Category Archives: 11 months
Not necessarily related to language development, Stella took a break from flash cards to explore the Baby-Silencer app by jolly1312. (Hey jolly, the link to your web site is broken.) This app is designed for younger babies with less mobility than Stella (3-6 months), who like to focus on and track small objects. Although the visuals are great, the app does not include sound. (At one point, Stella actually leaned in to listen for something! That is, until she became more interested in the case than the device.) You can upgrade sound effects by navigating through some strange point system—one that involves installing other apps to earn credits—but it looked painful. I would’ve rather paid the customary $.99 for the upgrade had that been an option. Considering the target audience for this app is a presumably a busy parent with an infant, the scavenger-hunt-upgrade-path seems to miss the mark.
Customizing the “My First Words” app for Stella so easy! I took pictures of familiar objects around the house, added photos of friends and family, and recorded my voice next to each entry. For 40 new words, the whole process took me under an hour.
Although *I* was wildly impressed with the custom category of words, Stella didn’t seem to notice a difference from the generic photos. Her response to hearing “mom’s” voice was also the same as hearing the perky lady voice that came with the app. I imagine that this customization feature hits home with older children who already have an active vocabulary (toddlers and above). Customized categories or not, thank goodness the app finishes the audio track for each word before advancing—despite a preemptive touch— because Stella’s paw was on rapid fire mode:
I can’t give enough positive feedback for the “My First Words” iPad app, but unfortunately it was removed from the iTunes store shortly after I posted my first review. When I e-mailed the SmartBabyApps support team for more information, they gave me this response:
Thank you so much for your help and support. Unfortunately, we had some problems with the latest update of the app and will bring it back again in the near future.
I hope they work out their issues soon because this really is a fantastic app!
The FOODS category did not elicit overwhelming excitement immediately, but she did start to babble 30 seconds into seeing a few words. After 2 minutes, she actually leaned over to lick the screen! That orange looks so tasty! Other flash card apps use cartoon images instead; having realistic images certainly made an impact. When we switched to ANIMALS, she became more vocal, and she even giggled at the image of a grasshopper.
After 4 minutes of viewing words, she was done, which was longer than I expected her to last. The app includes this recommendation:
5. ALWAYS stop before your baby wants to stop. By keeping your baby wanting more, your baby will constantly look forward to the next learning session with you.
We’ll continue to use this app to explore other categories. We can customize it with pictures from around our own house—and even record our own audio. It’s time to prime my smooth jazz radio voice!
Stella hasn’t spoken her first official word yet. To be fair, the other day she *did* point out the window to our backyard and say, “Jude Law!” Had she followed her random outburst with, “Made you look,” we would’ve counted it. She babbles regularly, and I can’t tell you how many times she has pointed at a stranger and exclaimed, “Dada!” (which is not good for “Mama’s” reputation). But she has not attached a consistent sound to a particular object/person.
Our iPad 2 hasn’t arrived yet. Neither has Stella’s 1st birthday. So she remains a
lady baby in waiting. (Read our About.)
Photo: I purchased an iPad 2 for my parents last month—I even had my husband stand in line for it. We took it with us when we traveled across the country to visit them, but we left the box at our house. Now Stella likes to slide it along the floor as she crawls.