new toy

July 21, 2013

We  used  the computer frequently to do online school last year, but I also have allowed her to use it outside of that–she has her own account on our computer with access to some kid friendly software and internet pages that I have bookmarked for her. She is allowed free reign but doesn’t take gross advantage of that–she  spends maybe 30 minutes to upwards of an hour in a week on the computer.  I have been interested in getting a tablet for her–I love how they are portable and their ease-of-use–but I could never justify spending what it costs for new or even older models of the iPad (the only brand I had been considering). Then I saw an android-based mini tablet on sale for under $100 and went for it.

When we first got it she spent considerably more time on it than she ever had on the desktop computer but her usage has finally leveled out in the last month to a couple hours per week. I plan to use it rather than the desktop for her school–for capturing stories, for ready reference, etc.  I also would like it to be one more way to strew things for her; this means searching for good apps, e books, etc. which I have realized is a bit more work for android-based devices.  So far I have only installed free things but those that we like I will likely upgrade.

Here are some of the favorites–

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

Moby and Annie were introduced to her through the online school. The videos are little bites of information about a given topic. They would be a good way to introduce a topic because I found many times that the info presented has lead her to ask for more.

KIDO’Z Play Mode-Safe For Kids

This is how she accesses the tablet b/c I’d rather her not buy me any 1962 Austin Healey Sprites. It comes with some preloaded games and videos but you can also add approval to any apps you have on your device, remove games you don’t want, add YouTube videos, remove and add links to web pages. I have really taken advantage of the ability to add YouTube videos and web links, adding things for fun and learning.

Eggy 100 HD

She laughs so much when she plays this. They have a 250 word app but I wish they had more.

Marley’s Math Farm

The favorite math app so far; it’s for doing addition and subtraction with money.

Minecraft – Pocket Ed. Demo

This is by far what she spends the most time on–on the building portion not the survival b/c the monsters are too creepy. I have to admit that I have had fun building, too.

AppleTreeBooks

I really don’t see a need to buy any e books. These are classic stories with beautiful illustrations, interactive features, and are narrated, too. Right now they are just right for where she is in her reading level.

Princesses Learn Spanish

She has fallen prey to the princesses. The app blends English and Spanish in story format and has coloring pages and interactives to go with each story.