One thought that scares me a lot nowadays is the question, how will I protect my toddler from the online world. The fact is that, our kids are and will continue being exposed to the digital space. There are many scary dangers out there, dangers which are being created by hardened criminals. But then what is the solution? Keep them away completely from any exposure? But, a) that is not feasible, I cannot keep my kid completely gadget free when my home is filled with gadgets; It is the truth of today’s life. And b) Technology is not all bad, it is in fact something we need today, to help our kids learn and be at par with their peers.
I am not completely against screen time either and I believe a little bit of screen time is not harmful. But when our children are online or watching something on TV we do need to be vigilant about what they are watching. As I said, there are things out there that are scarier than hell, lurking to trap in anyone gullible, one recent such thing is the dreaded Blue Whale challenge. And TV is another world which is always blatantly spreading wrong messages. Creating peer pressures and building unrealistic expectations about self and society in the minds of adults and young people alike. Look around and you will find wrong messages screaming at you from everywhere; propagating body image issues, or the need of defining yourself with flashy possessions, There is not one message which says that reading is a good habit, or that it is important to be kind. There are serials being shown today which go on to celebrate Pedophilia. But that is a whole another debate.
So, the point is how can we use technology to our benefit? I was recently introduced to one such piece of technology which is safe and actually helps increase the knowledge of my child. I am talking about Playshifu, an Augmented Reality Game which is a perfect way for kids to learn about Science & Geography. It is an interactive game which uses augmented reality to teach kids. Now, the best part of this game is that it does not need an internet connection, which means that you can actually relax and let your child play with it while keeping it offline.
The game needs one time Internet connection to be downloaded and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. I was sent the Animal Safari kit by Playshifu which has 60 play cards. Here are a couple of points about the game.
- It is an Augmented Reality based Educational Game
- It can be downloaded on any iOS or Android handheld or mobile device
- One time Internet required to download the app PlayShifu
- You can download it onto multiple devices at home
- Playing does not need an internet connection. The device can be offline at all times
- There are 60 Animal cards.
- The app reads the card when placed in front of the card and the Animal comes alive on the screen.
- It teaches the Animal’s Name, Animal’s Sounds, Its Habitat, the Food it eats and more
- There is a lot of information about the Animal world which is educational for kids and adults alike.
- It comes with a stand to hold the tablet or mobile device
- The cards are well made, sturdy and very bright and can be used as Flash Cards too
- The Game also stores the cards in memory, meaning you do not need to carry the cards around always.
I was a bit skeptical about how will baby A play with the Playshifu game as he is barely 19 months old. He has been learning animal names since long now and we have been playing with his animal shaped toys, puzzles and also learning from his books. He knows the names of close to 30 animals and many of their sounds too. We love learning animals and it was his favourite thing already; that is why I in fact chose the Animal Safari box. When he received the Playshifu game he was happier than I would have imagined.
I am surprised to see that he learnt how to place the card in front of the camera so that the app reads it. He is always happy when the animal comes on screen and makes its sound.
The app reads out the name of the animal loudly and then also makes the animal sound. At the press of a button, the spelling appears printed on tiny balloons and though baby A is too young to read the spelling, he loves to pop the balloons. You can then feed the animal his favorite food. This is also fun for baby A and though he cannot learn all the foods right now, but he is so excited when he gets to feed the food items which he knows the names of like Apple or Banana. He even repeats the names.
The next part is the habitat of the animal which is introduced at the press of the button. The game also teaches about some fact about the animal. Now these two last things are for mine and hubster man’s education. Seriously, there are so many things that we are learning from Playshifu. So basically it is an education tool for our whole family.
Playshifu has been designed by childhood experts and parents and it is interactive enough to keep the curious minds engaged, meanwhile teaching them about animals, their spelling, meanings, pronunciations and a lot of other wildlife facts. It is a complete knowledge kit about the animal kingdom collated in one game.
It is available on Amazon, Click on the link below to purchase.
I absolutely love this game now because baby A loves playing with it and while he plays, he is also learning about animals. I am also absolutely relaxed knowing that it is safe and gives me a good way to give him some healthy screen time. There are many other games to available by Playshifu which will be more suitable for older kids too. I am definitely going to buy them for baby A and moreover I plan to gift these also, as I believe they are definitely a perfect educational game. To read more about this game you can head over to my good friend The Dreamer Mum’s Blog where she has also reviewed this here