Blog, childhood, Daughters, education, gift, Mumblog, Parenting, review, Uncategorized

Goodbye screen time guilt, Hello Kidlo!

I am – for the most part a walking, talking Mum stereotype. I exist mainly on diet of coffee and biscuits, I could turn moaning about housework into an Olympic sport and I rely on the faithful old iPad to entertain the kids often enough that it causes me guilt. But you know what, I’m only human and nothing engages the kids quite like a gadget.

Educational apps are the most obvious way to keep the guilt at bay, “they’re actually learning. That’s it LEARNING!”.

My younger girls (G who is 9, P who is 7 and V who is 4) have been using the Kidlo Coding, Math Games and Learn English apps for a few weeks and we’re completely sold! There are free versions which  also look fantastic but we have been using the full versions and the amount of content they have to offer is seriously impressive. Of course there is the bright colours and repetitive music that makes a ‘winner’ when it comes to kids apps, but these apps also have a fantastic amount of content – seemingly endless in fact!

Coding

I am a little bit of a technophobe, anything beyond basic I.C.T skills doesn’t come naturally to me and takes a bit of effort (and YouTube) so I’m a little bit ashamed to admit that I wasn’t even 100% sure what coding was… I know, I feel stupid! Obviously the older girls knew exactly what it was and it was just another reason for them to be thoroughly embarrassed by my existence.

G and P have thoroughly enjoyed this app and it’s a perfect add-on to the extra online school work they are set. Because they are slightly older and have completed similar tasks at school, I’ve found them working through the app with relative ease, however they’re yet to feel bored (that’s not something I can say very often) and that’s down to the amount of content there is on offer. The app is divided into six section; Sequences, Loops, Functions, Debugging, Advanced and Arrays – each section then having lots of different activities to choose from.

V has also enjoyed this, but at a much slower pace, I’m not sure if she truly understands of gets lucky sometimes but  she really enjoys it and is quite willing to let her sister help her. She has a particular love for ‘Pop The Balloon’s probably because is never allowed to jump on the till they pop in real life (I can’t stand that noise), so this is a pretty nice alternative.

Math Games

This is hands down V’s favourite – I actually had to ration her usage at first because she loved it so much she didn’t want to participate in anything other than this game (got a diva on my hands here!).

There are two levels Pre K and K. For those of us in England I’d say Pre-K is prefect for pre-schoolers and K for reception aged children. Each level has six sections; Number sense, Geometry, Sorting & Categorizing, Counting, Comparison and Patterns. Then within each section there are lots of different activities.

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V is Pre-School age and so is still very much in the early stages of learning the basics, so we have largely been using the Pre-K section, although she has looked at the patterns and shapes on the K section. The games aren’t  easy but they are engaging, so V doesn’t become frustrated and lose interest she will really stick at it until she gets it right. I’ve struggled previously to get her Math skills much further along than shapes, simple patterns and counting – she is now soaking up skills from using this app, a lovely slow and steady progress is emerging and more importantly an interest for learning.

Games aren’t all the app has to offer, although they do make up the bulk of the activities, there are lots of catchy songs too and who doesn’t love a catchy song! As much as us parents love a good moan about children’s songs, there’s no deny that actually songs and rhymes have helped us all to remember the basics .

Learning English

This app has 3 sections; Pre-K, K and Grade 1.

We have largely been using Pre-K which offers the following categories; Learn ABC’s, Learn Phonics, Learn To Write, Flash Cards, Fruits, Vegetables, Word Families, Learn to Spell, Vehicles, Animals, My Life, Birds and Colors & Shapes. Apart from Learn To Write and Flash Cards, this section is largely made up of songs and V adores it!

K has the same sections but also has Learn To Read and Sight Words and further builds on the songs by adding games to go along side them and uses more writing and reading activities. It’s wonderful to see V sit and trace letters and try to understand simple words – It’s improved the way she writes her name and has got her asking about words and trying to spot sounds she recognises while we out and about.

So in short, we are completely in love with Kidlo Apps!

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