Your child is invited to Dora's birthday party, but Dora needs a little help to get there! Play Dora's Big Birthday Adventure. The game is developmentally appropriate for ages 3-6 and is one of Nick Jr.’s Read with Us games. Language develops rapidly during early childhood, so focusing on the core skill areas of listening, speaking, writing, and reading is very important. When you see the Read with Us icon on the Nick Jr. site you will know that the program or activity focuses on concepts like letters and their sounds, vocabulary, story structure and comprehension, storytelling, following directions, rhyming, and emergent writing, among other important early literacy skills.
App to Consider
Dora ABCs Vol 3: Ready to Read! HD by Nickelodeon $2.99
Dora and Boots need your child's help crossing Water Lily Lake to get to the Fantastic Frog Fiesta on the other side. By sounding out words or changing letters of words to make new ones, the player will help Dora and Boots cross the lake by hopping on the lily pads. Supportive directions and sound effects help guide your child in learning how to sound out words and start to read.
New Ways to Tinker With Electronics at Toy Fair
This past month was Toy Fair in New York City, and I was fortunate enough to attend. I know … tough job. As I strolled past thousands of new products, I want you to know that I was thinking about you guys. There were several new products designed to help children construct circuits. Here's a crash course with as much video as I can find. I'm not necessarily recommending these, but I do want you to know about them.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3-- the long-awaited but expensive update to the famous kit.
LittleBitsis perhaps the easiest to use initially, but can also be expensive.
Cubelets is really expensive, but really cool. These products are in the early stage and are promising.
Sifteo Cubes is less about programming and more about stretching the definition of the game controller. I think this technology will continue to evolve.
While these kits are good to know about, you've probably noticed something else about them -- they're expensive; which is why I need to mention the kits from Elenco Electronics. There are many available, and most of them cost less than $50. In addition, the parts work with one another, so you can add-on.
Remember -- children think with their hands. If you keep their hands busy, the minds will follow.
Warren Buckleitner, PhD, Editor
Children's Technology Review