Spot the Dot is an engaging app that mixes the simplicity and repetitive nature of a picture book with interactive puzzles; it has everyone in my family begging for a turn on the iPad.
The game is simple, you search random colored shapes to find the missing dot. Yet, it is so much fun for something that sounds so simple.
The play gets progressively more challenging. Each level introduces a new activity: In one, players use a finger (good for fine motor control) to move a spotlight around a dark screen until they find the correct colored dot. In another, shapes “pop” and are transformed into different shapes. We liked how this app makes following auditory directions critical – always an important lesson for kids!
Different age children will find different ways to enjoy this app:
• A four-year-old will search for colored shapes, exploring the entire screen.
• An older child might enjoy setting up a timer and keep a record of how fast they can “spot the dot.”
• The app’s bold colors and intuitive play will appeal to youngsters who are learning colors and shapes.
• The hide-and-seek puzzles are intriguing enough to engage older children.
• Good for all ages: The dot locations are random so play is different each visit to the app.
Just so there is no confusion, I can find the dot faster than anyone else in my family!
(And “Yes”, we are a competitive family)
Activity 1: Do You Hear What I Hear?
As a teacher I often found myself saying ” I hope you had a friend who was listening.” I do not believe in repeating to those with selective hearing (husband included). Amazingly, I could observe the difference as the year progressed. These activities will help children become better listeners. Speaking is important, but listening is what good speakers do.
Slow and fast
This game activity is all about rhythm. Select a CD to play and have your child listen to various tempos of music. Every time a fast song is played, ask your child to dance as fast as he possibly can. Then play a slower song and ask your child to lessen the pace. Play a few songs of varying rhythms and see if your child can pick up on the various speeds.
Clapping the rhythm
This is a great activity that tests the attention of children. Ask your child to stand facing you. With your hands, clap a certain rhythm and then stop. Ask your child to repeat what you just did. (make a math activity out it by making patterns). See if she can duplicate your rhythm. It is up to you to determine the length and difficulty of each rhythm.
The number game
Call out a series of random numbers. After you have called them out once, repeat a second time for clarification. After that is done, ask your child to try and repeat the numbers that you have just said.
Activity 2: Spot the Dot
One of the reasons we love this app is because kids take the color and shape puzzles found in the app and recreate them in their own play. All a parent needs to do is leave out some scrap papers, markers and scissors (you know – all those things hanging out in your child’s art box) and watch their kids recreate “Spot the Dot” in their own unique ways.
When kids recreate and design their own version of “Spot the Dot” not only are they applying knowledge of colors and shapes but they are also developing a whole lot of other skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. Skills such as:
• Empowering themselves and others
• Taking ownership
• Task persistence
• Social skills
• Task satisfaction
Keep encouraging your child to create, re-create and engage in projects that interest them. You won’t see the immediate results from these activities, but you will be proud as your child stays self-motivated while tackling bigger and more challenging projects as they get older.