The Berenstain Bears: Safe and Sound!, by Oceanhouse Media, is an essential app that all parents need to have, as well as teachers, to reinforce and make safety a habitual part of everyday activities. Kids need to wear safety helmets and other gear when on a bicycle, skateboard or scooter. We all think we are invincible and need reminders to practice safe play. Reading this book, not only sets the tone for that protocol, but also acceptable standards for pursuing sports and games. Choose autoplay, read it myself, or read to me.
In “autoplay”, each word read, is highlighted as reading and this really helps beginning readers develop a rhythm and flow to the story. You can also tap on any illustration to see it spelled and sounded out.
In “read it myself” the script is presented, and any word tapped is read aloud and as in auto play tapping on a picture will help it become identified.
The “read to me” is a slower paced version of auto play where you are able to control the pace and turn the pages at will. This is so important for special needs kids, in allowing them time to process the material.
The storyline includes the younger bears wanting to play with their skateboards. Mama bear, of course, is demanding their use of safety equipment, but the kids do not like it nor can they find a safe place to play. When enticed by their peers to an unsafe “skater park deep in the woods”, they begin to question the need to use their helmets and pads. Unfortunately, they witness why Momma Bear was so adamant about protecting themselves, as one of their older peers suffers an injury.
Many times when working with children, they have sensory defensive reactions and behaviors to safety equipment. The more we model this protocol, the more likely they are to accept it. Books like The Berenstain Bears: Safe and Sound!, are not only modeling what is the proper procedure for playing with bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades… but making it an ordinary everyday occurrence. Bravo to Oceanhouse Media for tackling this subject in an app!
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.