Racer-icon-150x150Dr. Panda’s Racers is an exciting new app for preschoolers. The interest and repeat play has been phenomenal! Dr. Panda has always had the knack for keeping things challenging while retaining the joy of discovery. In their new app, kids participate in a car race while being able to earn design rights to new parts to cars after winning races. In addition, they can customize their own race tracks – complete with obstacles and roadblocks to foil their foes. Little do they know that they are also learning to sequence events, refine motor control, and learn basic concepts about physics and its resultant performance in a non-threatening environment. AND that is the beauty of play. There is so much to observe and discover. Experimenting with variables is exhilarating, and one doesn’t know the outcome till trying out an idea.

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On opening, choose a driver from a panel of six familiar characters. Love, love love the diversity of drivers, there is a broad spectrum of species and gender. Then, depending on your experience, design a hotrod for the race (New parts are obtained from winning races). It’s cool to mix and match, and then kids can paint the car if they choose. Before moving forward, do you use the premade course or venture out to design your own? Learning a bit from the premade course is valuable in learning to drive your ‘rod, but who knows what will happen in designing a new course. Detailing your vehicle in the body shop is up next. A little suds and rinse or filling it up with gas may be in order. At times, it has been known that the friendly technicians have found faulty tire pressure – and that is all something for little ears – that things we use require attention and maintenance.
The time for the race has arrived, and as all head for the starting line, it’s time to buckle up that seat belt. Thank-you Dr. Panda from pre-school educators everywhere for not only making this a non-negotiable occurrence but also one that is an ordinary routine of what to do when getting in a car. Whew! The race is off, and to win, kids ned to successfully navigate all the trips and turns. Tip: by putting the pedal to the metal, you may crash and your opponent may pass you. Learning to accelerate and deaccelerate is a lifelong skill and one that does not just pertain to driving. We all need to learn to make choices about whether or not to stay put or move forward, and that comes with experience. Along the way are many obstacles, and it is the genius of Dr. Panda to highlight these with making a mark (and they are pre-writing strokes to boot). By highlighting these obstacles, it makes kids more aware of temporal space and the marking of time. All tasks have a definite beginning, middle, and end and that is one of the first steps in participating in play beyond simple cause and  effect.

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Along the way are many obstacles, and it is the genius of Dr. Panda to highlight these with making a mark (and they are pre-writing strokes to boot). By highlighting these obstacles, it makes kids more aware of temporal space and the marking of time. All tasks have a definite beginning, middle, and end and that is one of the first steps in participating in play beyond simple cause and  effect. This app has proven a winner, and can wear the badge of a TWA and a recommended app. Generalization to floor play is a snap. Check it out!

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