Learning for kids can come in many forms, and sometimes as parents we forget the variety of ways we can teach them. With emerging technology comes an additional way to teach our kids and recently, I found myself having one of those moments where I realized I had not been evolving as an educator because I wasn’t thinking about how I could incorporate technology into the lives of my toddlers!
Sure, I knew that there were applications out there designed for them, but the girls seemed too impulsive for me to let them touch my precious Apple products and it didn’t seem possible that they would finally sit down and really get the concept of working with the iPad and applications for learning purposes.
But, then their therapists brought them into their weekly treatments and they have really taken to this as a part of their regularÃ‚Â therapeuticÃ‚Â play. One of the applications they use regularly is Peek-a-Boo Pets.
Peek-a-Boo Pets is a simple application that you can purchase on iTunes for $1.99 if you want the full version. It takes the concept of the pop-up toy. It has your child use sweeping and tapping motions to get various animals and pets to pop up out of Ã‚Â boxes, which assists in developing their fine motor skills.
When the pet/animal pops out, it makes it’s corresponding noise which helps kids learn the different sounds that animals make and in turn begins to help them develop their early language skills and ability to identify different animals.
On the outside of each box is a picture that you can use as a prompt for questioning for older kids who are starting to expand on their language skills by combining 2-3 words. For example, you might see bananas and ask, “What eats bananas?” If they don’t have an answer, you should model answering for them and eventually they’ll begin to provide those answers to you.
Our twins use this application regularly as a part of their Occupational and Speech therapies and it has been a fun and interactive way to develop their fine motor skills as well as expand on their speech and language skills and goals.Ã‚Â Over time, they have gone from simple identification and copying to actual answering of questions – it’s been wonderful to watch them evolve.
Peek-a-Boo Pets is simple, easy to use, and a great first application to expose your young children to if you’ve never had them work on your iPad or iPod.
Which apps have you used to develop language and fine motor skills with your kids?Ã‚Â
Image: Peek-a-Boo Pets