Grandpa’s Toy Shop is the much-awaited title for this season’s play by Fairlady Media. This installment of the Grandpa/Grandma series has Grandpa building his own toys and he desperately needs a helper to run the shop. Here, kids can sharpen their entrepreneurial skills - from choosing and refining the merchandise to the final sale, and learn what it takes to run a business. The games are for kids that are a little older, K-2 but younger ones can get in on the action with an older sibling, an adult, or using manipulatives or visual aids. (Basic skills of knowing or learning some sight words and understanding and calculating to 20 are required, but can be adapted easily.) So, get ready, and let’s go help Grandpa run the best business of all – a TOY STORE! Throughout the app, positive reinforcement is given for correct answers and attempts are met with silence to gently encourage kids to try again. The settings section that is under a parental gate lets you pick and choose activities that your kids are ready for as well as turning off the music for kids that are more sensitive to auditory input.
On opening the shop:
- Accessorizing merchandise to get it aisle ready includes painting boats, balls, kites, etc… This is the perfect time to add a stylus to play and work on pencil and crayon grasp to refine control and precision. Many kids struggle with handwriting and the use of tools because their hands fatigue, and by introducing stylus into play, they get that added practice they so desperately need.
- Decorating a jewel box, crown, or piggy bank teaches kids about design - symmetry, balance and editing with design. As kids age, they no longer use gross motor movements for decorating, but are learning about control and love to see all the secrets to building something better. Tip: when decorating the chests, you can scroll through the presented items and find different jewels to use underneath.
- Placing together a doll or robot from parts from a drawer. Each time the drawer opens, it reinforces the sight words of parts of the body.
- Making signs to advertise your wears must be printed in correct left to right order, i.e. you can’t just match a “D” and then an “L” to spell dolls, it must be spelled in correct chronological order. I love how the demands for the tasks are tailored to kids with an increasing awareness of the world around them and trusts in their abilities to complete the tasks.
- Pricing toys can be tricky as kids who are emergent readers or do not recognize numbers on sight. Strategies include: sounding out the name of the toy to find it on the list to the left with the toy’s price or simply backward chaining by trying out a few numbers to see if it works.
- Running the register to tally up what kids in the store bought requires mental math. This activity uses addition up to 19 to work the register. Here the use of manipulatives or visual aids can help a child become more independent and confident in adding.
- Once the shop is closed, Its break time with videos about the toy business, then a nice clean-up to ready the shop for tomorrow. A spatial puzzler rules the broom, and then it’s off to bed, for tomorrow will be another day!
We of course at Teachers With Apps have a soft spot for Fairlady Media. They have built a brand that you can trust, and the kids just adore Grandpa and Grandpa. The characters set a safe and secure place to play and refine their skills, and I have yet to go see a child who is aware of a new Grandpa/Grandma app, that doesn’t immediately begin chanting “Grandpa! Grandma!” as a demand for play. Another TWA Top Pick and award of one of the best apps of 2016!. This is the perfect app for kids waiting in anticipation for the holidays, and who knows where the next great toy designer is inspired?
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.