They say you should try things out on your blog from time to time and not be afraid of change! So I have decided to ammend my “Books for you Monday”. You will get one book and for a short while one iPhone App.
The Black Book of Colours, by Cottin and Faria . When I first came across this book, I knew we had to have it. Simply because it is so different. We like books that a quirky and new. However, this book is so much more than that: it teaches your children about others and their disabilities. The Black Book of Colours is a “rainbow” book all in black and white. Each colour is decribed from the point of view of blind Thomas “Yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.” It is accompanied by relief illustrations in black and everything is written in words and braille. Personally, I am fascinated by braille – how can we learn to make our fingers so sensitive that we can actually read all those little dots?! The book has the braille alphabet in the back too. This is a great book to talk about what life with out sight might be like. To help build compassion, but also to stimulate the imagination. What does “blue” sounds like to you?! Red Ted is just about old enough to discuss the colours like this, but I will be taking this round to my neighbours house for the 5yrs old and 7yrs old to test too!
The iphone Appt
Firstly, some background:
Before I had Red Ted and Pip Squeak, I was very anti Television, anti computer games and anti chocolate for young children (I myself didn’t have a TV for three years and it was rather liberating!!). So, I thought about the whole “no bad” things for my children thing for ages and came to the following conclusion: all in moderation and everything has it’s place. A friend of mine grew up without a TV, resulting in him going round to friend’s houses and just sitting in front of the TV there – no socialising nor interacting. So no TV = not good. Also, peer pressure means that you should at least have an idea of what is what etc.. So I decided – SOME TV is ok, so long as it isn’t too much and we didn’t abuse. I feel even better when Red Ted watches German DVDs, because then it becomes “educational” (how we kid ourselves).
Same goes for computer games – I so don’t want to have the zombie children that have computer consoles as arm extensions and only look in the direction of flickering TV screens. So, I was all “non of that, thank you very much”. But you know, maybe computer games (in moderation!) aren’t so bad. Chosen well, I am sure that they do stimulate and develop certain skills etc.
I delved into that world with my first iphone app: – The Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose. I am sorry, but I have to say, it is FABULOUS and Red Ted LOVES it. Perfect whilst I need to change Pip Squeak and Red Ted needs a little distraction – you see “time & place”. I love the music – they have made a really nice recording, you can switch from “their voice” to a recording of your own, to just violin or piano. In theory you can download it in German too, but I haven’t succeeded yet. They also have some “interesting” bus riders – e.g. a baker with his cake. But I think that this is the charm of the song – children love it if you make up “random” verses (well, Red Ted does). The images are bright, colourful and very child friendly (of course!). And I do like that the PCness of it: the bus driver is a girl! Yay! The only “but” is that the words are slightly different, this must be an American version and they sing “the bus goes all over town” instead of “all day long” and that we have a yellow school bus and not a lovely English Red Bus. Still. We love it. Red Ted got the hang of it in no time and now aged 2.5yrs knows it back to front.
I then went applicaton mad and downloaded a whole load of other stuff… to be reviewed over the coming weeks!
So. This is the MODERN good life – think of it in terms of minimum impact on the environment – a great little gift to your child without adding to the mountain of “stuff” they already have!
(PS if all this sounds familiar, I wrote the above for The Good Life a few months back, we like recycling)