It’s hard to believe that my daughter’s first year of preschool is over already. She had her first “last day” this week. The last hour of class I was able to join her in the classroom for ice cream and play time. As I saw her running from one fun toy to the next I wondered how I’d keep her mind busy at home all summer. We played with stringing beads, stacking blocks, counting toys and more. I’ve always been impressed with the variety of learning tools her teacher has.
In this digital age I’ve been on the fence about introducing a tablet to my daughter. I’ve always felt that more hands-on toys are best for little minds. When I was offered the chance for my daughter to try the new VTech InnoTab 2 I was a little skeptical. Would this help my daughter keep learning to avoid the summer brain drain?
Summer Brain Drain occurs when students are away from the structured learning environment of a classroom and lose the months of knowledge they gained during the school year because they are not regularly exercising their brains. According to research from the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, students typically lose one to two months of reading and math skills during the summer break. But there are many things parents can do to help keep children’s minds active during the summer months and avoid these setbacks.
I was impressed with the variety of apps that were included in the base tablet. My daughter immediately started exploring the art studio which she loved. She also enjoyed the cartridge that’s included which has a book for reading which is animated as well as a game.
InnoTab® 2 Learning App Tablet has 17 built-in apps. Nora loves the rotating camera (and I love the break from her snapping shots on my iPhone). It also features an MP3 player, video recorder and Art Studio.
The apps on InnoTab® 2 include :
- Camera, Video recorder, MP3 player, Photo viewer with slide show, 3 photos included
- Video player, 1 demo video included
- InnoTab® 2 Read, Play & Create cartridge“Face Race” motion sensor game“What’s That Noise?” e-book
- Alien Rescue – motion sensor game, Color & Pop activity
- “Friends” photo address book, “Notes” notepad with onscreen keyboard, clock with stopwatch, calendar with stickers and calculator
- 2 free downloadable apps of choice from Learning Lodge Navigator®
The InnoTab 2S comes with wifi ability so you’re able to connect directly to their download manager online to access games, music and books.
Set-up was quick and easy and VTech offers two free downloads with purchase of the tablet!
VIDEO: Pattern Adventure
Although many of the download options online are more expensive than I’d chose to invest in they had many educational options available for the free download option. Some of the games were beyond my daughter’s ability which makes a great option to grow with her. We found a few games that directly related to content she was learning in preschool. The video above shows Pattern Adventure. This was the very first time she had played the game and she caught on quickly but loved the interactive nature of the game.
VIDEO: Finger Artist
I also got another art program for her. This again is the first time she’s ever been in the game. She loves how the animals become animated and interactive after she’s done coloring them.
We also received two premium cartridges to try. Nora was jumping up and down when she saw Buzz, Woody and “the Lion” (Madagascar 3). She’s spent the most time reading the stories on these cartridges. I love how the words highlight as it reads.
I’m still a strong proponent of hands-on play and will challenge myself to keep my daughter’s learning growing throughout the summer in a variety of ways but I’m happy to have another tool to keep her occupied and still learning with this tablet. I’m challenged now to set limitations on tablet time but see advantages especially for car travel or busy time in waiting rooms. It’s easy to use and seems sturdy. Even mom could figure it out and I will admit I was a little jealous when she took it away to try out the finger painting app.
I was disappointed that the tablet didn’t come with a wall or car charger. You can purchase them online however. We plan to buy rechargeable batteries along with the cord. I was also expecting it to be a bit faster. There’s a lot of “loading” time between features and Nora gets impatient with the wait time after being used to our smart phones. Then again at her age I was still playing Oregon Trail so I’m not sure our expectations of today’s technology is always reasonable considering what it does. Check out their comparisons to the LeapPad2 here.
- 4 user profiles + 1 guest
- Motion controlled tools in Art Studio
- Photo frame stand
- One-touch Help button, hard key camera shutter button ,one touch camera access
- Protective rubber corners
- Voice greeting or text welcome message and use of photo as wallpaper
- Parental setting – content lock and memory capacity status
- AR game using camera
- 400 Mhz Processor, 2GB internal memory, expandable to 32GB with memory card slot (card not included)
- 2 styluses with hole for string
There is More to love® with VTech’s InnoTab® Learning App Tablet. Retailing for $79.99 and designed for children ages 3-9, it comes with a 5”color touch screen equipped with direct brightness control. Available in 2 colors, blue and pink. Look for it at retailers nationwide including Walmart and our affiliate Amazon.
Disclosure: I received a sample for the purpose of this post however all thoughts remain my own.