May 13, 2014

DiDi an Educational Teddy Bear for Kids

I’m sure that we all had our very special toy/stuff that we grew up with, like mine for example was a feathered blanket and I have used it until I’ve graduated from high school. For others, it can be a stuffed-animal toy like a bear, panda, frog or whatever it is. As I’ve observed, while kids today still have teddy bears, they often pay more attention now with gadgets unlike before.

Giving your kids a smartphone or tablet is a great way to entertain them for hours, but it should be more of an educational rather than just letting them play for hours without learning anything. While searching for an advance stuffed-toy, I’ve just come across with this website where in they invented a teddy bear named DiDi that can teach the fundamentals of reading and colors and shapes to kids 3+. Aside from that kids can feed and take care of him like brushing its teeth using his Magic Touch toys and play games.

The DiDi teddy bear is hoping to bridge the gap between entertainment and learning. This is a teddy bear cover for iPads, and corresponds with an app that will teach reading, and work as a sort of Tamagotchi. Currently there are three “belly books”, 3 educational games, and responses for interactions.

July 29, 2007

3 Year Old Solves Rubik’s Cube in 114 seconds

This video is awesome. It is in chinese (I think), but the language doesn’t matter – Just watch the little girl solve the cube in under 2 minutes! Wow!

Yes, the girl is indeed very smart, but guess what – it takes a bit of parenting and a lot of patience for someone to sit with kids like this, and teach them a skill – no matter how rehearsed it might be.

Isn’t it that a lot of skills in this world are about how well rehearsed you are? How well you can hit that 18 footer, how many aces you can serve, how perfect your walk down the aisle is?

So, don’t discount things just because they are rehearsed. Practice does make a (wo)man perfect.

January 29, 2007

Educational Toys and Games

When we are looking for educational toys and games for our children, it is always helpful to know what children are like at the various stages of their development.

During infancy, nearly everything a baby can touch, taste, smell, see, hear or feel is a learning experience, but there really are very few educational toys and games for a child of this age, with the following exceptions: language ‘games’. Learning language, even from birth, is of extreme importance to your baby’s mental development and preparation for school. Talk to your baby!! If you name objects many times a day, these objects become his ‘educational toys and games’! Your baby is learning to associate a particular sound with the particular object, whether it is a toy, or baby’s feet during bath time, or your nose (and baby’s nose), and so forth.

You can also talk about activities throughout the day, every day. The repetition of words is key. Our babies recognize many words long before they can speak even a single word. How would your baby ever know to say “mama” or “dada” if you did not repeat these words hundreds of times?

I remember when my first-born learned the word for moon. There was a favorite soft book of his, with dozens of pictures that we would look at together, every day, saying the word of each object. When he was about 16 months, there was a full moon in a clear sky. We went out on the porch to enjoy the early evening, and he spotted the moon. His enthusiasm was immense, as he alternated his little feet in a fast dance, and pointed to the sky exclaiming, “Moon, moon, moon!!” This was the first time he had ever said the word.

As your baby gets older, educational toys and games are in abundance. Blocks, crayons, easy puzzles, hand puppets, stacking toys, mobiles, and so on, all help to develop motor skills, spatial awareness, recognition of various sounds, and language skills if baby has ‘talking’ company for some of the time when he is engaged in play. Of all the toys your pre-school child might have, their value will be enhanced dramatically by your participation in his play, with spoken words, words, words! Language skills are further increased by naming the surroundings, the travels from one room or one place to another, and so forth.

Educational toys and games are a big part of your child’s early years when they are fun! Babies and children are naturally curious, from the first few weeks of life. They are hungry to learn. But the keyword is “fun”. We should not try to teach letters and reading and math until a child is ready to learn, and this is generally not during the preschool years, even though there are some exceptions. Follow the child’s lead, and if she points to a magnetic letter on the refrigerator and says its name, we can applaud and share in her enthusiasm.

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