FOUR TO FIVE YEARS
By the time your child reaches the age of four, they are able to spend a good amount of time with things that entertain them, quite independently. One app that has been doing the rounds with parents is that of Sesame Street (available on iOS and Android). Good, clean entertainment, with clippings from the show, sing along sessions, and simple games that teach the alphabet, rhymes, basic mathematics among other things. It also features popular characters from the TV show like Elmo, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy. A plus point is the show clippings may be downloaded and viewed offline at a later point.
Sham D, a doctor based in London and mother to an infant and a toddler says that she uses apps when the family undertakes long distance travels when you need a distraction for the kids. “I also use these apps when I need a bit of peace and quiet to hear myself think. KidloLand nursery rhymes and Disney Lite have been apps that have come to the rescue for their bright and interactive graphics, clear pronunciation and kid-friendliness.”
FIVE YEARS AND ABOVE
Among the popular apps in this age group is the ABCMouse app (available on iOS and Android), which brings preschool and nursery level school curriculums into an easy-to-interactwith format with more than 5,000 activities to choose from, across subjects. While this is based more on an international syllabus than it is an Indian one, it has a sense of universality in terms of its approach to learning. The English language, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health are among the subjects covered. The activities are based on levels, giving your child something to work towards. Concepts are also covered in the step-by-step learning process that is interactive.
Sharon Colaco D’souza is a decor Stylist based in Pune, with a five-year-old son. She says, “Blue’s Clues is an American app that I specially bought and it’s one that is targeted at two to four-year-olds, to get them thinking when solving puzzles. Now that my child is older, Smartivity is the only app we allow. It came along with a jigsaw puzzle and the whole family loves it. It is meant to be used with a Smartivity toy, and the app brings the puzzle to life, among other things. I love the fact that my son will spend time on the actual activity outside the app first—colouring the printouts from the app, or doing the puzzle, and after it’s over, the app helps to take the game to an interactive level.”
Based on every child’s needs, there are a range of apps available that are fun, interactive and, more importantly, not completely a waste of time over a gadget. As parents, filtering out the unnecessary from the useful becomes important to make the best use of what these apps have to offer. ■