Animal Sounds by Alligator Apps is such a fun game for Stella’s age (13 months). The game functions in “play” or “auto” modes; Stella seems to like picking her own animals, so I leave it in play mode. (And by picking, I mean attacking the screen with her whole hand.) As with other flash-card apps, you can also customize categories and sounds. It was fun to see which animals elicited a response from her, and which ones were duds. I found out that bison are not that funny, but horses and frogs are hilarious. She is definitely becoming more vocal, which makes this process even more interactive for the two of us.
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!