spend looking at a screen. (I'm not a pediatrician, but I do know that just as a adult I can only take a certain amount of screen time before I start to go crazy or get headaches, so imagine what it does to your child.)
2. Never let apps replace real books. There should definitely be a balance. (And I've realized with Harper, that even though he likes the apps, he still asks for real books everyday.)
3. Continue to interact with your child. Books come alive and children learn to love to read when a parent engages in reading a book with a child. The same goes for apps (and tv.)
4. Choose your apps wisely. Just like books, not all are created equally.
And so here are my recommendations:
Endless ABCs gives a child a list of Tier II Words such as: hilarious, ruckus, wiggle, scrumptious, recycle, powerful, lopsided, invisible, demolish, courage etc... And then has the child drag letters to spell the words. So they are practicing matching letters to letters. But as they drag the letters, the app says the sound the letter makes and then names it when the letter gets placed correctly.
Afterwards it says the word and then gives a short little animation of what the word means along with a definition.
Endless Reader is basically the same as Endless ABC except that after you spell the word, you drag it and other sight words into a sentence. This app is fantastic for learning sight words and for developing concept of word. Mom brag: Harper can now identify the words "funny" and "the" thanks to this app.
This app is just pure awesomeness. As an adult you will be wanting to play it yourself.
It's basically what it sounds like. It is the alphabet that morphs from one image to another. All the while introducing the child to a huge vocabulary.
Check out the link below to see exactly what I mean.
What apps do you love that promote reading? Leave a comment and let me know!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at the Children's Book Academy. Mondays with Mandy or Mira is now the Blogfish!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays will feature award-winning former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature reading specialist and MFA in creative writing graduate Mandy Yates has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
And 5th Mondays will feature will feature the fabulous Carl Angel, award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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