The challenge we often face in our home is keeping our toddler interested in learning. Why? Her attention span is higher than most children her age, but she is a visual learner. Yet, at the same time… she is very tactile. Being able to reach out and touch something in front of her helps her learn and absorb. Technology has been extremely helpful in that area for her.
Make Learning Easy
Through the use of technology in our playtime, we can make learning easy for her. These apps and toys that can repeat sounds and pictures for her are instrumental in developing her speech. Whereas I may not have the time (or patience) to sit and repeat the exact same phonics sound over and over again, a simple app on the iPad can.
iLearn ‘N’ Play
Based on the iLearn ‘N’ Play Global Curriculum™, the iLearn ‘N’ Play turns an iPad into an iSchool. Using the Adventure Explorer with Monkey, she is able to easily learn about letters and phonics. Again, with her speech disorder, we can use all the help we can get. She struggles with Initial Consonant Deletion, so phonics are an incredibly important part of her therapy. Using the “Letter Explorer” app with the Adventure Explorer means we get learning time in at the same time as playtime.
The Adventure Explorer is a perfectly sized console made to look like a car dashboard. The working on/off ignition switch, steering wheel, and hand shifter let Monkey feel as though she is really behind the wheel like mommy and daddy. Plus, each of these features, along with the accelerator and forward/reverse controls integrate smoothly into the learning apps. You can use the iPad with the included stand or insert an iPhone or iTouch into removable, protective case for safe play.
Using Bluetooth, we paired the console with the app on the iPad. Then, as Monkey was playing, she began to repeat sounds of letters and recognize each of them as well. We tried to focus on letters we knew she particularly struggles with, such as “s” and “h“. She only focused on having fun driving the car with the steering wheel and trying to stay on the road. Therefore, she was really able to incorporate some occupational therapy into her play as well with the eye-hand coordination.
Although she is not yet ready for reading (we need her to talk first), the reading readiness is there and she enjoyed trying. The “Letter Explorer” app is giving her just the right jump start she needs to advance… as soon as we get over this first hurdle of speech. Everything in due time, right?
There are also 2 other great tech toys from iLearn ‘N’ Play to try. The Learning Tablet uses the “Letterbox” app to help children develop their writing skills. And, using “Numberbots“, children can learn about numbers and counting with iLearn ‘N’ Play’s learning companion, Robbi. Here is a breakdown of each toy with its proper iOS device and app:
- iPad App: Letterbox for the Learning Tablet toy
- iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch App: Letter Explorer for the Adventure Explorer toy
- Either iPhone/iPod Touch App: Numberbots for the Robbi toy
You can find the Adventure Explorer and other iLearn ‘N’ Play toys at Target stores and at www.target.com.
AppStart Learning joins 3+ Toys and Apps to make learning fun by making learning play! iLearn ‘N’ Play works with little learners to help them understand all sorts of early learning concepts! All iLearn ‘N’ Play Apps are built around our unique iLearn ‘N’ Play Global Curriculum that joins technology, play, and early learning needs to help children learn while having fun.