I know from my own perspective that when working to keep a toddler happy, busy and entertained that I can sometime run out of inspiration for new activities. We love being outdoors and walk and enjoy adventures regularly, we enjoy art and craft, water play, toys, role play (He is always Bob the Builder, I am always the ride on digger for some reason?!) and all of the usual games toddlers enjoy. He does watch TV although I limit it, as much for my own sanity as his development, and so I find myself constantly looking for new ways to find activities to occupy him and help with his learning.
As much as I balk sometimes at children being glued to gadgets and what not (I’m a firm believer in “proper” play like we had as children) I’m open enough to the idea that times have changed and technology does and should play at least some part in children’s lives. My 6yr old got a (cheap and cheerful) android tablet from Santa for Christmas and while we have limited the time he spends on it, the apps he has been using are fantastic for both entertainment and education. Technology is clearly very much a part of my children’s lives so I’ll admit that looking for apps for Kieran and activities and games for Taylor online has become part of my weekly routine!
One such site I’ve found which is perfect for Kieran to enjoy independently and Taylor to have fun “helping” with and colouring in is one that teaches origami. Their Grandad is a dab hand at making cats from paper which we all love (grown up siblings included!) so this is great for us. We have graduated from paper planes to simple animals now and with some practice I can see both boys enjoying making a display with some “proper” origami figures.
While I’ve been openly dubious about apps and toddlers in the past I have to admit that Taylor enjoys short sessions on the tablet playing with full learning apps that are designed for his age group and which help him with a number of skills from sounds, numbers and colours to songs and speech. There are a number of websites available which have these apps available and other parents are brilliant for sources of recommendations which is a great way to find new (decent) sites and I make a point of sharing when I find something worth sharing myself.
I’m unlikely to be buying Taylor a tablet of his own anytime soon (he is two!) however I can see that the time will come and to cut the cost when I do, and in the meantime for the Lego, Duplo and all of the other could-be-costly toy purchases I’ll be continuing to use Price Grabber to shave some of the cost off.
I know some parents are more savvy than I am in terms of technology and kids and so if anyone out there has recommendations for other apps, pages where I can find prints off or idea for play do please share!
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