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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Grover

Image via Wikipedia

One of the first apps I got on my son’s iPad was something I wanted for myself. The Monster at the End of This Book was one of my favorite books growing up.  When I saw it was at the iPad store, and it still had Grover, and not Elmo (which they had when my daughter was the age for this), I had to download it!

It keeps true to story, and is interactive in a seamless, appropriate manner.  It encourages the child to be involved in the story, in subtle ways. If they still don’t get what to do on a page, Grover will hint, building up the hints until the work is done.  He does it in a way, though, that suits the story. “Whatever you do, don’t touch that. Not that corner over there. That will make the page turn. You don’t want to turn the page!” Things like that, and maybe a bit of a flicker or flash to show where the child should touch.

My son is completely non-verbal, and can’t really read much at all.  He’s never been interested in reading, either.  He’ll look at I Spy books, or flip through something with a character he likes, but not much more than that.  After a while, though, Ted would read along with the book, running his finger under each word as it was said. Each word comes on the page one at a time as Grover says it, and he’s really starting to learn the relationship between what is said and what the word looks like. That interaction is probably helping him read more than the constant drilling we’ve done over the years in school, in therapy, and in the home.  He reads it every night before going to bed.  He also is engaged with it more than most other apps, without perseverating on it, reading it over and over for hours on end.  It’s also made a great reward for his educators and his therapists, because he will work for enough stars to have time with this app.

I’ve seen a number of children’s e-books, and apps based on children’s books. This is probably our favorite, and save for a handful of others, one of the better crafted ones. You can tell that not only did the software developers know what they were doing, educators and other professionals who know about development of literacy skills and children were involved. All the little touches not only make this app more enjoyable, but are a great way to help an emerging reader.

This award-winning app is $3.99 at the Apple App  store.

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Has anyone here heard of Angie’s List? I recently joined, and in the Dubuque area, memberships are FREE. Angie’s List is like Yelp, but focuses on contractors and medical professionals. To build up their base, they need more members to write more reviews.

If you’d like an invite (I get M&Ms if you use my invite to join), drop me a line. Even if you aren’t in the area, ask for an invite — your area might also be a charter area, too, offering free membership, or you may simply think this service is worth the fee. Check it out!

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Yelp!

I’ve decided to start doing reviews for Yelp! I was always disappointed that there weren’t enough reviews there for my liking, and realized the only way to get reviews up there was to do some myself.

So my URL there is http://www.kibblesbits.yelp.com if you want to see my opinion on stuff, beyond what I write here.  My first review is for Pizza Ranch in Dubuque.  And if anyone reading this wants to add me, go ahead!

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I say you might as well buy a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

You get your advice, your platitudes, but you also get clean. Self help books? No practical use, for the most part.

So save your money, save the planet, and buy soap.

I like the peppermint, myself. It’s so tingly!

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METALSMITHING!

Just got a gorgeous bracelet from one of the Etsy artists, I’ve GOT to share a picture!

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like a bike

Amazon.com: Like a Bike: Sports & Outdoors

I have decided that the world has finally gone over the deep end.

Like a Bikes are wooden bikes, no pedals, for ages 2-5. The concept seems really cool — a great way to learn balance, get around, and so on. In fact, I wanted to show my son’s physical therapist what they were the next time I see her.

And then, then I priced them.

$300. THREE HUNDRED SMACKAROONIS. For a child’s toy bike.

I’m all for getting my kids good stuff, especially sports type equipment. Safe, substantial, decently built. I don’t like skimping there. But here is a difference between buying quality and GOING OUT OF YOUR MIND WITH WHO KNOWS WHAT and spending $300 on a bike, no, not even a bike, a half-a-bike, somehing that is like-a-bike.

There are already copies for about $100. If the Like-a-Bike was $100, it could be excused. Three hundred? I can think of a lot of better things to spend it on for the kid. It’s for the other parents, I think, not for the child, when you’ve come down to $300 toy vehicles for your child.

I don’t even think those idiotic motorized jeeps cost that much, seriously.

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Cute Shoes

TOMS Shoes. For every pair you buy, they donate a pair to a child that needs them.

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