I-Pad….A Toy & A Tool

Parent Questions:

  • When to get an I-Pad?
  • How young is to young?
  •  What are the first programs to get your child?

I suggest you start when you child is no longer mouthing and tossing toys at random. When the child has basic cause and effect.  That means, I push a button and something happens.  Yes, you can use the I-Pad as a way to teach cause and effect but the stage before that is mouthing and tossing.  There are so many cheaper and better ways to teach cause and effect. Little kids need hands on toys to reach all the brain parts.

I-pads are a great tool and apps are on the market for all kids.  If you look wisely and select carefully, you do not need to spend a ton on money on apps. Most apps below are free or cost around $0.99

So you are ready to start your child with technology.  I suggest you start with simple drawing type apps.  I like these better than random touch and make a noise as they have more educational value.  The child is touching but also creating.  I like to start with a clear page and see what the child does.  I like Singing Fingers and Musical Fireworks 2.  Peekaboo HD is my next choice.  Love the animals.

The next step, add a little more choice for the child.  I suggest Furry Friends, or an art program that gives you more choices like Drawing Box or IPaint.  I also like to start creation apps like Easy Bake, Cupcake Maker or Milkshake Maker.  Toca Tea Party is another one of my favorites.  I use this when I want to start adding more structured group interactions to the mix.

When the child is demonstrating skills with the above, I start adding a little more educational. my favorite educational pre-k apps.  Eduplay, Injini and Abby-basic skills.  I like apps in which the child has to sort by same and different as well.  What Does Not Belong (WDNB) and cleanup are my top selections.  Little Patterns Animals is also a good choice.

To teach matching I like Find the Same (Free).  I prefer memory matching games the old fashion way as I think most memory matching on the I-Pad creates impulsive hitting.  I also like oddbomb jnr lite.  My favorite hidden picture apps are Doodle Find by KLICKTOCK and the Highlights Hidden Pictures apps.

To work on letter formations, I select iwrite words and my first tangrams HD by Alexandre Minward.  A child needs to be to look at something and reproduce it not just make letters.  Apps that have the child put things together to create an items result in better letter formations.  I also like Play-Doh.

I do like the reading apps and I usually go with the topic that most interests the child.  My favorite, favorite story book apps are the staring you storybots.  Love the way you can put the child’s face in the book.

To work on visual skills and visual attention I use Mole it Deluxe, Ant Smasher Free Games by Carlo Pinho and Find the Ball by Rivendel Studio.  My favorite Maze app is imazing by Fiendsoft.  I also like Labyrinth and Disney Super Speedway.  I have the kids use both hands with the pad off the table to work on two hand skills with Labyrinth and Disney Super Speedway.

I also highly recommend Pic Jointer. I use this picture app to take photos and make real matching games with real items getting as complicated as I want. I also use it to make pictures of some of my older card sets as a way to use the cards for educational lessons when using the cards is more difficult. Ie I can take the I-pad outside on a windy day and use the card in Pic Jointer vs having my material blow away.

My last thought is go into the apple store  and ask about  parent controls.  No child needs to be up at midnight playing on the I-pad that was secretly placed under the bed.  The i-pad, like most electronics tends to over develop the impulse system not relax for better sleep.  You can also set how much time the child gets on-line so that you can track how much gaming goes on.  My parents kicked my sisters and I out the door and did not alow us back in the home at certain times of the day.  My sister, who is several years older, used to take all the electronic cords in her car when she left the kids at home.  No cords, no TV, No computer.  In my home, electronics were placed in one container which fit nicely on my back seat. We had only local channels on TV so it had few options for them to desire.  Now you can set up the accounts to only allow access at certain times of the day.  As a teacher, I beg you guys.  24/7 electronics is not good.  Look at the slumped and forward rounded shoulders of todays youth.  Look at those rounded hands with no creases.  Hand skills develop with movement ie crawling and toy play.

The best place to find the newest and latest apps and catch up to the kids:

  1.  https://pinterest.com/peninaslp/
  2. http://pinterest.com/lasenders/
  3. http://www.techradar.com/us/news/mobile-computing/tablets/50-really-useful-ipad-tips-and-tricks-688556
  4. http://ipadinsight.com/category/ipad-tips-tricks/
  5. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/14529/the-complete-list-of-ipad-tips-tricks-and-tutorials/
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