Lipa Bear by Lipa Learning is an endearing early learning app for 2-3-year-olds who are in the midst of a language burst and want to learn about EVERYTHING and learn it NOW! This little app gives them the opportunity to strut their stuff and show you all that they know! Lipa Learning has a suite of apps divided into three age groups: Essentials, Preschool, and Ready for School, and all the apps teach skills from 8 areas of child development. Lipa Bear, for example, falls under the Essentials group for the youngest learners. The app contains voiceovers in 8 different languages to gain fundamentals in language. Bella Bear, an adorable little patchwork bear is your guide to learning, for she is curious too. She requests identifying a picture from a set of three flashcards. The graphics are clean, and there is no extraneous visual clutter, making the intention for action clear. Music can be turned off at any moment by a child – giving them control over their own sensory sensibilities and tolerances. Categories include Things, Animals, Colors, Moods, and Actions. Bella displays a range of facial expressions and vocalizations, teaching kids the nuances of both body language and tone in “reading” - helping to understand the message. This is what sets this set of “flash cards” apart from the like-minded apps. Each scene opens to Bella sitting in front of 3 open-faced cards, and then she requests a card that best displays the answer to her inquiry. Once a child responds, the app comes to life through Bella and she responds in a multitude of expressions. Bella is an animated bear, bringing forth warmth and enthusiasm. She reinforces correct choices, but when presented with a wrong answer, does not negatively respond. Instead, she gently encourages kids to keep going with a simple "Hmmm". After a dozen or so presentations, Bella clearly lets the child know they’ve come to an end of the segment which is an important feature for little ones just learning to mark time. As a clinician, I would use Lipa Bear in segments emphasizing one category at a time. In this way, it gives kids time to process information and generalize it to practical life. One super feature within settings is a timer for Play – ranging from 15 minutes until 2 hours. Once the timer runs out, it turns the app off. This removes the possibility of power struggles over screen time. After successful completion of the app's content, your child is awarded a certificate, and a suggestion is made for an app teaching new skill sets. 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 on 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 have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others. Disclosure: I am currently working par time for Lipa Learning - mainly editing curricula, and helping ready the Lipa Learning Systems translations to English. Through this exposure, I have used and become familiar with some of the Lipa apps. This review reflects that familiarity, but not the content of the review. These thoughts and feelings are my own.
Written by Jo Booth
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.
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