Gardening: Indoors With Apps

We are growing seedlings inside to start for our garden.

 

Some time ago, I wrote about the science project I conducted with my children. We grew seedlings inside to start our garden. My children excitedly watched as the seeds sprouted. We used our iPad to take pictures, and I analyzed with my older son why one of the sprouts seemed to be leaning toward the window.

 

They received the book How a Seed Grows as a gift, and we have read it several times. We reviewed the pictures of the seeds later toHow a Seed Grows remember how the seed started and progressed. We also used the app Popplet to make an organizational chart about how seeds grow, which included drawings, our own pictures, and color-coding.

 

After reading How a Seed Grows, my children and I talked about how the story connected to our own experience and how the seed in the story was different from our seeds. Making connections to the story and distinguishing differences is a great thinking activity for reading together with your children.

 

Popplet

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. Read KinderTown's review.

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. It is a great tool for lots of different subject areas and simple enough for younger kids to use with guidance. I like how the app only offers the most simple and useful tools and doesn’t overwhelm kids with tons of options. We used the pictures we took in Popplet and added descriptions to form a visual representation of the process of how a seed grows. Popplet could be used for many different purposes, such as a pre-writing, re-creating a timeline from a book, describing a character from a book, or recording facts you’ve learned about a topic. Popplet is a fabulous learning tool!

Read KinderTown's blog post about gardening and apps.

Happy Little Farmer

This app is adorable and you will fall in love with it! Read KinderTown's review.

Welcome to your own personal fruit and vegetable farm! This app is adorable, and you will fall in love with it! Kids take on the role of the farmer and complete the tasks associated with growing food. The background music plays familiar nursery rhyme tunes. From the menu, children choose the garden, tractor, or monster area in which to play. Children are engaged in play but certainly learning about how food grows in an age-appropriate way. They can dig the holes for the seeds, plant the seeds, water the plants, harvest the vegetables, and even chase the unwanted bugs away. The app does not contain narration, so, parents, talk to your children about what is happening as they complete all the interactive areas. Children earn stickers along the way for extra motivation and are able to navigate the app independently.

 

The experiential learning will continue throughout the summer and fall as our seeds are transferred to our garden and we harvest the fruits of our labor in the fall.

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Turn your Plastic Easter Eggs into Hands-on Learning

Before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity.

Easter baskets, Easter candy, and a few new spring trinkets entertain my children this week. Easter grass and plastic Easter eggs are scattered over my house as the kids enjoy the aftermath of a busy weekend with family and friends, and several Easter egg hunts over the past few weeks. But, before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity. If your kids are like my kids, then they seem to never grow tired of the hiding and finding of the eggs.

 

Upper Case and Lower Case Matching

 

Before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity. Learn more at the KinderTown blog.

My daughter attends a local preschool and has begun to identify many letters. At her recent parent conference, her teacher shared her progress, and suggested we work on matching all of the upper case and lowercase letters. To create the game, I write with sharpie upper and lowercase letters on either side of the Easter egg. Then hide them around the house. I’ll be sure to include a few I know she knows for review and building confidence as well as a few she isn’t sure of yet. The easiest upper case and lower case letters to match are those that look visually similar such as Uu, Ww and Cc. Letters that are not as visually similar are more difficult to learn and recognize as the upper and lower case version, such as Ff, Gg or Nn.

 

This game will be perfect for her, and I’ll follow it up with a writing activity, and time on her favorite phonics app, abc PocketPhonics. I’ll space the activities out and repeat them over the next week or two. This is a great learning combination for anyone still learning the upper- and lowercase letters. I’m tapping into multiple senses and experiences to solidify her learning. To find out about more great apps for learning letters, download the free KinderTown app.

 

abc PocketPhonics

PocketPhonics brings three important language skills together into one app. Read KinderTown's review.

PocketPhonics brings three important language skills together into one app. In abc PocketPhonics, children learn to recognize letters, hear letter sounds, form letters by tracing, and use the letter sounds to build words. Encourage your child to repeat the sounds made by each letter. Parents are able to create multiple users, have control over the font, letter types, what letters their child can work on, and how flawless the writing needs to be. PocketPhonics tracks each user’s answer and will not advance a user unless they first demonstrate mastery of the basics. KinderTown recommends the use of a stylus to help in the transfer of letter formation from the iPad screen to handwriting on paper. There is a Lite version to try to see if this app is a good fit for your child.

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , ,