Monday, 31 October 2011

Apps for a two year old

A slight deviation from my intended book theme but I wanted to write this blog post first! Like any young child Rosie has always been fascinated by phones and especially by my iphone. She loves watching videos (mainly of herself!) and looking at photos but she also loves a good app and we have quite a few that she really likes.

We use some TV character apps since Rosie loves her TV shows. In The Night Garden used to be a favourite but she now seems to have grown out of it but we do have the app and when she was in full on Iggle Piggle worship mode it came in very handy. The only thing is that all the activities require some good dexterity with fingers and until recently Rosie hasn't found it quite so easy. There are hiding games and washing games (with Makka Pakka).

Peppa Pig Parrot is another favourite at the moment - the matching pairs game is perfect for Rosie right now (she's two and a bit) and the other games are fun too although require a bit more help from an adult.

 We also have both the Ladybird Books Baby Touch apps and while they are a little pedestrian in their approach they also really hit the spot for a one year old, which is how old Rosie was when I bought the first one. I must confess I nearly always hit the 'play all as video' button since Rosie will just watch it transfixed and wave when instructed to the babies.

I have got the Ladybird Toddler First Words app as well but so far that hasn't gone down so well. I'm not sure why. Rosie knows all the words that are included and will say them and touch the objects, which then make a sound. I must say the cutlery sounds are quite incredible, it must have been very hard to find a sound for a knife! But she won't touch the words which is how you make the app say the words and she doesn't tend to swipe through. I would really like this app in French though, my husband speaks in French to Rosie at bathtime and it would be good to have something else to reinforce it and I can see this style of app being perfect.

Talking Tomcat is another one that has gone down quite well, although I don't think she enjoys it as much as we do!

And another app I had recommended to me was Baby TV which I did buy but I find it a bit too US based in its approach.

There are two apps I keep meaning to buy and use with Rosie but I think that maybe she's still a bit young and I just haven't got round to getting them yet. I've heard very good things about them though.
The first is Rumble in the Jungle based on the fab picture book with audio by Hugh Laurie (what's not to like?!).

The second is the Three Little Pigs and the Cinderella app from Nosy Crow. I've heard some very good things about both of these. Once I've got them and used them I might do a follow-up blog.

Finally I did download the Ladybird Me app which is an absolutely brilliant creation using the 'vintage' (as they're now known) Ladybird books and digitalising them - you can even record your own audio for them. The idea is that you buy the app and then add the books to it. It comes with 'The Zoo' for starters. In a way I think I love this more than Rosie does but I think she will enjoy it in the future.

So that's it. Apps we love and have used so far, probably not a very extensive or exciting list really. Are there any I'm missing or should have on here?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Looking Back - First books for a newborn baby

Of course when you're holding your newborn baby in your arms your first thought isn't to read them a story! And it's quite a few months before you start to think about books but it really is never to early to start with the ritual of holding a book and turning the pages.

For newborn babies you can get some really lovely high contrast cloth books which help them focus their eyes and can capture their interest for ages. This First Focus Cloth Book from Ladybird is a classic that has been around for a very long time. It really works too! My daughter was completely transfixed by it when she was tiny. You can also attach it to the bars of your cot/buggy/baby gym.
This one by Jo Lodge for Baby Campbell Books is also a lovely example and a great first toy!

There are some great buggy books for this age group which can really help to soothe a young baby. I remember a fractious car journey which was saved by this book! This Baby Touch Star book is also from Ladybird.

The Amazing Baby range from Templar is well worth looking at for tiny babies as well. Although I'll cover them in another blog since they are more suited to slightly older babies.

It's also well worth building up your stock of nursery rhymes for newborns as well. Crooning a lullaby or nursery rhyme is a great way to soothe your baby and it's nicer for you if you have a selection to choose from, rather than just frantically singing 'Twinkle, Twinkle, little star' over and over again. Ok - so I've been there. At four in the morning it can be hard to dredge them up from your sleep-deprived memory!