I would say our kids are plugged-in, but that’s not entirely true. Their favorite devices are not anchored to the way through some archaic power cord, no, their favorite devices are mobile (how 21st century, I know).
I’ve had an iPhone for just over a year, and I can honestly say it’s changed how I do a lot of things. I manage and organized shopping lists, check news and weather, and do crazy things like scour the IMDB all from my phone. I also now have a mobile gaming device on me at all times.
MaM and Jr have now discovered this. For about the past six months, they’ve had their own page on my phone, with games, stories and the Starbucks app (“Mommy, I like to make coffee drinks for you. That belongs on my page, not yours”).
When Ruckus Media Group offered to send me codes to redeem a bevy of apps from the iTunes store, I said yes. Ruckus has developed a collection of classic stories read by some of the world’s most famous voices. They are beautifully illustrated and they’ve kept MaM’s attention for many a grocery store checkout lane. My favorite, I think, is “Pecos Bill”, as told by Robin Williams. Anyone who likes Robin Williams vocal comedy will love this story. They are all available for sale in the iTunes store.
When I am actually using my phone (imagine that!), MaM and Jr have started to enjoy using the family’s new iPad. It was really BgK’s birthday/Christmas gift, but he’s sharing. They were excited to see some of their iPhone favorites on the iPad, like Angry Birds. MaM was also excited when I told her that BOB Books had a game to play on the iPad.
I admit, I was a little geeked when Lynn, the author of the BOB Books, emailed me and offered to arrange a redemption code for me. I mean, I’ve listened to probably 100 children over the years learn to read as they work their way through the BOB Books. My own daughter carried her set of BOB books around for days, and read them aloud to anyone who would stop to listen.
The BOB Books app features the illustrations and the text from the set one books. It’s an interactive experience – beginning readers can manipulate the letters to make the words in the story and watch the characters jiggle. Making the three-letter phonetic words is a great way to reinforce phonics and the skills needed to sound out words. It’s a little easy for MaM now, but I bet that in about 18 months, Junior will be all over it.
Lest you think all they do is stare at screens all day, we mostly use these mobile distractions when we are waiting somewhere or in the car for a long trip.
All right, I’ve told you some of our new finds….what your favorite apps for kids?
Disclosure: Ruckus Media Group sent me redemption codes for several of their mobile iPhone apps. BOB Books sent me a redemption code for the mobile iPad app. The opinions on the apps are completely mine (and MaM’s).