Saturday, 30 June 2012

Y4 - 274/365: Using Our Noodles on Zoodles

I may have mentioned a while back that I downloaded an app for Ryan on my phone. The app itself is called 'Kid Mode' by a company called 'Zoodles.' It's the *free* version and serves as a "desktop" for kids about 8-years-old and under. There is a child lock feature where you need to draw the letter 'Z' or verify your age to exit, but otherwise, your children are free to peruse a set amount of apps at their leisure whilst being blocked from accessing your own desktop as well as the internet, even through those silly pop-up ads. What is even better is that you can set up profiles for each child you want, specifying which games and apps you want them to have access to.

Ryan has been enjoying lots of Nick Jr. videos and some musical clips with his favourite muppet, Elmo! He has even become so familiar with it, that he's no longer interested in the apps on my phone if he accidentally gets a hold of it, he simply clicks on the little blue icon and waits for his profile picture to appear. He knows that if he touches his picture, all of his games and activities pop up!

Another interesting aspect is the 'Parent Dashboard' where you can keep track of progress and change settings. If you want your child to focus more on maths or reading related games/options, you simply change it in the menu options. So far, Ryan is really enjoying the games/clips that cover 'Life Skills' and 'Creative Development' which means games and puzzles where he is exploring pictures, matching, or even tending to the needs of virtual Baby Dora the Explorer. Great little exercises he uses to help his logic & reasoning skills!!

In addition to games and videos, children can also read/listen to stories or even have them read out loud to them by family members. The initial story 'The Three Little Pigs' is the default story and it's free. Other stories are a few pounds each and you receive an e-mail if your child has tried to access them to request you read the story.

Stories aren't the only interactive feature! You can also enable/disable videos and invite family/friends to send & receive videos with your child. We're still trying to suss this bit as the videos come out quite pixelated, but we still think it's a brilliant option!

All I know is that Ryan absolutely loves it and it's great as a little treat for him or something nice he can share with his cousin during a visit.

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