As soon as I saw the Little Passports logo I could immediately smell a brilliant idea. Combining a thirst for world knowledge with a kid’s love of receiving mail is a stroke of genius. Continue reading “Little Passports – global adventures in your mail box”
When the lady at the Kid Inventors Day invited us to make music using a keyboard of bananas, Mr 6 and I were more than intrigued. Sure enough as we touched each of the six bananas, to our joyful surprise musical notes played through the nearby laptop. The magic making this fun possible was the brilliantly simple little electronics kit MaKey MaKey. We had to find out more! Continue reading “MaKey MaKey: an invention kit for everyone”
If you’ve been wondering when is the right time to let your child have a phone, you might want to check out this nifty little invention. It can be quite a parenting dilemma, because whilst there are heaps of instances when it would be great if my six year old had a method of contacting me, he’s clearly way too young for a regular phone. Even an old fashioned phone without apps, cameras or an internet connection is still capable of calling any number and racking up bills. Continue reading “OwnFone: peace of mind in their pocket”
I’m a big fan of iPad accessories to help engage kids with a variety of learning styles, particularly Kinesthetic and Visual learners. Research has shown that children learn faster when they are required to use their visual, auditory and tactile senses in an activity. When kids use the iPad, having to hold real world objects and manipulate them to provide answers or work creatively is a real bonus in terms of interaction Continue reading “Tiggly Words Review, Plus App Giveaway Bonanza!”
Recently I’ve been interested in exploring new ways of interacting with the iPad, seeing how we can move beyond finger to screen interactions and integrate more 3D real world into our regular iPad experience. I was encouraged in this direction by my discovery of Crayola Digitools and soon I discovered there are a number of fabulous 3D resources out there. Each of the products reviewed below is designed to be used with the iPad to enhance our kids’ enjoyment of learning and inspire creative endeavors. Variety is the spice of life right? And a little, no actually a lot, of variety always goes down well with the kids, so anything that changes our routines up a bit and inspires the kids to start thinking and experimenting in a new way is always worth investigating. Plus research has shown that children learn faster when they are required to engage their visual, auditory and tactile senses in an activity. I’ve looked at iPad accessories made by three companies at the forefront of creative and educational iPad innovation: Tiggly, Touchtronic and Crayola. And luckily for us the kind folks at each of these companies has offered Flying Start Kids readers a chance to win some of these fantastic sets for free! Continue reading “iPad Accessories for Learning and Fun: Review plus GIVEAWAY!!”
This beautiful open ended nature play app is Apple’s Free App of the Week. Designed for kids 6-8 but fun for younger kids as well, this app enables them to design their own little world of nature and animals. They are presented with a plain piece of land to which they can add mountains, water and five types of tree. The trees provide habitats for different animals. They can spin the globe in the corner to look at the land from different angles or tap Continue reading “Free App: Toca Nature”
I was inspired to put together the following list by the popularity of the Thinkrolls app with both Mr 5 and Mr 2. There are some awesome Physics Apps out there to help our kids learn about STEM concepts through fun, physics-based puzzles. Most of these apps can be played by kids aged between 3 and 10 years.
Thinkrolls There’s everything to love about this logic puzzle app which introduces basic physics concepts as the player rolls their super cute Thinkrolls character through a maze. Each chapter introduces a new feature such as crates, jelly and balloons. Each feature has it’s own property to explore, such as cold, heat, gravity, floating or sinking. These concepts need to be understood in order to successfully move items around to enable the Thinkroll progress Continue reading “Best Physics Puzzler Apps for ages 10 and under”
L Star starts school next week so the topic of ‘School Readiness’ looms large in my world. It’s a term you start to hear a lot in Australia once your child turns four as by that age preschools have to run a SR program to work on developing literacy and numeracy. If you are looking for apps to support this at home you will find a wonderful selection to choose from and I will detail a few of our favourites. But a huge aspect of starting school is adapting to the change in routine and the emotional literacy to express and cope with this change.
Not many apps deal with that so I was thrilled to come across the ‘I Learn’ app by Bizzibrains, produced in association with Screen Australia.
It focuses less on numbers or letters and more on Continue reading “Starting School: Apps for a smooth transition”
The questions are coming thick and fast these days, ‘Mummy how is air made?’, ‘How do we think?’, ‘What are shadows made of?’ and most recently, ‘Mummy when can we go to Mars?’ I thought I had a few more years of being able to confidently answer all his questions, but apparently not! He’s not even five and I’ve been stumped on more than one occasion. But I know there’s always a fun way for us to discover these answers together and I love searching out the best apps to feed curious little minds. Thanks to a recent birthday present of a toy wooden rocket, moon buggy and satellite set, many of his questions are now about our night sky, stars and especially satellites. We found two apps which have (thankfully) provided us with a wealth of fascinating information about our night sky, so I can keep those answers coming! These really are beautifully made apps, a joy to use and 100% engaging for all ages. I’m loving using them as much as the kids are.
We started off using the fantastic Sky Guide app which allows you to hold the iPad up to the sky and identify the stars above your head, or below your feet if you point it downwards. It’s a spectacular app which even shows satellites moving across the sky much to the deep delight of L Star (aka Mr 4 and three quarters). It’s aimed more at Continue reading “Stellar Star Gazing apps for Curious Little Cosmonauts”