Lucas really loves playing with my iPad and we have several games for him, mainly CBeebies and Lego-based. At his playschool review last week, I learned that the EYFS includes a technology component so I thought it might be interesting to get some ‘learning’ apps for him. He is also a huge fan of YouTube videos (usually of trucks, diggers, and trains) so I thought some vehicle-based games might be fun. I set to work finding some good free apps for him while I settled the twins down one evening in bed.
The next day he was quite tired after a morning class and lunch at soft play, so we snuggled up on the sofa while Aurora slept and Jake played on his play mat. I gave him a choice of a couple of topics – dinosaurs or trucks – and he chose the former, so we began with Archaeologist: Jurassic Life. Lucas enjoyed ‘digging’ for dinosaur bones, although it took him a few goes to work out where to tap the screen (I would recommend supervision due to intensity of ‘tapping’…). At first he struggled with the puzzle element of the app, and quickly became frustrated, so I guided his hand to help him until he got the hang of it.
Next we tried Trucks, which offers four free jigsaw puzzles of – you guessed it – trucks and diggers. Again, Lucas became frustrated when he couldn’t do it by himself, and I wasn’t sure how to help him. We talked about looking for the corners, looking for the sky, etc. and he soon began to get the hang of it.
When Lucas became a bit cranky, I thought it might be time for something less challenging, so we switched over to Thomas and Friends Activities so he could do some virtual colouring. I was really surprised at how much this occupied him, as he doesn’t usually like colouring with crayons and pens. He ‘coloured’ several sheets and I showed him how to send them to Daddy, Grandma and Granddad, which he thought was very exciting!
This was a really successful play session, we both had a lot of fun and he’s been asking to do apps on the iPad a lot more than YouTube videos. We are now thinking of getting a second, more family-friendly tablet for him to use so I can have my iPad back!
Do your children use a tablet? I’d love to hear your recommendations of child-friendly tablets and apps!