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A toy that grows with your baby

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It’s an activity toy, and it’s a walker.

VTech’s Sit-to-Stand Walker, part of the company’s Infant Learning product line that grows along with your baby, offers a variety of stimulating activities for babies as young as 1 year old.

Baby can play with learning games about animals, colors, music, shapes and numbers. The music mode has a keyboaScreen Shot 2015-01-25 at 5.13.16 PMrd, and buttons to press for animal sounds. A play phone lets baby hear animal sounds.

 

 

 

As baby grows into a toddler, the activity panel can be attached to the sturdy wheeled walker frame, which is motion-activated to play melodies as sound effects as baby walks. Its rubber wheels keep baby steady while baby’s learning to navigate walking, and the rear wheels lock for stability and standing while baby’s learning to stand.

The walker runs on 3 AAA batteries (included), and comes with a user’s manual.

The Sit-to-Stand Walker is currently priced at under $35 at Amazon and is available here.

 

 

 

 


Killer Apps for Kids: Part 2

We asked educator and BabyNames partner Kate Glinsmann for her favorite apps for children. This is Part 2 of her report:

The following apps are ones that I use with my English Language Learners who are in grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. I think all kids at this age would benefit from and enjoy these apps. I try to make sure they all are academic in nature, although some might not seem like it at first. The kids really love using the iPads and look forward to Fridays, which is when I bring them out.

Flow Free by Big Duck Games. FREE! I love this puzzle game where you have to connect the colors to each other. It starts out very basic, which is great for the younger kids, and the puzzles get progressively harder. There are different sized grids starting with a 5×5 block grid and up to a 9×9 block grid. A great app for everyone, whether a child or a senior. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flow-free/id526641427?mt=8

Letter School by Sanoma Media, $4.99. This app is the best one I’ve found so far for teaching young children how to make letters. I love how versatile it is, allowing you to set the alphabet for Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian or Handwriting Without Tears style. Kids can work on upper case, lower case or numerals 1-10. For each letter or numeral the child starts by tapping the button where each stroke originates, in order. The second part has the child trace the path of the strokes and the third part has the child produce the letter/numeral independently. If s/he has trouble then arrows or lines appear to help. I feel that this app is well worth the cost. http://www.letterschool.com

Kids Learning Photo Touch Concepts by Innovative Investments Limited, $.99. This is a great app for young children (2-4 years old) or English Language Learners. It emphasizes basic vocabulary and concepts like positions, colors, shapes, quantities, and other basic concepts. Adults are able to choose which concepts the child can work on so it is easily adapted to each child’s needs. There is even a setting for displaying hints. I like that this app uses photographs instead of drawings, and this makes it engaging to even the youngest child. Even though I set the age to start at 2 years old, a younger child could even benefit from this app with adult help. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-learning-photo-touch/id423247346?mt=8


Killer Apps for Kids: Part 1

We asked educator and BabyNames partner Kate Glinsmann for her favorite apps for children. This is Part 1 of her report:

The following apps are ones that I use with my English Language Learners who are in grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. I think all kids at this age would benefit from and enjoy these apps. I try to make sure they all are academic in nature, although some might not seem like it at first. The kids really love using the iPads and look forward to Fridays, which is when I bring them out.

Interactive Alphabet ABC’s by Piikea St. LLC: this is an engaging app that my pre-kindergarten and kindergarten kids love. Each letter is named, the sound it makes is spoken, and then there is a picture of something that begins with that letter. Each one is interactive so the child can manipulate the scene in some way (or ways). It is a fun way to learn the alphabet. http://www.piikeastreet.com/apps/interactive-alphabet/

My PlayHome Stores, My PlayHome Schools, My PlayHome by PlayHome Software LTD, $2.99 each. These are great apps that encourage expressive language in children. They manipulate family members around the home, stores and school to engage in various activities with objects. The English Language Learners that I work with all love these apps because there is so much for them to do. As a teacher I love them because I can ask so many open ended questions that stimulate conversation. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-playhome/id439628153?mt=8

The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover! By Sesame Street. $4.99. This is an interactive version of the book. The story is read by Grover, and almost every page has the reader doing something to make Grover turn the page. Warning-this story can be a bit loud at times. J https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monster-at-end-this-book…starring/id409467802?mt=8

 

Part 2 of Killer Apps for Kids will be posted on Friday, Jan. 23.

 


Little Apps for Little Hands

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Tired of your little one grabbing your phone or tablet? V Tech has an app for that–or rather, a bunch of apps. The Little Apps Tablet provides hours of fun and learning for 2- to 5-year olds (although Amazon reviewers report babies as young as 18 months being able to use it).

The electronic tablet comes with a color-changing screen, musical keyboard, and applications that teach counting, words, and letters. There are also four interactive apps included with the tablet: music play, a calendar activity, a pretend camera game, and a fun question and answer chat feature.

Two AA batteries (included) serve as the power source. The tablet measures 11.8 inches by 9.5 inches and is two inches thick. At only 1.2 pounds, it can be carried around by your child. (Many parents say their kids love using it on car trips.)

The Little Apps Tablet is available here.


Kids, watch this!

vtech watch

Dick Tracy would be envious: it’s not just a watch, it’s a camera!
With the Kidizoom Smartwatch, “young photographers can take photos and videos on the go,” VTech says.
The color touchscreen can be set with 50 clock-face designs.
There’s also a voice recorder, with “wacky voice-changing effects,” and four learning games.

VTech’s first portable camera “watch will create an entirely new play experience for kids 3 and older,” the company says.
It’s $60 here.

 


Baby goes for a drive

FP car

All right, it’s actually a stationary car — but it encourages your baby to sit up, crawl, pull up, stand & move all around for play inside & out, says Fisher-Price.

The Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car is a “vehicle for fun” the company says, “fully loaded with busy activities inside and out.”

Your baby can turn the key, honk the horn, turn the steering wheel or shift the gear to activate lights, learn phrases, and sing along to 75 songs and tunes. There are Learning, Music, and Imagination modes to introduce babies to letters, numbers, colors, first words, greetings & more.

It’s $67 here.

 

 


Vivaldi interactive – Four Seasons music app

vivaldi

An interactive storybook for the iPad can foster a love of classical music in children of all ages. “Hear the beautiful music and get involved!” says developer Infinite Fermata.

The Four Seasons: A Vivaldi Storybook features a kid-friendly arrangement of one of the most beloved pieces of classical music, coupled with “loads of fun interactivity” with which children can make geese sing, or squirrels fly. There’s also art depicting animals and the natural world in all four seasons, and a “gentle wit and rich but simple language to encourage readers of all levels,” the developers say.
It’s $5 here.


Rollin’ and Learnin’

vtech suitcase

“Pack your bag. It’s time for learning fun on the road.”

Your kid might not be old enough to travel the world, but with the Roll & Learn Activity Suitcase, “children learn language as they use their motor skills to explore with imaginative travel play,” says Vtech.

It features an easy-to-grab handle, and rolling wheels which “encourage on-the-go play.”

Pretend travel accessories promote role-play fun, and its greetings introduce children to English and Spanish. There are also 25 melodies and sing-along songs to “keep little ones engaged.”

It’s $37 here.


Teach your child how to play doctor

medical play set

No, not like that…!

The Electronic Medical Play Set from Castle Toy includes an electronic stethoscope with lights and sounds, a light up thermometer, light up magnifier, patient’s badge, doctor’s badge, and a carry case.

It’s $33 here.

 


Learning App is a tablet for toddlers

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Tablets are getting so affordable you might be tempted to buy a Samsung or HP for your toddler — but Vtech is offering one designed especially for young children, and its only $45 here.

“With hundreds of apps to download, your child will have so much fun, they won’t realize they are learning,” the company says.

The InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet has a full-sized 4.3-inch color touchscreen, and a “G-Sensor” for game play.

Also, “kids will love taking photos “with the built-in camera that rotates for better shooting angles. There are also 55 special effects, and it can record video as well.

 

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