Pro-tech? Do you really have a choice now as a parent?
Technology is a part of our lives now. There is no hiding from it. Our children are going to be much more versed in using technology beyond our wildest dreams than we ever will be.
Like or loathe it is now a permanent part our lives and our children’s lives.
I am certainly not advocating that our children spend hours and hours on the iPAD or replace traditional books with online books. But as the teaching profession makes steps to use new technologies to benefit to our children’s learning so can we as parents.
Sometimes I do think about how this will affect my daughters relationships (will she be primarily connecting with people online/mobile? What about cyber bullying!) but most of all I am also determined to ensure that I keep up with technology to ensure she gets the benefits new technologies provide.
One thing you may want to consider is the option “try before you buy”. There are a couple of options.
Check out smartappsforkids.com shared free apps to try and even have a Free App Friday (This is a US site so firstly work out the time lag for the US Friday!).
There is also another one called “App of the Day” that has one app per day to try. This is not specific to kids but a good one to sign up to in the app store and see if there is anything of interest to try each day.
When I started to write this post wanted to share the best free apps as what parent doesn’t want an awesome free app. There are seriously so many free apps out there but most are so limited in what they give you before they try and upgrade you to give you a sliver of content it is really not worth the time to download them .
So here is a list of ones for children up to 1 year that do provide more than the usual free app (although some do still ask you to upgrade)
1. Fisher Price – iPAD and iPhone – Free
Storybooks from the UK 1,2 & 3
Laugh and Learn – lets count animals , where is Puppy’s nose, animal sounds for babies
Fisher Price has toys that uses your iPhone as a storybook. As a result that provide some lovely story apps and all you need to do it either help / get your child to swipe the page to continue the story. For the Fishes Price toys they encase you iPhone to avoid any mishaps but I find you can put these on your ipad and use them without the toy just as well. Fantastic for travelling or keeping the little one entertained with old favourites like incy wincy spider and row row row your boat.
2. Video 365 – iPAD and iPhone – Free
An app to take a video everyday of your baby. You can add titles and music and have a great keepsake for when you baby grows up. It takes time to do this everything but if you can do this everyday it would be amazing to see how much your child has grown up even in that first year.
3. Relax Melodies – iPAD FREE
A simple app that can soothe your child to sleep with different tunes you can play to them. In addition you can overlay sounds and be a bit of a “Parental DJ” to come up with something very unique . It tough trying to get babies to sleep so worth a try.
4. 100 Words for Babies and Toddlers – iPAD FREE
100 Vehicles/100 People Words/100 Animal wods for babies and toddlers
A suite of flash card style learning for your babies. There are a lot of flash card apps in the app store but you either need to pay for them or can access little content on the free version before having to upgrade. You can access a decent amount of content in these apps before they start to upgrade you. These apps are ideal from 6 months to 4 years and has a handy parents lock. Simple (but can get a little boring for the parent!) it will expand your child’s vocabulary and a good learning too.
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I am totally open for your feedback/comments on apps as this is not a definitive list and there are new apps hitting iTunes everyday. The more impressive apps we can share with each other the better! Leave a comment with your thoughts/recommendations