|Photographing nature, via USDA, Flikr|
Take (digital cameras) to the park with you and put them in your child's hands—or on their helmet, firmly secured with duct tape. There's something about being able to document their own footage that brings out the adventurer/daredevil in kids. That's a recipe for awesome—and YouTube bragging rights at school.Older children love creating their own mashups, learning how to digitally edit photos. This sort of active screen time is far different than passively watching TV.
Toontastic (free with in-app purchase of puppet sets, or $19.99 for an all-access pass), created by Bay Area startup Launchpad Toys. This app encourages kids to create their own animated stories. It guides young users through breaking down a story into five basic steps, then adding cartoon scenes, music and characters along the way. You narrate the scene while moving characters with your fingers. Kids absolutely love it, and there’s a great guide to help parents, encouraging collaborative play between grownups and kids.
As you think about digital media, think about the way children are engaging. Are they passively consuming media, or are they creating something while they use it? I've seen kids learn essential digital skills while doing something as fun as creating a birthday invitation on the computer. What can be better than learning through play? Our role as parents is to create these opportunities, think outside the box and see what creative ways we can engage our kids while introducing them to new media.
This week, I am exploring different aspects of using eBooks and digital media. I am sharing my thoughts in six parts:
- Part 1: Framework
- Part 2: Reading together
- Part 3: ebooks through public libraries
- Part 4: Playing together
- Part 5: Creating together
- Part 6: Resources to learn more
©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books