Stui Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Wonderblox iPad App

Stui, a (mobile) “app-cessories” educational children’s toy developer, today launched a kickstarter campaign for Wonderblox, an iPad app and set of blocks that uses the iPad screen as the play area. It comes with a playset that has an embedded mirror to direct the iPad’s front-facing camera to the play area, allowing children to position the blocks on the iPad screen to spell out words.

For example, when the word DOG appears on the screen, the user needs to place the appropriate letter block on each square. When the app “sees” the word has been spelled correctly, the child can move on to the next level of the game.

Wonderblox can differentiate colors and recognize patterns, geometric shapes and letters from every existing language. Stui is also working on a stacking mechanism that can detect columns of blocks, adding to the play experience.

The playset also stores the blocks after you play!


Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children From Birth

With the increased recognition that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important skills, the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking its members to become advocates.

Click here to read more from the NY Times.

Disney Publishing Redefines Online Storytelling with Star Wars Scene Maker

Disney Publishing Worldwide has released of Star Wars Scene Maker, a new line of creativity apps that gives kids and Star Wars fans of all ages the tools to create, control, customize, capture, and share their own 3D animated Star Wars scenes. Utilizing simple, intuitive commands, the apps give fans an unrivaled user-generated storytelling experience that allows them to re-imagine and re-create iconic scenes from the saga.

Star Wars Scene Maker is available for free in the iOS App Store.

The Worst Way to Teach Your Kids to Read

According to this article from Salon sent along to us from our friend Chris Kenneally, host of the popular ‘Beyond the Book‘ podcast, apps that force kids to log book time as a way to earn Internet and TV access are a huge mistake.  From the piece:

“To make an hour spent with a book into the equivalent of loading the dishwasher is to send the strong, implicit message that reading is a similar task, one that will never be a source of pleasure. You may end up with kids who have logged in lots of hours of reading, but that won’t make readers out of them. There’s a vast difference between dutiful, grudging, joyless reading and the kind of hungry, engaged reading that makes for a good student and a thoughtful citizen. It’s hard to be good at something you don’t enjoy.”