This is a sponsored post
When I was a teacher, I always dreamed of working with cool tech companies who made great products for kids and these days it’s always a thrill to partner with amazing brands whose devices empower our kids to learn through engaging learning experiences that are just right for them. Square Panda is one of those companies.
When I first met Square Panda at CES and sat down for a demonstration of their learning playset, I was immediately in awe of how well they integrated technology, reading instruction, and learning games in a seamless way. Square Panda skillfully weaves a multitude of reading strategies in an age appropriate way to draw 2-8 year olds into each of their 10 games. Learning is fun, yet purposeful and age appropriate!
Over the weekend I hosted a Facebook chat for Square Panda that brought together fellow parents and educators to talk about teaching young kids to read through technology. We discussed favorite games, videos, shows, and apps that make early learning experiences fun and despite technology, magnetic letters, games, and songs were still favorite ways to teach kids early reading skills. See what our participants named as their favorite websites and apps here.
With so much new technology available to our kids, I wondered what today’s parents wished they had growing up. The responses ranged from “anything new and cutting edge” to one teacher-mom sharing the different kinds of technology in her classroom. Read about the tools she has in her room and how she’s funded her technology purchases for her students through this question on the Square Panda Facebook page!
There’s no doubt that technology has the power to teach but when combined with manipulatives like magnet letters, research shows that the digital plus the physical helps kids at a young age learn to read best! We talked more about why it’s important to incorporate things kids can touch and feel into early reading experiences during our Facebook chat and why Square Panda’s 45 smart letters that interact with their library of learning games are such an effective tool!
Effective tools and meaningful strategies are essential but it’s also important to understand what they know. I was constantly assessing and reassessing my first graders to figure out what instruction I needed to be providing to help them become more fluent readers but are today’s parents interested in knowing how their preschoolers are progressing in pre-reading skills?
Since Square Panda provides parents with data about what skills their child is learning, I asked how helpful this would be to families and how such information might be used. I loved our discussion about data! You can catch up on what we talked about on Facebook here and click on the image below to read a description of each of the Square Panda learning apps along with the reading skills being taught.
But as an educator, I know not all kids learn in the same way. What might work well for one child will require different strategies for another, especially when it comes to teaching reading!
The interactive nature of technology can help develop early learning skills but during our conversation, we talked about screen time. I asked if parents treat all screen time the same or if there’s a difference between passive screen time, when kids are watching videos, versus engaging with interactive content. Read what fellow parents, teachers, and Square Panda had to say about screen time!
Finally, I asked our parent and teacher participants what aspect of Square Panda most appealed to them and why their child might like it and everyone said something different! I wonder what new things our participants might love once they get their hands on a Square Panda learning playset!
I wonder what you will think of Square Panda? That’s why we’re giving two Square Panda away and offering free shipping with the code TSMREADING
Enter to win 1 of 2 Square Panda Learning Playsets!
Square Panda is providing two of their learning playsets for two very lucky Tech Savvy Mama readers! Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Please note that selected winner must reply with their U.S. mailing address within 24 hours. Thanks for entering and good luck!
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I am being compensated for my involvement with Square Panda but all opinions are my own. Some images courtesy of Square Panda.