PBS invited my family out to the Science Center in Seattle and it was a great way for us to spend the day together. While PBS taught the parents about how their apps enhance learning in children and the launch of the PBS KIDS Lab. PBS KIDS believes learning time can be fun anytime. And parents like me need to realize that all the little things you do with your kids every day add up in a BIG way. Spending time with your kids, DO IT!
So I took the opportunity to use that day to be the day I started to make sure I didn’t de-value my time with my kids. What I mean is that I always feel like I didn’t do enough, well the fact that I spent time with them and played with them. That was enough, They are learning and having fun.
And I have info on a bunch of apps to share with you!
Once in the online PBS KIDS Lab, parents, teachers and caregivers can click on “All Games” to navigate by skill area (from counting to multiplication, fractions, patterns, letters, vocabulary and more), child’s age, the type of technology you have (various mobile devices, desktop and classroom screens), and PBS KIDS series.
They’re all educational…and It All Adds Up!
For Younger Kids
DINOSAUR TRAIN Camera Catch App (ages 3-5)
Whoa! Did a dinosaur just fly across the room? With this mobile virtual reality app, complete a pattern by finding the correct dinosaurs flying in the scene. Find DINOSAUR TRAIN Camera Catch and more games here: . A code to download the app for free is included on the card in your goodie bag.
Looking for online games?
· Start with Air Show, an online game that teaches kids measurement concepts and vocabulary while they help dinosaurs fly and land.
· Parent tip: Ask kids to estimate distance from the dinosaur on the screen and everyday objects. How many pennies is it from your dinosaur to that tree?
CURIOUS GEORGE Bubble Pop (ages 3-5)
· Children’s favorite monkey helps children learn to count, one bubble at a time, as they clap (requires computer with microphone) or click on the bath bubbles in the CURIOUS GEORGE “Bubble Pop” online game.
· Parent tip: Try it with real bubbles too at bath time!
PBS Parents Play & Learn App (ages 0-4)
Download it free here:
· Building on the research and experience that has informed decades of children’s programming, PBS KIDS has launched its first app designed specifically for parents – to help parents foster early math and literacy skills for children 4 and younger.
· The app provides more than a dozen games designed to build early math and literacy skills, each themed around a familiar location, including the grocery store, restaurant and home.
· Parent tip: When you head to the grocery store this week, launch the Grocery Store Game. Parents of preschoolers can introduce kids to measurement in “How Heavy?,” asking children to help weigh fruits, for example. Parents of younger children can use the tips in “Food Talk” to build baby’s vocabulary – describing food as they put it into the cart and asking questions like, “You love nice ripe bananas, don’t you?”
THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!: Follow the Pasta Path At-Home Activity (ages 3-5)
Find easy directions for this activity here:
· This at-home activity helps children recognize shapes and develop spatial reasoning skills. We’ve included all the supplies you need for this activity – a Cat in the Hat picture, marker or crayon and dried pasta pieces – in your take-home bag from our PBS KIDS Lab Demo Day.
· Parent tip: Encourage your child to make a pasta face. She can create a circle out of the pasta pieces, and then use other pieces for the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Ask your child if her pasta person is happy or sad.
For Older Kids
FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN Monumental Mini Golf (ages 6-8)
Play free online now:
· Kids help FETCH! (the game show canine host with a BIG personality) build a mini golf course, progressing through a series of math challenges along the way. Once they’ve finished building the course, they get to putt and play.
· Parent tip: This one game packs in a whole lot of math, including geometry, measurement, multiplication and spatial sense.
WILD KRATTS Creature Math App (ages 6-8)
Download from the iTunes App Store.
· Kids solve addition and math problems to help build habitats for animals, from beavers to raccoons, wolves and more WILD KRATTS creatures!
· Parent tip: As children solve equations and build math confidence, supplement on-screen math facts. If 16 – 8 = 8 power discs, how much is 15 – 8? And so on…
THE ADVENTURES OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY ON PRANKSTER PLANET
· Francine is out of control, hurling scrambled word balls at Earth. Kids take control by unscrambling words and, as they progress, can land on the game’s Leader Board for word-unscrambling bragging rights.
Parent tip: Create a word scramble game for the entire family, cut words – and then the individual letters – from a used newspaper or magazine, toss them into a hat and use the timer on your mobile phone or a second hand on a watch to time how long it takes to unscramble all the words. For bonus points, challenge kids to build a sentence or phrase with the words they’ve just unscrambled