Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What The Boys Did While I Studied for the CBX

As a SAHM I definitely did not have the financial means to hire someone to play with the kids while I studied for the California bar exam. So the boys watched a LOT of TV and played an extraordinary amount of games across all platforms. Netflix, Hulu Plus, iPad, PBS Kids, Nick Jr, Wii, Leapster, board games, books, paints, and puzzles were out in full force all day long while I tried to study and keep them occupied at the same time. I tried to keep things educational so that they wouldn't emerge from the process without having grown in some way.

 One iPad app that I was very pleasantly surprised with is the new Juno's Piano app. I wasn't surprised because of the quality of the app--like everything from The Juno Company, it's a wonderful way to engage children to learn to play and appreciate classical music. Juno's Piano - Learn Songs, Play with Parents, and Free Play is an interactive and educational music app that allows kids to play music on a piano keyboard. There are three main options for gameplay. Learn a Song teaches kids to play three different songs on the piano, a few notes at a time, with a large amount of positive verbal feedback. Play Together allows parents and kids to interact with the app together. Free Play allows kids to play what they like on the piano, which on this screen is ten white keys and six black keys. Juno stands above the keyboard encouraging kids to keep going. An HD version is also available for the iPad.

My boys loved the previous Juno app, CD, and DVDs they've experienced, especially the Juno Baby Sing Along Edition. What I was surprised with is that the boys liked Juno's Piano enough to ask for it specifically a week after they first played it. It was very intuitive. I didn't have to explain to them how to play and they figured it out after a couple minutes. With everything else that was competing for their attention, they liked the piano teaching app enough to remember it and ask for it. So it goes to show, toddler boys can appreciate something other than racing video games and superhero paraphernalia.

Now that the exam study period is over (and no matter the results in May, I will never do this again), I'm weaning them off screen time. Yesterday we went to a farm, the recycling center (one of their favorite activities), the library and then to a park (all of this on our own and not part of any organized group). We're all exhausted, but I had promised them we would make up the fun times after I took the test. In the next few months before Baby #3 is born we're going to get in as much of California as we can. And when we need to be still and rest our bodies, Juno's Piano is definitely something I won't object to them enjoying. Today brings THREE Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations with preschool somewhere in the middle. Onward ho!

I did not receive compensation for this post. I did receive a complimentary download of the app for review purposes.

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