Techy Kid Time
It should not be a surprise that I am a huge fan of educational technology. When I had a classroom of my own, I encouraged my students to utilize computers. These days not only do we have computers, but we have iPads with a wide variety of apps for children of all ages.
In the past, I reviewed an app from Cavallo Media called Letter Buddies Alpha Books. JSL was really young and we used the app to help him with speech therapy. It was a wonderful tool and I was instantly a fan of their educational resources. As time went by, they started to spend more time creating apps for the iPad, along with book and other items to go along with the Letter Buddies. When they heard that we had an iPad, we were asked to check out their Letter Buddies Alphabet Discovery app.
Here is a great video that they have to give you the highlights of the app:
Letter Buddies Alphabet Discovery for the iPad is now available on iTunes for $2.99.
What we thought:
JSL helped me to explore the new app after we entered the review code. He immediately recognized the Letter Buddies from the past and wanted to take control of the iPad.
JSL is five years old and in kindergarten. Within a few short weeks, he was a bit beyond the target group for this app. Still, he had fun meeting the letters, listening to the songs, finding animations, and checking out what each letter would reveal. He immediately said he thought that his little cousin (almost three) would probably love this app and I bet he is right.
As a parent and teacher, I really appreciate the attention to educational details that Cavallo Media place in their work. Letter Buddies Alphabet Discoveries is a great way for young children to get to meet the letters of the alphabet in a non-threatening way. They become friends and are cute characters that welcome you into their world. Pushing on the iPad to launch a hidden animation and words create way to introduce new vocabulary and letter/sound recognition (hello phonemic awareness). The pages with each group of letters are not cluttered and are easy for little fingers to explore.
I would recommend this to others looking for an interactive early literacy application for the preschool set just starting to explore their alphabet and corresponding sounds.
Disclosure: Cavallo Media supplied me with a complimentary code for my honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are 100% mine.
Disclosure: As a long time LeapFrog supporter, I applied and was selected by Mom Select and LeapFrog to host a “Learn, Create, & Share” party. They provided me with all of the items shown above. The opinions are all mine and no other compensation was received. More coming soon about the party soon! More about the goodies when we opened them here.
Imagine a box arrives at your house for an amazing event and you have to hide it from your children. Yes, that was me for the past week or so. The other day, I walked outside and a package had arrived. I managed to divert their attention away and brought the boys to school. When I got home, I opened up the box.
Yes, these were the items sent to me for hosting the “Learn, Create & Share” Party from LeapFrog. As an educator, I love toys that actively engage kids in learning – especially literacy skills. On Sunday, we finally opened up all of the items to check them out. We wanted to make sure they were ready for the party that I am planning. Here is JSL to introduce you to the first item. Warning: 4 year old boys know how to scream when excited!
The poor kid had so much excited energy, he could hardly wait while TechyDad worked on opening the package and getting everything ready.
To keep JSL busy while TechyDad worked on getting everything ready, we made another video. Here is JSL showing the other items that arrived thanks to LeapFrog.
It took a little while, but eventually the LeapPad was open and all three of the boys crowded onto the couch to check it out (I will play once they are in bed). They kept looking, checking, exploring, and trying the apps that were on the LeapPad.
Do you have a LeapPad? If you do, I would love to know what you think or any specific items that I should make sure to try with my boys. So far they have found a lot, but there is just so much more. I have a feeling this will be a hot toy this coming holiday season, so if you have any questions – just let me know in the comments.
More coming soon on the items, including video reactions of trying everything out. Now, the planning may commence for our “Learn, Create, & Share” Party.
Disclosure: As a long time LeapFrog supporter, I applied and was selected by Mom Select and LeapFrog to host a “Learn, Create, & Share” party. They provided me with all of the items shown above. The opinions are all mine and no other compensation was received. More coming soon about the party soon!
It is no secret that my boys love technology. They are not afraid to jump on a computer and they LOVE my iPod. Since I inherited the iPod from my parents, I have been trying to figure out some good educational applications for JSL. At almost four, JSL wants to do things like his big brother, but he needs learning tools that are developmentally appropriate.
Yes, we have games for the kids. My favorite items are still the ones that focus on some area of learning in a fun way where the boys do not realize it is happening. I guess the teacher in me will always be present. As part of the Family Review Network, I was recently I was asked to review Letter Buddies AlphaBooks by Cavallo Media. Here is the video that I previewed that made me know it was something I wanted to try with my preschooler:
Available in the iTunes Store for $2.99. Released March 18, 2011 in the Education category. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and also an iPad version.
What We Thought of Letter Buddies AlphaBooks:
As a certified reading teacher, I was very intrigued with an application for younger children that begins to introduce early reading skills. When I put Letter Buddies AlphaBooks onto the iPod, JSL and I sat down on the couch to check it out together. We decided to try out the letter F first. JSL receives speech therapy, and this is the sound that he is working on. Within seconds the iPod was pulled out of my hand and I sat and watched my three year old son participate in an interactive letter lesson.
We were introduced to Furry F and asked if we knew any words that start with the letter F. JSL sat there and said a few of them without me prompting him. Yes, at three he was responding to the cues of the application. Then I watched as the flashcard like photos and words came onto the screen.
- A fan was shown. JSL would say it, move to the next screen where Furry F was with the Fan having his fur blown. The screen said “I like the fan.” JSL repeated this carefully looking at the words and getting his proper sounds out.
- This repeated for five more words introduced by Furry F including: flower, feather, fire, fork, and fish.
While waiting for his speech lesson, JSL continued to explore other letters. Just looking at the menu he was starting to recognize his letters. The start sounds and word/letter recognition was amazing. JSL was actively engaged and would have kept going, but it was time for his speech lesson.
Of course, JSL HAD to show his teacher what he was trying. She was intrigued by the application and watched as JSL repeated the Furry F section. We both admired how this could be another great tool to use with JSL to reinforce start sounds with words. Of course, the reading teacher in me also knew he was really homing in on pre-reading skills as well. It was a win-win application.
JSL continues to ask to use Letter Buddies AlphaBooks to this day. He adores “chatting” with the characters and picking different books. I would recommend this to others looking for an interactive early literacy application for the preschool set.
Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network, and Cavallo Media who supplied me with a complimentary code for my honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are 100% mine.