Our kids are growing up in a digital age. Tech time is now incorporated into early learning environments. Before we even purchased a tablet for our older kids they were already using them at school, starting in JK. Considering Andrew and I didn’t have computers until we were 16 years old, we weren’t certain how to feel about such an early intro to tech. Their teachers were also using “smart boards” in class instead of chalkboards. Kind of crazy, we thought, but the interactive aspect is what educators say is the key to it’s effectiveness.
Regardless of how comfortable or not we are with it, deciphering the appropriate amount of tech time for our kids is a challenge. We’ve seen the studies about how too much can be harmful, but not sure outright refusal is the right answer either. Denying it doesn’t make sense, so a more responsible approach to allowing it in our day-to-day is the way we’re rolling with it right now. We’re still figuring out what’s appropriate for the little ones, and do restrict the amount of time they can use it. But sometimes downtime is necessary, so having apps that are more “Edu-tainment” than mindless engagement (like egg-opening on YouTube, gah!) sure make it easier to embrace and allow.
One app we were excited to be introduced to is Kidloland – this award-winning children’s app includes over 700+ nursery rhymes, songs, stories, games and activities and is recommended for kids ages 0-5 years.
For the purpose of this review, we were provided a 6-month subscription to the full version of the app (value $34.99 CAD) for Easton (1-year-old) and Allegra (3-years-old) to try out. All opinions are 100% our own. Read on, as we have a GIVEAWAY below for your little gem to try it out him/herself too!
What the kids loved:
Easton, our 1-year-old, had fun pressing the colourful screens. He and I had fun in a sing-a-long to some of the classic tunes Old MacDonald and Row, Row Row Your Boat. Given his age, his attention span was quite short engaging with the screen itself, but he did continue to baby dance, clap and giggle to tunes he heard from across the room, which was super adorable!
Allegra’s favourite section was the games. She especially liked the Popping games. In Pop the Shapes, she loved the friendly fish that swims along the screen blowing different shaped bubbles and naming them as he does. She also loved Pop the Numbers, where number balloons, rocks and bubbles float up the screen, and as you “pop” them, the number is read aloud. Allegra started repeating back what she heard, which is giving us a great start to number and shape recognition.
Allegra also loved Moo’s Birthday Surprise in the Stories section. She is getting super excited about her own November birthday, so was really intrigued about what Moo did to celebrate with her family and friends.
What parents will love:
1.A great feature of this app is that the words are displayed and highlighted near the bottom of the screen as the songs play. This is so useful for Allegra who is now Pre-K, and will soon be learning to read.
2. You can select categories that coincide with what you want your child to learn. For instance, if you’re working on letter recognition, head over to the ABC’s section. Numbers counting a big hit? Go to the numbers section. You’ll love the learning aspect and the kids will be entertained (“Edu-tainment”!)
3. A smart feature of the app is that it allows you to download only the features you wish to engage with, sparing your device of unnecessary storage consumption.
4. The navigation buttons are simple, large and bright making it easy for little ones to move to different screens and back to the home menu. This is a great feature, as many apps are hard for little ones to navigate resulting in lots of requests for help – not ideal when tech time is also serving as time for us to get a few things ticked off the “To Do” list. Easy navigation helped keep them engaged and interested.
5. Another amazing bonus to this app is that you can download the content so that it’s accessible offline. This is a game-changer if you’re going to be on a road trip, taking a flight, etc.
6. You can make a personalized song playlist of up to 25 of your child’s favourite tunes. Later today we’re going to make our Christmas song list!
7. And one most parents will love – NO ADS! No more waiting for a 10 second countdown until your child can begin interacting. That right there is wonderful!
Area for improvement:
Overall, this app is wonderful and I think you will enjoy many of it’s interactive, entertaining and educational features for your tots. Allegra has really taken to it, and uses it more than YouTubeKids now when she has iPad time. However, if I was to make a suggestion for improvement, the only one I can think of is to make the voice of the man in the stories section less robotic sounding. Perhaps a less digitized voice would match the kid-appeal of the app a bit better. But really, I don’t think my kids noticed and Allegra especially was still intrigued by the story.
KidloLand has great activity books for you to print and take along to keep kids busy at restaurants, during doctor visits or simply to have on hand for non-tech activity time at home. Check out the KidloLand Activity Book we put together just for you!
A FREE version of the KidloLand app is available and includes:
- Games & Activities
- ABC songs
- Nursery rhymes
- Vehicle recognition
- Animal recognition
The full, paid version offers these extra features:
- Colors & Shapes
- Months of the year
- Additional nursery rhymes
- Phonics lessons
- Numbers & Counting
- Dinosaur songs
- Christmas songs
Okay, GIVEAWAY time! THREE winners will win a 3 month subscription to the full, paid version of the app (avail. in iOS or Android). This contest is open to contestants worldwide. Emails collected will be used to notify KidloLand of winners only. Simply follow the steps below. Contest closes November 4, 2016 at 12 midnight EST time. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway