Although all of my kids were born in the 21st century, my little kids are so excited to be finally joining the 21st century – technologically. We have finally agreed to allow them tablets …according to my children they were the ONLY kids in their entire school who didn’t have them. I’m not so sure they were exaggerating. I struggled with the benefit and necessity of these tools for the kids their age as I thought books (plain old fashioned ones), outdoor play, and imagination and make believe games were how little kids should be their spending time. However, the schools are implementing more screen time during school hours as a different way for kids to learn – and so I thought I should look into these options. It soon became obvious to me the amazing educational aspect that these devices can provide. While the kids think they are just playing – they are actually learning.
I was just thrilled to try out the Little Scholar Learning Adventure tablet from SchoolZone. It is aimed at preschool through first graders though my fifth grader found some games that were interesting AND relevant to what she is learning in school this year (states and capitals along with geography). I will even admit that while I was looking through it to see what games and learning opportunities were provided (read- I was playing) I found that I was learning things too (ok – maybe just recalling them vs. learning them but I am currently proficient at naming the bones of the body thanks to Little Scholar).
This tablet provides only learning opportunities and again, they are all disguised as games. These games range from number and letter recognition, to addition and subtractions facts and reading opportunities. My kids are thrilled! And truth be told, I am too. I love that the Little Scholars tablet offers interactive edutainment and that their “screen” time is not just spent staring passively at a screen.
It’s not just for little kids, either. This tablet also has provided many opportunities for family interaction. There are several games that provide a timer which made the games relevant to the older family members as a time challenge – who can get the fastest time??! It is a riot to challenge each other and the clock to see how quickly we can complete a simple task (sorting, naming states, or counting money). Additionally, this tablet also allows the little kids to interact together learning to read and count at a pace that is appropriate for them – it is just priceless to see them cuddled together learning something new.
For parents, the most fantastic part of this tablet is the fact that it easily monitors the kids’ usage. With the touch of a button, the information is summarized and provided with easy to read charts and graphs. Information such as the usage (both amount of time and dates used) is provided allowing for the parents to monitor time spent with the device….(easy to verify they are using it only when they are supposed to be using it). The time spent on each grade level (Pre K, K, or first grade) as well as each category (math, reading, spelling, thinking, creativity etc) are also provided with a breakdown of what games they are playing. I love that this information is so easily accessed. As a bonus, parents can utilize the App management tool to choose which apps, music and e-books their children can access.
I appreciate the value, the learning opportunities and the fun that Little Scholar offers. All of these features are offered in this tablet which retails for a fraction of the price that a teen-adult centered tablet sells for, and to be honest, my little kids don’t even know the difference. When my kindergartner opened the Little Scholar package, she squealed in excitement that she had her very own iPad. Of course, it isn’t one but if a child doesn’t know the difference then that by itself adds value. The fun and learning combination are a icing on the cake.
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