In the past few weeks I’ve covered many low-cost options for learn and play. But, there is a way to utilize the things we use on a daily basis for learn and play. And, no I’m not talking about the pots and pans and wooden spoons your bug just pulled out to play the drums and serenade you with their song.
Seriously though. You’re reading this right now, on the computer or your phone. And most phones used today are smart phones which are basically a tiny computer and phone rolled into one.
Often I’ve seen many parents hand a baby a phone so they can play candy crush or watch a music video, or anything really, to occupy them. Sometimes it intrigues them, other times they are more interested in turning your phone into their new teething toy.
I use my phone on a daily basis. I use my computer at least that much as well. Our children watch us do this, and they want to do what mommy and daddy are doing. So, naturally, this is one of the most common things they want to go for. As a matter of fact, I’ve locked my phone and computer just to keep my buggies from being able to get into it and change things around. I’ve actually had to re-download things because my two-year old likes to rearrange and delete things on my phone. (She also likes to hide it in mysterious places so mommy can’t take it away from her.)
Children are sponges, and they learn by watching us. They take on our mannerisms and will do and say things that we do. So, by allowing them the privilege to use our computers and phones is only teaching them earlier what they will need to know in the future.
But what should I allow my buggies to do on the computer?
You can download a lot of apps for free. Think about how many people play candy crush? They advertise it everywhere, and it is free to download and play. Yes, you could make in-game purchases, but that’s a game for you. So why wouldn’t we look for games that our children can play and learn?
I personally use google play. And, since my husband only knows how to use what I show him to use, I am the one that downloads the games for the kids. We use his tablet because it is larger than the phones, and has more storage. Currently, these are the games my buggies play:
- 1st Grade Activities
- First Grade Learning Games
- Kids Complete Learning
- School Learning
- Games for Kids Learning
- Kindergarten Activities
- Kids Learning Kindergarten
- Kids Math
- Numero U Know
- Kids Sight Words
- Days of the Week
- My body Parts
- Human Body Pats
- Panda Preschool
- Preschool and Kindergarten Activities
- Toddler and Preschool
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Kids Learning Fruits
- Fruits and vegetables
- Veggie Point
- Colors for Kids
- Learning Colors
- A for apple
- Learning Kids ABCs
- Pre-K Learning Game ABC
- Trip To Jungle
- Animals And Birds
- Animal Zone
You may notice I have multiple games for one category type of learning. I do that so that I can watch which one or ones my buggies work with best. Sometimes I go back and uninstall some that do not work for us. Other times, I switch them back and forth so that I can take advantage of each aspect of the free game.
The buggies think they are getting a treat, and in all actuality, they’re learning. When you know that your buggy might be behind in an area, handing them a tablet where they have to practice those things, but in a game form, makes the experience much easier for them to take in.
Also, I have noticed, if I hand my buggies the computer, they are actually quiet and concentrating. However, busy work for the busy buggies is just not their thing.
So, go give it a try. Do a search in google play or where ever you get your apps from, and look up learning games. Then when they ask you if they can play on the computer or play a video game, hand them a learning game, so that they are having fun and learning.
One quick note on this. Personally I limit the time they have on these devices so that they are not so involved with these that they do not get time to go run and play with their friends. Also, limited time on the tablet makes it that much more fun. Just like rotating toys is almost like new toys every time.
Supervision is also very important. It takes seconds for your buggy to hit the wrong button (or right button, depending on how you look at it,) and then get into something else. And with free access to YouTube, google with the speech access, you don’t know what your buggy will get into or accidentally download to your device. So keep close eye on them while you let them have their tablet time.
Also, sitting with them and getting them moving in the right direction by playing the game with them gives them confidence to take over and do more learning on their own. My little Belly Bug was having problems with learning her colors. So, with implementing the computer games as well as other learn and play games, she is retaining the knowledge she needs. Sometimes we all need to look at things differently to learn a new thing. We all have different ways of learning things. We just need to find what works for our buggies.
Get out there on your favorite app store and download some free learning games for your buggies. And the next time you hand your bug your phone to help calm them, make it a learning game, instead of candy crush or a movie.
Leave a comment below, and let me know some of your favorite apps for learning.