stella months
My name is Kristin, and I’m a technology enthusiast who has a passion for curriculum development, training, and education. And, oh yeah—parenting! As any new parent can attest, every day in your child’s life feels like a milestone, particularly during the first year. As my daughter’s face changed with every sunrise, I arbitrarily shared her growth through photos and videos, leading up to the biggest milestone yet: her first birthday.

And now, the subject of my photography can now study her own subjects! Stella is learning how to communicate through language and actions. Her motor control requires her to grasp finger foods, pull herself up, and eventually take her first steps. In fact,

“The yearlong period from 12 to 24 months is a crucial period of brain development unmatched throughout childhood,” says Mark Spielmann, a pediatric dietitian at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. “Brain growth is 75% complete by the end of the second year.”

Here’s where things get interesting…

What if the arbitrary became methodical? During her second year (12-24 months), I will regularly document Stella’s communication skills. To augment the learning that naturally occurs within her everyday environment, I will also give Stella access to the iPad 2 in order to play with apps that target language and memory skills. Each week, I’ll record her interaction and comment on what works best for her. Subscribe to my feed for updates.

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics lists generic milestones for language development between the ages of 0-24 months, I have no scientific strategy to compare Stella’s progress against specific benchmarks—nor do I plan to withhold non-digital learning tools from her during this period. (I said I would be methodical, not Machiavellian.) After all, simply spending time with a child fosters brain development, and my goal is for Stella to acquire these skills regardless of the medium. Emphasizing the iPad 2 on this journey just offers us an opportunity to explore a new path. Let’s find out together what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do better.

She’s going digital, baby!

  1. I absolutely love your blog! Saw your video of Stella on YouTube, and linked back to your blog. My son is currently 13 months and he’s been obsessed with my iPad since he was 5 months. His favorite apps are Baby Finger (we have the Color Dots one too, which he loves) and Wheels on the Bus. I’ve been looking for some more educational ones, that are not too over his head. I have the “Moms with Apps” app, but it’s difficult to gauge which ones are actually good. Your reviews are great! I just downloaded the flashcards app and the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox to try out later today.

    Have a wonderful day!

  2. Correction, i saw your video posted by you on Pinterest! 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment! That means a lot to me. This is such an exciting time for our children! I have lots more apps to review, but have not had a chance to get them on my blog. If you like the Monkey Preschool App, you will also love the spin-off called Monkey Math Sunshine. Both of those apps are targeted at an older audience than our kids, but I’ve found that she still picks up on some of the concepts (with a little help!) and enjoys it just as much as the ones designed for less critical thinking. I think it’s time to update my Top Baby Apps list… 🙂

  3. Hi Kristin,
    I am Natalie, mom and co-founder of KidMastermind. I am writing you because I have something special to share.

    When people create and invent something new they of course think it is special and better than similar items on the market. It is important as a consumer to research your options and choose the one that best suits your needs. There are reasons why I am 100% confident that our FREE iPad game “Color Fruits” for toddlers is perfect for you and your little Stella.

    “Positive technology use”
    The Kidmastermind IT team takes the health of your children and our own very seriously. The health of all children is important however it is especially important for the younger ones. Their little bodies and brains are still developing and the success of their development depends on their daily lives and activities. We at Kidmastermind believe technology has a very important and fun role in education and development. We also strongly feel that imaginative free play has just as much significance. Based on this we put a time control on all of our games limiting the amount of time a child can play. We suggest parents give the iPad game to their child for 5 – 15 minutes. Parents have the option to restart the game if they wish. We want your children to that this is an educational game and not an iPad nanny!

    “Professional approach (preschool teachers-backed)”
    From the moment of birth the educational and development process for your child has begun. Our game teaches toddlers primary colors. As your child learns the game will become more challenging for her (she wont be bored). The game has 4 levels of difficulty. As soon as the child succeeds in the first level she will get another task with more train colors and new characters to entertain. Kidmastermind keeps track of your child’s success giving you statistics on their progress. You can see these statistics if you have the KidMastermind University application. Play with your toddler and you will see her progress and success while bonding and creating lasting memories.

    We really want our games to be fun an interactive drawing the child in, keeping them entertained while educating them. To do this we created fun characters that move around and function like real life. We do not want children to see static pictures in the game. We made all characters alive and fun and interactive so children can play with them.

    These are the main ideas of the game and our philosophy at Kidmastermind. I would greatly appreciate it if you would review our Color Fruits game and post a review about it on your blog. I am very happy to answer any and all questions you may have and am more than happy to receive constructive criticism to help improve our game and company.

    Color Fruits application is here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/color-fruits-learning-colors/id768068068?mt=8
    Video about Color Fruits iPad game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLTh5F-2rOY
    Our website: http://kidmastermind.com

    And sorry that it is too long…

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