I’m always looking for ways to become a better app developer. I follow other developers’ blogs, watch tutorials, and read countless development articles. I didn’t know that my son’s LEGO could also teach me some valuable lessons!
We have always been fans of play-based learning in our household. Whether it be fun and silly obstacle courses inside or outside the house teaching him routine and coordination or iSpy games during long car trips teaching him letters and item recognition, we love coming up with new ways to make learning fun. So when we got our iPad (about 3 years ago), we weren’t sure whether we would introduce it to Master L as initially we were concerned it would be detrimental to his development and prevent him from doing other more beneficial learning activities. We proceeded with caution and introduced a simple app to Master L. Of course, he loved it and since then we have been big fans of adding regular but balanced iPad play to his learning activities.
Since doing so, we have noticed the following 5 changes in his development.
“Dad, can you buy me a new game? Pleeease?”
Sound familiar? If you’re like me, there has been a time (or two) where you have gone into the App Store and in the heat of the moment selected an app for your kid without really checking it out first. For us, sometimes it has worked out well and Master L (4.5 years old) has liked the game and there is a lasting attraction. Phew! Other times it hasn’t gone so well; either it didn’t contain appropriate content or it was “boring”. Sigh.
After purchasing (free and at cost) several apps now for Master L, I’ve learned to have some basic criteria to run through before deciding on an app.
Not only am I a SAHD (Stay at Home Dad), I’m also a SAHD (Stay at Home Developer). Let me be the first to say that these two worlds sometimes collide. Having a 4.5 year old and an 11 month old means my days are spent amongst the routine of kindy drop off/pick up, bottles, nappies, daytime naps (not mine unfortunately) and of course lots of baby play time.