Home Technology iPads – a Smart Grab for Kids or inviting Addiction ?

iPads – a Smart Grab for Kids or inviting Addiction ?

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iPads – a Smart Grab for Kids or inviting Addiction ?

Smart Phones have peeked into homes with busy moms downloading the applications for kids and making the best maximum use of gadgets for their Child’s educational and development needs.

Montessori words, Rorys Cubes, My First Words, Baby Touch Peekaboo, Moo, Baa, La La La and so many other iPad apps for babies are flooding the market. Developers say the apps are educational, and are helping children learn new things. Children explore various possibilities and these apps can also benefit kids with delayed development. 

Apple’s iTunes now stocks more than 700 apps for children, including ones that promise to “develop hand-eye coordination and focusing skills in young babies” or teach “fine motor skills” to infants “from 0 to 2.5 years old.”

As reported in Kidsfreesouls earlier, the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised parents to eliminate screen time for children under 2, citing concerns about language delays and disrupted sleep. The academy’s new recent report drew on studies showing that TV, whether it’s the parent or the child watching, interferes with “talk time” between parent and child, which is crucial to language development. Does the TV effect apply to iPads too? That’s not clear. “We just don’t have the data yet,” says Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and member of the AAP.

Some applications are just newer versions of the game that we used to play when we were kids. However, babies do need to learn how the real world is and actually build the blocks and play the lego games rather than stay digitally hooked. However, the application of the theory of multiple intelligences in education presupposes for all a redefinition of the concept of intelligence, since before it was considered as something innate and static, therefore education could not change this situation, but with the knowledge that we have about the intelligences we currently know that we can enhance the learning of the children from these modern time gadgets.

For the younger kids, a recent study funded by the Department of Education showed that the PBS Kids iPhone app “Martha Speaks” boosted 3-to-7-year-olds vocabularies by as much as 31% over the course of two weeks.

As per a news report, Rose Luckin, a professor of learner-centered design at the University of London, has found that tablet-type devices can actually spark the sort of

social interaction central to the learning process. She found that 5- and 6-year-olds who recorded school activities on tablets and replayed them for their parents tended to learn better. “One of the key benefits of technologies such as the iPad is that they can become a focus for conversations between parents and children,” she says. “If the device is right in the middle of the family, in the kitchen, in the lap, then as a parent, you’re much more able to have those kinds of shared experiences.”

In other words, tablets might not be all bad if they generate “talk time,” rather than replace it. As with anything else, says Luckin, moderation and common sense are key. “If a child just sits all day playing on the iPad on her own, then I’m not sure she’s getting the benefits,” she says. “My argument about the value of these devices is that they can add to parental time, not take away from it.”

A recent news calls for a thought. 640,000 LA School Kids To Receive Free iPads by The End Of 2014. Each iPad will be loaded with digital textbooks and educational apps that will help students plan and synchronize their schedules, share reference videos and news, use interactive lessons, and conduct reading tests. In turn, the LAUSD will save money on traditional paper textbooks. The program comes after a $31 million deal with Apple.

How the iPad can promote the Development of Non Cognitive skills? An interesting article by Timothy Hall appears in Teachthought.com. The content sponsored by Teaching & Learning with the iPad Conference November 15-16, 2013 in Raleigh, NC, a 2-day conference dedicated exclusively to better learning with the iPad, coordinated and presented by teachers, for teachers. Timothy says, “There are many reasons educators should consider iPads for their students–the development of self-regulated learning, academic self-efficacy, and resilience among them.” http://teachthought.com/technology/how-the-ipad-can-promote-development-non-cognitive-skills/

iPad Designers are providing an opportunity for head start on learning during the toddler age with the easy touch screen and visual learning.

Choose an app which suits best for your kid. Make sure that the app offers a good combination of values – entertainment and education. Also be sure that the app is developmentally appropriate for your child. After all, not all 3-year-olds are the same.

