Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Play prompts and i-pad apps for toddlers

My camera has given up (I've only had it since last Christmas...  I've managed to kill a camera in under 12 months!).  But I'm now armed with Hubby's camera #2.  It's a little bigger than my usual, and won't just slip into a pocket or handbag (perhaps where I went wrong with my camera?) so won't get as many outdoor photos, but at least I have one that works now.

This month our vague theme is "shape and colour" about which I based this morning's invitation to play.  C was busy with the i-pad, more on that in a second, so this was really for Bug.

I started by stacking her coloured stars, stacking her coloured cups, stacking her coloured cars and laying out Mr Potato Head's accessories, as well as leaving my brightly coloured poncho lying around and setting up a shape puzzle.  She spent some time playing with all of these, mostly taking the stacking items out of their towers and fitting them inside one another.  Eventually she finished this play and wandered off.  When she returned I had rearranged everything.  This time the stacking items were lined up in order of size, Mr Potato Head had a funny face, and I had put out some different shape puzzles ready to complete.  She couldn't resist.  She came back to have another play, this time rearranging Mr Potato Head's face, and making towers out of the stacking items, as well as having a go at the puzzles.

Meanwhile, C was busy with the i-pad.  He'll sometimes take no notice of it at all for weeks on end, and then he wants to have a play on it every day for a while.  We first introduced it as a distraction/treat to keep him on the potty when we were first potty training.  I usually give him a 20 minute time-limit - which he is more than happy with - but what does he play on there?  Here are the "apps" that we have on there for him and Bug, if you have any good app recommendations then do let me know:
  • Art of Glow - a simple programme where you can draw firework-esque pictures that glow in different shapes and colours.
  • Counting 123 - I'm not a great fan of this one.  You do things - such as tapping on the fish or dresses on the screen and it counts to ten and then gives you a cheer.  I suppose that the repetition of counting to ten helps children to remember the sequence, but that's about it.
  • Animals Zoo - This one is a bit like animals flashcards, only animated, and when you tap the animals they make a suitable noise, and when you tap the animal name, the computer reads it to you.  Both my children are now pretty confident with the names of all sorts of animals, and I think this app has helped.
  • Paint Sparkles - you can either draw freehand with paint, crayons, sparkly ribbons etc, or you can colour in one of the many provided pictures.  If you have the sound turned on then the american accent will also tell you the name of the colour.
That's about it on our i-pad for the kiddies - any others you'd recommend?

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