Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Apps with Appeal

Sometimes you just need five minutes.  Five minutes to take a warm shower.  Five minutes to reheat leftover Chinese food.  Five minutes to paint you nails, make a phone call, or send an email. 

Every parent needs some time away from soggy cheerios, fighting siblings and couch cushion forts.  For years, a reliable ‘babysitter’ has been the television.  Mom’s got to wash her hair?  An episode of Dora leaves time for conditioner.  Stuck on hold with your credit card company?  Good thing Sesame Street is a whole hour.  

While there is nothing wrong with using TV for a babysitter for half an hour to get housework done, it can fast become something we rely.  When the average kid spends four hours a day in front of the tube (Parents Television Council), they aren’t exercising their creativity, cognitive skills or learning much of anything. 

Parents are flocking to buy iPhones, iPads and other app-filled gadgets, meaning that kids are becoming tech savvy and an even younger age.  Unlike a tv, a child can be distracted by this portable device in the grocery store, on car rides or in the doctors office. 

There are tons of educational and creative apps for kids, with more popping up each day.  Instead of simply staring at a screen and ‘turning off’, kids use these interactive apps to learn spelling, math or even keep a chore schedule. 

As long as one follows the old adage of all things in moderation, children’s apps can be an educational and fun short-term distraction for children.  Look up reviews from other parents and search out apps that will best suit your child’s age and interest.  Look for engaging apps that are fun, well made and easy to use. 

Go take your shower in peace, order your coffee in silence and focus on the road instead of searching for a juice box.  Although it can’t replace good parenting, apps can be a great little help once in a while!


 
Have your tried the Sticky Mosaics Butterfly app?  Children follow a numbered legend to create a brightly colored butterfly mosaic.  Stimulate their minds and creativity with this educational app from The Orb Factory.  

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