Blog Archives

Count to Ten – Take 2

We introduced Jude to Oscar’s 1-10 Balloons app. He learned to count to ten and read from left to right! Just kidding. He learned that learning can be frustrating. He did not want to play that one more than once, unlike his sister.

He did, however, enjoy showing off his eyeballs. He seriously can’t get enough of the Baby Play Face app. The app comes with different baby face characters; I wonder if he would still be into it if I picked an avatar that didn’t look so much like him. Hmmm…

Lastly, we introduced him to Sign Shine. This was one of Stella’s absolute favorites starting at 18 months. Jude was equally enthralled. I could tell he wanted to do so much more with his hands other than clap but just didn’t know how…YET! He already loves to sign baby basics (more, all done, eat, etc.), so it will be really fun to teach him some of these over the next few weeks. Sign Shine makes an easy case for using digital media together to enhance its educational value.

No More Monkeys!

For me, this is the most fun song to sign. It took some practice, but I have it down. Stella is able to do the following signs:

  • Bed: Hands together under your head like a pillow
  • Hurt [head]: Index fingers point at each other next to the forehead; twist slightly
  • Monkey: Paw at your shoulders twice

“Stellar” Rendition of Twinkle Little Star

The *signing* is not exactly pitch perfect, but the *signing* is pretty good! The sign for “star” is made by rubbing the sides of your index fingers together. The “Like a diamond in the sky” part (loosely translated by Stella as “Like a da-do-da-da-da”) is signed by using your right hand to make the letter “d” and tapping it on your left ring finger as you raise it toward the sky. When she is in the stroller, you can see her attempt this sign—she even gets the right finger! Stella learned how to sign this song from the SignShine app.

I wake up to this song belting through the baby monitor about every other day. 🙂

Learning How to Sign with the iPad 2

Taking it all in:
Learning How to Sign with the iPad

Cry: “The babies on the bus go, ‘wha-wha-wha’…”
Signing

Spider: “The itsy-bitsy-spider climbed up the water spout…”
Signing

For more information about the SignShine app, read our review.

SignShine – Take 2

I know I already reviewed the SignShine app last month, but since purchasing additional songs, it has become one of her favorites, and I have an update to share. In the last few days, her signs have evolved to express emotions by using her facial expressions with her hands. (Note her furrowed brow and pouty lips for the “wha-wha-wha” part of the “Wheels on the Bus” song.) So cool!

Top Baby Apps on Our iPad 2

It’s been about six nine months since Stella has been using the iPad actively, so I compiled a list of our favorite apps so far. Also, check out Kids iPhone App Review for more ideas on iPad and iPhone apps for a broader age range.

Itsy Bitsy Spider – $1.99
This one is worth the money. She plays this for a very long time. The graphics are very good, and there’s always something new for her to discover. You can record yourself singing the song, too! (Many other apps are available by Duck Duck Moose. We also have Old MacDonald.)
See my video review…


Monkey Preschool Lunchbox – $.99
This is her all-time favorite app. She’s not very good at it because it is designed for older kids, but it doesn’t stop her from trying. (Monkey Math School Sunshine is now available, too!)
See my video review…


Oscar’s 1-10 Balloons – $.99
This is also a really good one. She gets very proud of herself when she finishes each set. Plus, I think this one helped her learn how to count to 10 by 18 months. (Also check out Oscar’s Alphabet Song.)
See my video review…


My First Words – FREE (limited categories)
We like this one a lot for vocabulary flash cards, but I’m not sure if it’s still available.
See my video review…




Animal Sounds – $.99
She likes to hear all of the animal sounds. She tries to repeat them in her own voice, which is very cute.
See my video review…


Color Dots – FREE
She gets bored with this now, but when she first discovered it, she was very into this game. When she’d pop all of the bubbles, she’d look at me for approval and then keep going with the next set. It has since been updated so you can change the speed and size of the dots as your child develops more dexterity. The developer also offers a Color Square game, which wasn’t as appealing to Stella entering toddler stage, but it could be good for infants.
See my video review…

PlayBabyFace – FREE
This is a cute one for learning the parts of the face in multiple languages.
See my video review…



Baby-Silencer – FREE
This is really fun for a baby 6-12 months. There isn’t a lot to it; colors and lights respond to touch. There is no audio in the free version, but Stella still liked this one a lot at that age.
See my video review…


Baby ASL HD – $1.99
This app is good if you are serious about signing with your baby. The flow isn’t that great when you use it, but the videos of the people signing are great.
See my video review…


SignShine – Free (limited songs)
Stella LOVES singing the songs included in this app because she gets so entranced by the woman signing. You get “Itsy Bitsy Spider” for free, and you can get 10 more songs for $2.99.
See my video review…


Tappie Colorit – $.99
As Stella has transitioned into toddler-hood, she has gravitated more toward this app for learning shapes and colors.
See my video review…


ABC Preschool Alphabet – $.99
This app was hit or miss—some days she LOVED it, and other days she wanted nothing to do with it. It’s probably a good one to have and keep trying as your child grows through different stages.
See my video review…

Others that we use a lot but haven’t specifically posted a review include:

Sing and Sign with SignShine

Someone suggested that I try this SignShine app with Stella to sign with music. The iPad app is free to download, and it includes one free song (Itsy Bitsy Spider). For $2.99, you can get a package of 10 additional children’s songs. The woman in the video is Etel Leit, whose gorgeous smile seems to extend right down to her hands. She is a great teacher.

Stella caught on very quickly, and I’m tempted to get the 10-pack. I’ve actually seen other moms/caregivers use similar actions while singing songs to Stella (even in Nursery last Sunday!), but Stella seemed to be more engaged in this video format. Then again, anything transmitting from her beloved iPad is gold.

(Dedicated to Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011)