So before I start I want to clearly set my stall out; “Technology and children” seems to be a constantly debated topic, everyone’s an expert and everyone thinks their way is the right way. When I was young, if you sat to close to the TV you got square eyes, now every child that picks up an IPad is socially incapable. I don’t really want to contribute to the debate, I’ll leave that Mumsnet. All I will say is; I love technology and all benefits it brings, yes I appreciate the risks but I will not be hiding Effy away from tech, I want her to embrace it as a learning and entertainment and social tool……Not solely relay on it but embrace it…..There that’s that done. (by the way, I haven’t got square eyes and I sat pretty close the TV as a child)
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people from Kidloland, and was asked if id be interested in checking out their app and giving my honest review. Initially I was hesitate, Effy was only 1 in September, she’s still pretty young and has never really used Apps before. She likes to look at photos of herself on our phones and Ipad but that’s about it. Again we haven’t discouraged her using tech, she’s just never really seemed interested. She prefers to read books or put sieve’s on her head.
Anyway I checked out the website, read all the positive reviews and looked at what was included in the app that we would actually use. Effy’s talking is really starting to develop so when I spotted the phonics section, I thought that would be a really useful tool for us. On that basis I accepted the kind offer of a 1 years subscription (usual price £29.95, there is a free version of the app but it is obviously limited).
First thing I’ll say about the app, is that it looks lovely, the colours are brilliantly bright and bold but not to offensive on the eyes. The content is broken down into sections: Nursery rhymes, Stories, Phonics, Songs, Games, Learn to trace, Surprises, Chopping monsters, Popping time, Colouring time, Activities, Early learning, Create and play, Animal Kingdom, Vehicles, Fruits and vegetables, Numbers, Bedtime, Colours and shapes and Christmas.
It’s simply a case of scrolling through and choosing what section you want. Honestly the amount of content within these sections is ridiculous. We’ve only had the app for about a week and it would be impossible to have had a chance to check everything out. We originally felt the phonics section would be the most beneifical for us and to be completely honest that’s what we have mainly stuck to. I suspect over the next few months we will be able to delve a little deeper and let Effy explore the other sections, but at the minute…Phonics has been a winner.
Again its broken down into subsections and categorised in alphabetical order. Within each letter, there is several songs, that actively encourage the correct pronunciation. there is then a little game at the end, which again actively encourages the correct pronunciation. Its lovely to sit with Effy and hear her follow along saying A, A, A,….Apple and then attempt to play the game at the end. I’ll be honest, she’s not exactly subtle with her touch (takes after her mam), so she sill needs reminded that the screen doesn’t need punched repeatedly.
I suspect each letter follows the same pattern, we haven’t worked our way to the end of the alphabet yet. We might need to skip to W, because her auntie is called Wendy and she’s highly offended that she’s the only family member who’s name Effy cant say yet. We’ve suggested she changes her name to Apple but she’s not keen.
Its a shame we haven’t been able to use the app fully yet because the phonics sections really is brilliant and it’s exactly what we were hoping for. For those that disagree with technology for kids, you should sit and listen to Effy learning, interacting and developing because of an App. She will still use books and we will still engage and teach in exactly the same way as we do……All we have now is an additional tool.
One slight downside we found is that first time round all the content needs to be downloaded, once you’ve done this its stored and easily accessible, but without internet access this obviously cant be done. I don’t think there is a way to access non-downloaded content offline. Not a big issue but worth noting.
Links to the app are below, please check it out, I would love to know what you think.
This review was written by me and represents my honest opinion of the product. If it was crap I would say its crap. Kidloland contacted me and proved me with a free subscription, in exchange for an honest post.