Saturday, February 12, 2011

Screentime Saturday part 1 - Teach Me: Toddler

I know, I know - screentime is evil and we should avoid it all costs, right? Well sometimes, I think, keeping your sanity is just as if not more important and on days like today when everyone in the house has had a cold for a week? And I can't even curl up and read to the girls because speaking is painful? Well that's when screentime is a livesaver. I'm going to spend some Saturdays talking about my favorite ipad/ipod apps for preschoolers, my favorite DVDs, etc. If it counts as screentime, it'll be talked about on a Saturday.

So - my friend blogged the other day about her new favorite app for her child that is a few years older than Kaylee. Teach Me: Kindergarten. I looked and sure enough there is a Teach Me: Toddler. I was a bit worried because at 3, Kaylee isn't really a Toddler anymore - and she's a bit advanced for her age (brag brag brag - I'm sorry!). I almost downloaded the Kindergarten app too (they're just $.99 each), but I decided to go with Toddler and I am so glad I did. This app is right up Kaylee's aisle.

What it does:

A small mouse comes on and tells you what to look for.
"point to the letter that makes the sound wuh."
"find the trapezoid."
"How many pirate hats are there?"
"Where is the Z?"
"Where is the 4?"

Kaylee rocks it on the identifying things - shapes, letters, numbers - it's the application she's not always so good at. She had to stop and count things - and then in real life she likes to be lazy. She thinks there are six things there so she'll say really quickly "one two three four five six - there are six pirate hates." This app encourages her to go slowly, touch each pirate hat, and make sure she knows the answer.

This app is also easily customizable based on your child's aptitude. Do you want her counting from 1 - 5 or 1 - 10? Should she point out all the colors (includes grey, brown, etc.) or just more basic colors?

The one problem I have with this app is not the fault of the app. It tracks your child's progress - it remembers which questions your child frequently gets right on the first try and you can quickly pull up a screen showing you where your child needs more help. Kaylee, even when she knows the answer right away, likes to touch the right answer last. She will show me where the square is but will touch the triangle, circle, and oval first just because she can.

Overall I give this app two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Full disclosure: I was recommended this app by a friend and I paid for this app. No one asked me to write this.

Edit: Ooh - while going back and putting in the links I just noticed that while the Toddler app is usually $.99, the Kindergarten app is on sale for $.99 - I don't know what the app usually is.