The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book, by Bayard Presse, is a gentle and easily assessable app for toddlers to learn about everyday routines, celebrations, and the changing of the seasons. There are six scenes and 4 choices within each scene to help build vocabulary and acquaint little ones with what there is to see and explore in their ever changing and broadening the view of the world. The six scenes are Animals, The House, Family Fun, Holidays (vacations), Outings, and even The Four Seasons. In The House, there is the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room. Add it all up and there are 24 different environments with over 250 vocabulary words to learn!
By tapping on any of the scenes, a page opens and gives a brief overview of what is happening on the page as well as giving direction to find all the items in the picture that are displayed on the bottom scroll bar. After that, the app is wonderfully silent, allowing kids to find, then hear the spoken name of an object, person or thing once sighted and tapped. Although items are identified in English, it is British English and some of the names of items may not be identical to U.S. terminology, an i.e. jumper for a sweater. This, however, is really an opportunity to allow kids to hear another point of view and learning to appreciate another culture in a subtle manner – and yes presenting something a little different than expected can start with toddlers.
I love the fact that kids can drink in the visuals while exploring without a lot of hoopla and clapping. Each item is presented and identified as a pop up on a flash card. This gives kids time to process and relate the items to their own experience. There is a short “You did it” screen before qualifying for the bonus 12 card memory game at the completion of identifying all the objects on a page.
With so much content, the replay value is high. Some natural game extensions for this app are generalizing to games such as “I spy with my little eye”, helping with chores, and planning parties or special occasions by shopping, cooking or planning an outing. You could say…”Let’s find the spoon, and stir this bowl of batter” or “Let’s go to the farm and find some ducks”. That way you reinforce the new vocabulary while e doing.
Little Brown Bear is a nice beginning app for expanding a toddler’s vocabulary and views about their homes and communities. Learning to respond and take action is at the very beginning of skills for early learners. Check it out!
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 every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.