Labo Lado Inc. makes some of the most fun apps on the planet and manages to pack in essential skill building play for preschoolers and early elementary students. Following on the heels of their wildly successful apps Labo Car Designer and Labo Dancing Kids, comes Labo Train tooting down the track. After designing your train, either from a template or making your own design, you can then color it, add wheels, and stickers. One of the nice features is that the color stays within the outline of the template, but kids need to still exhibit control in adding details such as color variations within the train or car. This helps to improve focus and attention by setting up a “frame” or parameters for when detail is added. This is what we call in the Therapy world as “Just the Right Challenge” – giving kids a baseline of success so that they can then explore and experiment to learn other skills without getting frustrated or giving up on trying. A slider bar to increase or decrease line width as well a model for coloring are also included.
Once the train is completed, it is time to shift gears and attend to the mission of delivering apples to the station – hopefully with them all intact. Running over 24 courses, in all kinds of weather, you need to gauge just how fast you can go to not spill the apples. It’s hard to resist the impulse to go full throttle and toot your horn for all to get out of the way. Ahhh… the open breeze, a new track, and a load full of apples! I love this playful experimentation for all my busy, busy, sensory seeking kids. Just when you think you are living the life and have it under control; you hit an obstacle….. “O Man, I hate that!” say my fellow engineers. Introduced here are small spatial puzzlers teaching kids about basic physics by judging size, shape, and placement of objects as “tools” to stay on course. If you make it to the end…Woo Hoo! It’s all good and you are rewarded with new stickers and wheels to add to your trains in the future. I love the apps from Labo Lado Inc. as they joyfully encourage both creativity and problem solving.
- Promotes creativity
- Opportunities for choice making
- Learning about color sensibilities
- Promotes left to right visual scanning
- Teaches graded control and helps gain experience in self-regulation
- Introduces basic problem solving in the physical world
- Goal and task oriented, with a definite beginning middle and end to the activity
- It is Fun, Fun, Fun and can be used as a reinforce while still maintaining task demands
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.