Okay, so I've rounded up supertools for our kiddos - the domino, the bucket, the jump rope. But sometimes, Mama needs a supertool. Like when she needs to call the doctor about that prescription, fix dinner, and clean that weird-looking red goop of mysterious origin off of the entry way floor. Sure, Mama can flick on the TV and flip to Team Umizoomi or Wild Kratts...but, sometimes, sometimes, Mama needs a different supertool.
Enter the app. It may be educational or entertaining, but there are some that are both. Now, the whole gadget-should-kids-use-them convo is a little loaded, but I ran across this book the other day -- Toddlers on Technology. It's written by three women: an educator, a neuropsychologist and a former Wall Street-maven-turned-stay-at-home-mom, and they introduce cool hints on how to keep a balanced approach with technology, how to fit it in as a part of our kiddos' worlds in a healthy way. They break down tips on finding out what kind of learner your child is, so you can then pick the right apps for him. It's kinda-sorta really fascinating and a must-read for every mama. Bonus hint: bookmark their web site, as they'll have more info and new app reviews as they groove along.
In the meantime, I've discovered a few apps on my iPad supertool that Kiddo loves and that makes this Mama happy when I'm up to my eyebrows in Life and the pasta is boiling over:
Toca Band -- The makers of Toca Band make a few apps Kiddo adores, but this one taps into her obsession with music. There are 16 cute characters your child can place on the virtual stage, each with a different sound. Kids play composer and mix 'em up, creating a variety of tunes via solo acts, duets, or mega-rockin' ensembles.
Junior Astronaut -- With amazingly cool graphics, your Neil Armstrong-wannabe can learn about space, space travel, and every out-of-this-world thing that goes with that. Think forces, gravity, aerodynamics and a whole universe-full more. Heavy on story, but totally interactive, kids learn as they explore each facet of the app. Heckadoo, they can even build their own rocket!
Math Motion: Wings -- A huge favorite in our house, this app teaches math in a visual way. Fly your bird along to look for its lost feathers via tilting the iPad. As your child flies the bird, she must pass through the group of shapes that is the greater number. Throughout the fun, kids pick up a conceptual way to learn number strategy for multiplication. Trust me, your kid won't even know she's doing math.
What are your kids' favorite apps? How often do you let your kiddo play on your phone or iPad?