Alphabet Classroom toy game
While toys and games are known to be the most common tools that children use to play, they are also considered as the best ways in which children practice growing up (Roderman, 2002). This essay critiques the Alphabet Classroom toy game, a unit which features 27 children like press letters that children pop to play. The dynamics of this particular toy revolve around the 27 poppable letters in which one of the classmates, is responsible for controlling the volume of the toy whereas the other 26, each represents the 26 letters of the alphabet. For instance, when a child plays press a letter, the classmate, who is among the 26 poppable children, pops up to either sing a phonic song, introduce him or herself, or even play "show and tell." In this case, the toy has, say letter G for Greg, M for Martin, or X for Xavier (Edutaining Kids, 2017).
Unlike many popular toys used today, the Alphabet Classroom toy targets both genders since it is basically not gender-biased. Additionally, the toy features seven modes of play which primarily provide various benefits for the children, as well as different challenge levels. These seven modes of play mimic the real world classroom. The very first mode of play is labeled as Meet the Class. In this mode, the kid presses any letter-button, and the associated toy-child tells them their name. The other mode play is known as the Roll Call. Under this mode, the toy kids are supposed to hunt for a particular classmate, say Let's find Roscoe, and when found, Roscoe says to the class, Roscoe starts with letter. Still, under this mode, the toy-classmate in question sounds the letter representing his or her name, something which helps the children learn the sounds of individual letters. While the other four modes of play include general play tactics such as ABC songs and finding the beginning letters for various words, the final mode of play or rather the seventh one is the most interesting mode. This mode is a fun Guess Who game in which the children are given clues to identify a fellow, classmate. Some of these clues may be such as, he is in a red t-shirt and has black hair. The rest of the class is therefore challenged to look for the mystery child.
The Alphabetical classroom toy comes with tons of benefits for the children. For instance, through its different modes, this toy offers unique opportunities for children to learn about letters and letter sounds. Above all else, the toy is beneficial for a majority of pre-schoolers since it is both educational and entertaining. Nonetheless, some of the demerits of using the toy as a learning toll for the children is the fact its audio feedback is unclear, can be unnecessarily noisy, annoying to the educator and can also interfere with the child's thought process.
In my opinion, the toy should not be used as the only alphabetical toy since it only features the uppercase letters depriving the children of the chance to learn how the lowercase letters look like. Additionally, as a caution to the educators, this toy can be a bit disappointing for those children who take their time to respond. This is due to the fact that it does not allow enough reaction time for the child before the feedback is given.
Growing up in the early 1990s, technology did not merit great concerns as it does in the modern day today. In this regard, various apps have been designed to serve as children's form of enjoyable and engaging entertainment, which optimize both their learning and development potentials (Goldstein, 2013). In this paper, I choose to analyze the Toca Town kids' app, which is a digital sandbox that comes with inspired and creative play for children. This app features six different areas of Toca Town, which kids can explore, make up activities for the town's inhabitants and also discover a variety of hidden treasures throughout the app.
Besides, the app is not gendered biased and can be played by all kids regardless of the age differences. The app also features beautiful artwork and fell elements throughout Toca Town, which benefit the children in the sense that, the app allows for creative storytelling and engagement. Like many other Toca Boca apps, many ordinary objects in this particular app can be filled with new meanings since they are designed to take any role (Christian, 2015). For instance, ranging from the ingredients in the app, the plates and stoves to the alarm clock and the plants in the house, nearly every play tool in this app is interactive. The interactive nature of the app is primarily the most beneficial aspect of the play. Besides, the use of the different ingredients featured in the app as well as the feature that prompts the children to discover hidden treasures, all enhance critical thinking in the children.
Nevertheless, like many other apps, the Toca Town app has its fair share of shortcomings. For instance, when not well managed, this play app can be addictive for the children, which may cause the child to compromise study time or social interaction time. Therefore, as a recommendation, this particular app should be used by the kids with the intervention of an educator, who can govern the amount of time the kids spend on the app.
Christian,T K. (2015). Toca Town | Kapi Awards. Retrieved from http://kapiawards.herokuapp.com/2015kapi/toca-town/
Edutaining Kids. (2017). Alphabet Classroom Electronic Toy Review. Retrieved from http://www.edutainingkids.com/reviews/toyalphabetclassroom.html
Goldstein,T J.T H. (2013). Technology and Play - Scholarpedia. Retrieved from http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Technology_and_Play
Roderman,T L.T S. (2002, May 1). CPSR - Technology and the Very Young: Lapware, Smart Toys, and Beyond. Retrieved from http://cpsr.org/prevsite/essays/2002/2ed11.html/
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Early Childhood Play. (2019, Feb 19). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/101-early-childhood-play
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