Technology offers any great benefits to children. It can be a great tool for students to be creators and problem solvers. There are, however, potential dangers from overexposure to media. This month's Preschool and Beyond Podcast hosted by our partner, Discovery Child Development Center, explores effective ways to manage screen time and ideas so that your child uses it effectively. While the podcast is aimed at preschool families, the episode is applicable to children of all ages.
Example of Quality Apps and Computer Programs for Elementary School Children
- PhET simulations - for the computer and iPad - https://phet.colorado.edu/
- Scratch Jr (ages 5-7)it's an app https://www.scratchjr.org/index.html
- Scratch (ages 8 - adult), (computer only) - https://scratch.mit.edu/
- coding - https://code.org/
-Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org/although this is more passive learning, it is good for explaining curriculum and for self-motivated learners who want to advance themselves
Site to help in evaluating media and finding some good media
- Common Sense Media - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
Gift Guide Overview - Discovery Tech - Morrisville/Cary, NC
Every year there are an increasing number of Tech gift options for children. I know with my 3 children, it can take a good amont of time and research to find the right gift. I definitely want to make sure my child will use the gift, especially for gifts that require a greater investment. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a gift, to have it only be a used a couple of times. This guide will highlight popular technology products we use at DIscovery, as well as other products families have recommended. Ultimately, you know your child best, but hopefully these ideas can help steer you in the right direction.
Favorites from Discovery Tech Summer and Track-Out Camps
Dot and Dash Robots (Ages 6+, $199 for both, they can be bought separately)
Snap Circuits (Ages 6+, prices vary depending on kit)
Additional Tech Gift Ideas
Here are some additional tech products that I have heard good things about this year.
Fisher-Price's Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar (Ages 3-6, $39.00)
This looks like a great toy to introduce children as young as preschool to coding. To program the codeapillar, children arrange the segments in a certain order. All the programming is done directly on the toy and you do not need to worry about using a phone or tablet.
littleBits Kits (Price and ages vary by kit)
My son received the Rule Your Room Kit for his birthday last week. He is having a great time with this product. It builds off their makey makey board to teach children about conductivity. They can create different alarms, sensors, a pop-up puppet and more. littleBits offers a number of different sets and I am already looking at ones for my son to get in the future.
Jewelbots (Ages 7-14, $69)
These are like no friendship bracelet you have seen before. Kids can send secret messages to their friends through these bracelets. It is open-sourced, and children can come up with their own programs for their bracelets.
Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot, ($129, $199 with force band)
With the release of another Star Wars movie this year, this toy will be a big hit with children. They recently added a force band accessory capable of guiding the robot into action. Your child will feel like a jedi master!
3Doodler Start ($49.99)