Sunday, November 10, 2013

Playing On Sesame Street’s Digital Playground

This littlest blogger gets tech-savvy with the help of some friendly muppets!


This week I played on a very different type of playground: the Sesame Workshop Digital Playground. Children like me were invited to explore the digital playground and uncover the way Sesame is transforming how we kiddos use electronic media. Mommy and I were so impressed by the extensive educational and fun offerings and especially enjoyed that many features encourage Mommy (or caretaker) to play along with me so it is a family experience (and not just me with a screen). There is so much fun to be had on the digital playground that I can only include some of my and Mommy’s favorites below. There is endless opportunity to explore and there are tremendous resources available so let this be a warm-up lap for our first visit to this palatial playground.

Sesame Street Family Play
What I learn according to Sesame: family play and team building
How to play: This recently released app is aimed at parents to involve kids in fun, family games. It has over 150 family games in one app! I can choose my location such as at home, away from home, or traveling to pick a fantastic game for my current location whether in the living room or at a restaurant. The text is given onscreen and I get to go and play wherever I am! For example, we played an at home game where there were three objects and I had to guess which one went under a sombrero! It was mucho mucho fun!
Why Mommy loves it: It is the most interactive app that allows the entire family to be involved and play together. Also, the games are parent led. This is sure to help give your caretaker a little inspiration to keep things interesting.

Big Bird’s Words
What I learn according to Sesame: Word recognition tools to learn vocabulary and to help kids familiarize words in context.
How to play: I create a shopping list for Big Bird using the pictures of the grocery store. And it always has milk (my favorite)! I get to choose the words based on pictures and then look for the words in the scene. I get three hints and then a visual glow helps me find the object (just in case the hints didn’t do the trick). Big Bird also helps me sound out the letters and words.  Then he gives me definitions and descriptions of the words. I learned so much!
Why Mommy loves it: This is a great way for Mommy to connect words to real life products

Elmo Loves ABCs
What I learn according to Sesame: Learn all about letters through songs, videos, coloring pages, and games
How to play: I learn to recognize and write upper- and lower-case letters by tracing the letters with my finger (and as I do a dotted yellow line appears and lights up to show my work). Once I complete the letter, I can color that letter’s words with the coloring the objects, see three pictures of words that start with the letter (and can get hints, too) and also hear the sounds that the letter makes and words that the letter begins with.
Why Mommy loves it: The app allows Mommy to track and monitor my work and IDs my favorite letters (E for Elle and Elmo, of course!) with the app’s features.

Explorer! Sesame Street on Leap Frog
What I learn according to Sesame: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts
How to play: I explore one of three magnificent missions with Elmo, Abby, and Super Grover.  I chose the magnetics mission (to help with my budding math and science skills) and in the game, used a magnet to recover Elmo’s toys from a tree while learning about the levers and weights to get the toys down. Then, I got to try to catch the toys as they fell back down. This was a bit challenging for this near two-year old as I need more hand eye coordination but look forward to playing better soon.
Why Mommy loves it: I get to discover my super powers while secretly learning math and science!

Elmo’s Story Maker
What I learn according to Sesame: Develop your imagination and storytelling
How to play: I let my imagination run wild as I created my very own adventures for Elmo based on the television segment “Elmo the Musical.” I can select settings, themes, characters, and other key features that allow me to create an infinite number of adventures for Elmo. I had a blast as I figured out how to structure stories by learning about the beginning, middle, and end.
Why Mommy loves it: Once I create my story, Mommy and Daddy’s voice can read me the story or Elmo will read it to me himself until I learn how to! I can also send the stories to my friends and family who can in turn build on my story and send it back to me with a plot twist!

There are so many educational apps and over 150 eBooks, all available to make me and my friends smarter while having fun Sesame style. Find them all HERE!

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