Babi2 is home with the chicken pox and I’m preparing for a tech workshop, sounds like a perfect combination!

If you can get hold of one, MaKey MaKey is a neat bit of kit which makes anything into a keyboard. It takes less than a minute to set up and the only limits to what you can do with it really are your imagination and the contents of your fruit bowl. Check out all the fun projects here.

I showed her how to connect it and loaded up the piano and bongos websites. She mastered those and then realised she could connect me up too, either by holding my hand or by having me hold onto a crocodile clip and then pressing my nose instead of the banana to play the notes!

 

On the BabiTech iPhone

I’m sure you’re all dying to know which apps made it to the current BabiTech list. If there’s something missing that Babis 1 and 2 really need to have, stick it in the comments and we’ll try it out.

IMG_4720Toca Boca

Toca Boca’s Hair Xmas, Toca Builders, Toca Band, Toca Fairy Tales, Toca Hair Salon 2, Toca Kitchen Monster, Toca Doctor

Yes we are huge fans of Toca Boca, no they didn’t pay me to say that. We’ve not found one we don’t all like. The games are well thought out, catchy but not mindless, creative, educational and fun.

Apps Cymraeg

S4C Cyw, Cyw a’r Wyddor, Mwnci Bach, Tref a Tryst, Cyfri gyda Cyw, Ben Dant

The apps produced by S4C are pretty good, my favourites are Cyw a’r Wyddor which helps teach letter formation (Welsh alphabet) and Cyfri gyda Cyw which does the same with numbers. Mwnci Bach is one of those interactive games where the monkey repeats back to you whatever you say, it frequently breaks and I recently removed it as it drives me nuts and has little edcational value. Ben Dant is Babi 2’s favourite, there’s a memory game, a spot the difference and a couple of other games with a pirate theme.

Big Click‘s Llythrennau and Llawysgrifen are excellent letter learning games created by a company in the Rhondda, just up the road from BabiTech HQ. They have a real community focus and work closely with kids, more about them soon I hope!

The Rest

Lightbot – one hour coding There are a few apps in the lightbot series and they all teach coding through a series of tasks which you have to programme the animated robot to complete. It’s cute and simple but needs some basic app literacy and a patient adult on standby.

TACU I have talked about before, great fun adding animated faces and audio to any picture, this is one of those apps to work on together as the interface is not terribly child friendly.

Singing Fingers is so lovely and creative, I wish the iPhone version worked as well as the iPad one does. It’s Babi1’s favourite way to make a lot of noise. Touching the screen triggers audio recording and leaves a mark, you re-touch the mark to play back the sound. Babi1 likes to sing a scale whilst drawing a spiral and then play it back backwards tracing her finger back over the pattern she drew.

If that sounds too complicated watch the video

And last but not least, my favourite app of all time is Qiver (formerly ColAR Mix) the augmented reality colouring book. You have to print the pictures from their website (pdfs so you can save them) and colour them in however you like. Then scan them with the app and see them come to life. Magical!

IMG_2611

LonDIN

Here at Babitech we are proud to support a London based kickstarter appeal for a digital inclusion network.

This is for kids who wouldn’t normally have access to new opportunities in technology because of their age, gender, perceived ability, ethnicity, knowledge or cost.

This will enable them to learn, make, create, gain skills, gain self confidence, gain self esteem and generally kick some digital ass.

Networks are designed to grow, as far as I’m concerned, London is just the starting point.

Watch the video, share everywhere and pledge if you can. Thank you.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/londin/londin-londons-digital-inclusion-network/widget/video.html

Tackling tricky topics – Adult content

Let’s face it, no one wants to talk to their children about adult content. In fact if we were playing cringe-worthy-parent-moments top-trumps, porn beats them all. The trouble is, no matter how good our home internet parental controls are, you only need to walk around the magazine aisle of a supermarket to expose your child to an abundance of sexualized images. It’s something we need to talk about and I’d rather brave my inevitable blushes than let someone else talk to my kids about it first.

Top tips for broaching the subject;

Keep it age appropriate, if your children are very young, you can talk to them about respect for their own body and respect for other people. You can also reassure them that they can talk to you about anything.

Prepare yourself;

Think about what messages you do and don’t want to get across to your child. You certainly don’t want to inspire them to go searching for it but you do want them to know that they can talk to you if they have seen something they are worried or upset about.

Conversation starters;

The human body is amazing and beautiful and comes in lots of different shapes and sizes.

Relationships should be between adults who love and care about each other.

For more information and details of how to set up tough parental controls on computers, phones and devices go to

http://www.internetmatters.org/issues/pornography.html#learn