Preschool Parent Guide -Toys and Education by Frugoton Ltd is an app designed for parents and caregivers of toddlers and preschool aged children. You can learn more about the philosophy of the app and the importance of preschool here. The app has a variety of tasks designed to gauge school readiness including language, math, pretend play, reading and more. The activities are presented on your device and are designed to be done off device. For example, one of the tasks is to read a magazine. I picked up several magazines at the local store and used them for a project. First we practiced holding the magazine properly (with proper upright orientation), then we read a article out of it about vegetables and how you can grow them in the garden. I explained to my seven year old about how we grow vegetables and then we cut out pictures of our favorite vegetables and made a collage. Later that evening, we picked out a vegetable from our farm share – in this case swiss chard and found a recipe to prepare it with. You can also view a You Tube video on how to complete the activity, as well as a step by step process, seeing some toys that the app suggests or different games. Once you have completed the activity you can click “I’ve done it!” which brings up a rating and earns you points. The points are used to unlock further activities within the app.
The app has a variety of activities, and each includes a brief description of the activity, the educational value and why you are doing it, as well as ways to change it up and make it more fun. You can tailor the app to your specific child with a name, birthday and gender of the child. For my purposes I put in my seven year old and my baby’s information. The tasks between the two children were developmentally different as I would expect them to be. I liked that it enabled me to have 1:1 time with each of my children to accomplish the activities while providing me with guidance on what we could do, but allowing me the flexibility to change it as necessary to what we wanted to do together. One of the skills I’m working on with my son is letters and sight words, I really enjoyed the activity where we wrote out uppercase and lowercase letters and used a paper clip to put them together. There was a printable sheet that allowed me to print out the letters, and then I used paper clips so we could put the words together. I printed five copies of the sheet to ensure we had enough letters for our word combinations – in this case we practiced the “at” family. The app also suggests appropriate kids apps like Endless Alphabet with a short app review as well as a link to the app store for continuing to practice the skill.
Parents can personalize the curriculum and then look at the specific tasks that need to be completed. The app provides an “introduce, learn, practice model” for learning different skills and provides opportunities for the child to successfully complete them off of your device with a parent or caregiver. By doing the learn/practice step you can ensure that the child has gotten the concept while they are demonstrating it to you. For example, there is an activity where you are learning how to tell time. You can either buy the toy online from Amazon, or make your own using a paper plate and construction paper along with a brad to hold the pieces in place. Since the app is designed for parents, there is not a parental gate that protects against external links. The app also offers advice on how to work with your child, first you introduce them to the concept (such as letters or numbers) in a fun everyday manner and then do it in short regular sessions for learning. By having your child involved in the learning, they become more engaged (such as finding pictures in a magazine and then using them with the letter cards to make sight words like “sat, cat” they are more likely to retain the information.
One of my favorite activities that I did with my younger son was reading books. We try to read every night using board books and really want to spend time together, wind down from the day as well as listening skills. I liked that the activities contained within the app were short and manageable – even with a short attention span of a toddler and could be done in small amounts of time. The suggestions such as pointing from word to word, showing the pictures and encouraging making of sounds all were ones that helped me more effectively read to my son. The app also made suggestions of other books we might enjoy reading together, and some of those are among my older sons’ favorites such as The Day the Crayons Quit which we checked out of the library and then ordered online because my son liked it so much. As you complete and rate the activities within the app, you earn points which will unlock subsequent portions of the app. Alternatively, you can pay $9.99 to unlock the entire app in the beginning instead.
This is a great app for both first time and second time or later parents because it provides you with structured activities that you can do with your children both on your device and off while allowing you to adapt them as needed to meet your child’s specific needs. It can also be great for sharing milestones with your child’s doctor as you complete various activities. I really liked that it provided age appropriate activities to do with my kids in a ready to do format so I could pull out my phone and just do them on the fly!
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to feature this app.
Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.