Purely because I thought it would be interesting and I don’t think it has been done already, I’m going to track my baby’s (and any other babies i can get my hands on!) developmental milestones – but rather than the block-stacking, finger-thumb-opposition kind I’m looking at the TV remote, mobile device, smart-phone, laptop sort of thing.
Now when I say track, I mean a mum style track, the occasional update when I get time off from scrubbing Weetabix off the wallpaper. I’m not obsessive enough to chart her daily progress and I don’t think that would be healthy for either of us.
To keep it interesting I’ll also blog about and review baby friendly apps and other baby techy stuff. If you know of something good or have something you’d like reviewing let me know. I’m a geek at heart!
I’d love to hear from anyone else who wants to share their baby’s technology milestones – add a comment or email me.
My usual approach with new Apps or devices is to let Babi work it out for herself but this month I gave in and tried to teach her how to use a track pad. She is still convinced that my MacBook has a faulty screen. I am sure that she thinks I’m a bit stupid for not having it fixed. She gives me the same incredulous look I used to give my Mother when she talked about black and white telly.
We were playing a Peppa Pig game where you drag different characters onto the stage and they each play a different instrument. Babi’s logic tells her to touch the character she wants and drag her finger across the screen to move it. Half way across the screen she realises that something isn’t right, maybe she didn’t press hard enough. On the third attempt I explain, no, that doesn’t work. “Broken Mummy?”
I tell her to watch the cursor, get her to wiggle her finger on the track-pad, watch the cursor, wiggle some more, see if you can draw a square… ‘That’s very clever Mummy”. I ask her to choose a character, she puts her finger on the screen.
We ended up playing together with me controlling the cursor and her telling me what to do. Every time I got it wrong her hand jumped straight to the screen to fix it.
We recently returned from a week away in Bluestone where I partly embraced the “free-range” ethos and switched off my laptop for a few days. The rest of the family had other ideas. Babi is not such a babi these days, 2 years 10 months and she was showing her Mamgu how to use an iPad. Given that we don’t have any type of tablet at home, this was Taid’s iPad, I’m still surprised at how confidently she handled it. She picked it up, unlocked the screen, chose the app she wanted (Toca band), played it, exited it and put it back away like it was any other toy.
Later that day I was reading my Kindle (I did say partly embraced). Babi believes that Mamgu’s touchscreen Kindle can access any story that she can imagine but Mammy’s Kindle, being an older and more basic model, is merely a digital copy of Winnie the Pooh.
Babi2.0 is now 6 months old, she is only interested in things she can eat. She has participated in on-line meetings and Skyped her Grandparents but her interaction still stops at slobbering on the keyboard.
More video evidence of little people doing big things.
We celebrate half birthdays here in the Babitech house, it’s a great excuse to eat more cake. I think the little one gets a rough deal as her half birthday is on Christmas day but it’ll be a few years before she works that one out.
30 months have flown by and our baby has become a little girl. She can turn on the tv with the remote or the button, unlock a touch screen mobile phone, play simple games on a laptop, phone or tablet, adjust volume and brightness, pause and re-start a youtube video, recognise letters and numbers on a keyboard and switch things off when she’s had enough of them. However she still can’t quite believe that a MacBookPro screen doesn’t respond to her swiping it!
Babi2.0 arrived 10 weeks ago, she’s not interested unless there’s a milk app.
I always thought that banging on the top of the telly or tapping the remote on the coffee table was a practice confined to my grandparents’ generation, but this month BabiTech can confirm that it is a natural human reflex. Now 26.5 months old, Babi’s first reaction to a technology fail is to tap the screen. If that doesn’t work, you’ve guessed it, she tries switching it off and on again!
Over the last six weeks or so our little one has watched her first streamed film (Gnomeo and Juliet) and has played her first computer games. I’m still reeling that she managed to beat me on Google Doodle basketball during the Olympics but she had previously had some practice with space-bar action tossing pancakes for Daddy Pig.
By far the most engaging and imaginative games I’ve found this month are on the Cbeebies website, with your permission, the site switches your webcam on at certain points during the games so it looks like the game player is there on screen. Babi was pretty amazed to see herself sitting on the NinkyNonk alongside IgglePiggle and blown away by the sparkly magic of the Tree Foo Tom interactive adventures. You have to move your hands in a certain pattern to “make the magic”. I’ve not experimented with it yet to find out how it works but it’s pretty clever, and if I get caught playing toddler games I may never live it down!
Yet again the month has flown by and Babi has become considerably more stroppy, more demanding, more loud and more cute whilst I have become tireder and larger around the middle.
I was worrying that there may be nothing to report in my 25 month update but then Babi discovered the world changing phenomenon that is on-line tv on demand. Babi’s grandparents have a magical TV which records every episode of Piggle and Uppa Dee-Dee, but this is special to Booky and Taid’s house. We have an inferior machine which stops working at 7pm (thank you CBeebies!).
Last week my need to just sit down became so great that I introduced Babi to unlimited episodes of that annoying pink pig and her family. The result being that every time she catches sight of my laptop she now points and shouts Pigga! And proceeds to get very upset, stroppy, demanding and loud.
I’ve no idea where the last year went to but suddenly we are well into the summer birthday party circuit. We passed the 24 month mark this week so I had better get updating the blog.
A friend recommended Talkng Tom Cat’s canine counterpart, Talking Ben. For some reason I want to call the dog Dexter and have confused myself on more than 3 occasions searching for the app on my phone. After disabling the allow violence function, I let little one loose on the grumpy pooch who kept her entertained for a good ten minutes.
Once she’d “woken him up” by tickling and prodding the screen Ben repeats back whatever you say to him but in a deeper voice. Babi decided to put him through his paces offering increasingly more complicated vocal exercises to see if he could keep up with her. She then found the telephone function and had a short conversation with him consisting of a mixture of babble and barking.
As for developmental milestones, she now has much better control of the touch screen although she can’t yet manage to unlock it on the first attempt. She is aware that different pictures have different functions. She can swipe the screen sideways to navigate the home pages, she can tap the screen and knows that this action makes something happen. She can interact with an app vocally and has a good understanding of the camera function.
Picture courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnfederico/2605355144/in/photostream/
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