Some apps might appear to be free but actually link to costly additional downloads that are required to play the app.

iPad addiction is on the rise among children – with some spending over four hours a day on their gadgets. iPads, iPods and smartphones have become the new dummies for babies and toddlers. A survey last week revealed that more than half of parents allowed their babies to play with their phone or tablet device.One in seven of more than 1,000 parents questioned by babies.co.uk website admitted that they let them use the gadgets for four or more hours a day.

It is important to note that some kids have shown ‘compulsive behavior’ and some have become increasingly hyper, distressed and inconsolable due to the iPad / gadget addict.  Kids who see their parents hooked to mobiles often want to play around with gadgets and allowing them too much liberty to use them even for entertainment or educational purpose, leads the child to be addict with the wonder – color visual and touch. Need of the hour is to set limits and brand one iPad sharing for the family. Clean hands and no running around with iPads or make it a continuous pass time. Gadgets turn dangerous when anything is in excess. 

Electronic tablets like the iPad are a revolutionary educational tool and are becoming part of childhood, but should be watched carefully so that overuse doesn’t lead to learning or behavioral problems, experts say.

iPads, a Smart Buy or inviting Addition. You are the master of your fate, it is said. Hence, you decide on its use and allow kids to use. Investments are wiser when the use is smarter.

iPads – a Smart Grab for Kids or inviting Addiction ?

Some apps for Toddler’s Fun n Learn on iPad:

Talking Gina – The Giraffe

Toddlers can use the Talking Gina the Giraffe app to talk to and feed their pet giraffe, Gina. Gina will repeat the words and noises she hears. Toddlers enjoy speaking to Gina and hearing her repeat their words or sounds. The more frequently they interact with Gina, the more cheery she’ll be. For example, when Gina is 70 percent happy, she gives you a balloon and repeats words in a funny voice; when she is 90 percent happy, she gives you kisses.

You can feed Gina a variety of snacks and drinks such as carrots, strawberries, ice cream, water and lemonade. Although the app and some snacks are free, you’ll need to pay to download others. You can also play a patty-cake hand clapping game with Gina, an activity that helps improve toddlers’ hand-eye coordination. This part of the app features 32 levels at three speeds per level.

Baby Touch

This App is sure to keep your baby entertained for hours as they touch different color figures and listen to exciting sounds.

Four modes available

“Single”, Multi, Peekaboo and Boo. In Single, single figure appears, one after another.

Sliding your finger while touching the figure will move it around in various ways.

In Multi, A figure will appear wherever you touch the screen. Sliding your finger while touching the screen will draw a line. In “Peekaboo”, it becomes a state of “peeka” when you touch the screen, and then the movement of the “Boo!” When you release your finger.

Moo, Baa, La La La!

This is an interactive digital book app. Costing Rs.182.49, this app offers all the appeal of a traditional pop- up book but with even more interactive opportunities for toddlers. Toddlers listen as the story is read aloud while words are highlighted on the screen, a feature that helps them learn how to recognize letters and words. By touching the screen, toddlers can select an animal and hear the noise it makes. This feature will help them learn to identify animals and animal noises.

This app is particularly fun for toddlers because they can play an active role in the story. For example, they can help a confused chicken raise the curtain for a performance of some dancing pigs, and they can change the time of day by touching the moon or sun.

Rorys Cubes

This app keeps you occupied. 9 cubes, 54 images, Over 10 million combinations, Unlimited stories! Shake to roll the cubes. Can you create a story using all 9 face-up images? Keep all your Rory’s Story Cubes in the one place. The ultimate, mobile storytelling game loved by children, parents on the go, creative writers, progressive teachers and games masters. “5/5 – Amazing and like all genius – simple with realistic physics. The app now is available with both the original and Action sets. The app costs Rs. 121.82 and worth a buy for Educational Institutes and parents alike.


An interactive sticker book app, which allows toddlers to interact with characters as they learn about objects such as airplanes, fish and animals. Every sticker character can be rotated, scaled and dragged into an imaginary scene. Themes include space, dolls, dinosaurs, ocean, aviation and safaris. Toddlers will have so much fun using their imaginations to build fun and interactive scenes.

To use the app, tap and hold a sticker, and then drag it into the scene. To remove a sticker, double tap it and tap the arrow icon. Shake the iPad to remove all of the stickers. The designers of this app frequently update sticker book scenes, and you can download new scenes at no additional cost. Some stickers are free and some app costs.

Shape Builder

This app allows toddlers to move shapes that snap into puzzles. Each puzzle has five to 10 pieces, and after the puzzle is completed, the image is revealed and a voice announces the name of the image. This app teaches toddlers fine motor skills and cognitive thinking while showing them commonly used objects such as musical instruments, food, animals and letters of the alphabet. It costs Rs.54.37 but a free lite version is also available for download.

The app includes 146 puzzles that teach toddlers the names of 30 instruments, 17 fruits and vegetables, 37 animals, 26 letters, 20 numbers and 16 other items such as policemen and firefighters.

Pat the Bunny 

Ahigh-tech spin on the classic children’s touch and feel interactive book first published in 1940. Costing Rs.163.09 at Google Play store, this app features 14 interactive scenes that toddlers explore by tapping and swiping the screen. Toddlers play hide and seek with Bunny, pop bubbles in the bathtub, catch butterflies in a garden, play music in the kitchen and even see their own reflection in a mirror.

As the story is read, words are highlighted on the screen so that toddlers can begin to identify letters and words. One of the coolest features of this app is that it allows you to record your own voice so that toddlers can hear their parent’s voice as they are reading the story.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC

Perfect for younger children learning their alphabets, says CNet. teaches toddlers who are just starting to learn their ABCs through the humorous words and pictures. Costing Rs.263.38 on Google Play Store,  this app focuses on Dr. Seuss’s original artwork while allowing toddlers to practice word association. As a voice reads the story, words are highlighted. When you touch a word on the screen, it zooms up, and the word is pronounced.

The app includes “Read to Me,” “Read It Myself” and “Autoplay” features. The Autoplay feature reads the story aloud while toddlers follow along, allowing them to develop letter and word recognition skills. This app is great for long car rides with a toddler. In fact, it won a 2011 Parents’ Choice silver award.

PBS Kids Video iPad app

Toddlers can watch their favorite PBS television shows with the tap of a screen. Through this free app, PBS posts more than 1,000 television shows and cartoons. Toddlers can browse through programs such as “The Cat in the Hat,” “Curious George,” “Elmo” and “Arthur” anywhere where they have a strong WiFi or 3G signal. Each week, a “Weekly Pick” is introduced that is designed to teach children reading, math and science. Resources for parents give more information about the shows’ intended age group and learning goals, and allow them to add videos to their child’s list of favorites.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

This is a fun app for toddlers where they help a monkey pack a lunch box. The app is of coz with cost, Rs.109.29 at G Play Store, it features lots of sounds, colors and varieties of fruits to pack and seven games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes and matching. As you play with the app, a voice announces names of colors, letters and fruit, helping to acquaint toddlers with commonly used words. When you’re having trouble with a task, the cute monkey comes to your aid and gives you sticker rewards when you win.

Dr. Seuss Band

Made by Oceanhouse Media is a fun app for all ages. The app turns your iDevice into a musical instrument and allows users to play 10 of their favorite Dr. Seuss songs.

For children, Dr. Seuss Band allows them to play Dr. Seuss songs, or create their own in a single octave. They can mix and match different instrument components to their liking.

The app’s gameplay is very similar to Rock Band. Notes come down the screen in different lengths, and players must tap the corresponding button for the required length of time. The easy levels are very simple and designed for young children, medium levels are designed for slightly older ages (7-12) and hard levels are challenging even for teens and adults.

After playing each song, the app gives you a score. High enough scores will unlock more songs and levels for existing ones. Dr. Seuss Band also has GameCenter support, so you can compare with the leaderboards

For more on this, stay tuned to Kidsfreesouls

* All contents on www.kidsfreesouls.com are written by Ilaxi Patel, Editor – Ilaxi has been writing her Tech column previously on her blog :http://kidsfstech.blogspot.in/ and all her new posts can be read here now.

Image attribution flickr : flickeringbrad

Image: Dr. Seuss Band on iPad

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