The Parentville Fave Five - Learning, Many Different Ways
Parentville.com is highlighting some great ways your kid AND you can learn, both old and new!
After all this kids play, how do you know what he's learning? Wondering when he's going to hit that milestone, or when to call the pediatrician (without being a worried parent)? With Tumblon, you enter in your child's information, track each of your kids' developmental milestones and find children's books, toys, and creative play ideas based on your child's development. Here, you can safely preserve and share your own multi-media baby book and keep a blog. It's free, but for unlimited photo/video upload (and soon a custom domain name), it's $7/month.
Jay Bushara is a dad, full-time caregiver and founder of this terrific site. Onepotato.net offers carefully selected, book choices for kids - none of the old standards we typically hear of -- and a great selection of first books for babies. Why couldn't you just go to Amazon? You could - if you know exactly what you are looking for. With this site, you also get easy-to-find, detailed (yet brief) reviews and you can select all your books here and then check out at Amazon, while still selecting other items from Amazon for your cart. Here are some examples: Penguin and While I am Little
This is a new digital player that is downloaded to your desktop, so it's safe for kids, and there is no advertising. From the store, you can order a large range of books featuring stories and (including licenses such as Biscuit the dog, Dr. Seuss), flash cards, learning games (e.g., Mathketball or Instruments), educational and story videos and color and click activities for less than the price of the real book ($.99-$5.99).
This shouldn't replace real books, of course, but it is a great introduction to the Internet for little ones (we also view it up on our HDTV with Monster Cables), and the books have a voiceover so you can read along. It is also a wonderful learning tool for toddlers and kids. Right now, the player works with PCs and Macs with Parallels or Boot Camp running Windows XP.
The Tag Junior is an interactive book reader for ages 2-4 (though it could be useful to start as early as 18-20 months) that ties to desktop software. You buy the books and then download the software to get audio for the reader (5 at a time). You can personalize the player with your child's name when it turns on and off, and the software also offers printable coloring pages.
The Player is easy to hold and has a large circle bottom for young kids to press onto the book. When different words or pictures are pressed several different times, the audio reads aloud and asks the baby questions, prompting interactivity.
There are a range of books including Ni Hao Kai Lan - Share, Share Share, which teaches Chinese words and listening for music/sound; Curious George Color Fun; Dr. Seuss: Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?; The Backyardigans Opposites; and a Dora the Explorer 1-2-3 counting book.
On Leapfrog.com's site, you can track your child's progress. This tells you how many minutes she spent on each page, her play by play turns in the book, which questions she answered and which skill sets she's accessed. New books are a great gift idea to keep interacting with the product.
This is a set of four puzzles with four pieces each featuring different nursery rhymes, Little Bo Peep, Three Little Kittens Lost Their Mittens, The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, and Little Piggy Went to Market. The pieces are easy to put together and keeps kids busy again and again. They love to take apart and put back together. Recommended for age 3+ but great to start at 18 months and grow into them. Baby will feel a sense of accomplishment when she does each one and starts to understand the stories and relationship between people, animals, body parts and colors.