The Educational Difference
- Now with Juddly! Juddly safely delivers your child’s creations to your inbox and at Juddly.com.
- - New single fold mode – Help your child learn about Symmetry with this new easy to understand game mode in both Trace-A-Flake and Creation Station
- - Updated art/improved functionality
- - New music
- - Improved glitter in Creation Station
- - Removed unnecessary pop-ups
I recently gave a talk at my grad school, the inspiring Erikson Institute in Chicago, where I was asked to discuss development theory and designing apps for kids. Thought I would do something similar here:
How can Erik Erikson’s “Eight Stages of Human Development” be a good model for analyzing choices used in designing the best apps for kids? Without time/space here to detail the careful “push pull” of human dynamics that help one grow/develop, I can list 8 corresponding features of my work as an educational app developer that might help to explain our difference as company:
We are careful in creating moments of intrigue, mystery, wonder or silliness in our digital play-words for kids, that also remain trustworthy and wholesome for children/families.
What is the optimal blend of ease, challenge, struggle and success within the gameplay of any programming that allows for optimal autonomy on the child’s part.
When a child takes the initiative to enter new app play-worlds, solve new touchscreen challenges, initiate new connections with mom, dad, teachers, siblings, and friends…these are all foundational in one’s development, as well as being similar to other initiations achieved at home and school.
“Look what I made!” Proud moments when a child’s sense of industry leads to the creation of something personal, meaningful, helpful and unique are always part of our app design.
The crucial parent/child bond that is critical in life is also foundational to our Juddly program that allows child and parent to reflect on app experiences, discuss them, and learn from them.
Parents who have generated close knit families, and children who have generated heartfelt stories, artwork, photographs, or accomplishments want to share these with each other during their busy days.
The role of multi-generations and the power of a grandparent’s wisdom cannot be undersold in one’s life and one’s family and we are working to thoughtfully pull sharing with grandparents and extended family/friends into the Juddly experience. We are proud to have designed programming that keeps a parent at the administrative role of all sharing with extended family/friends.
Week of the young C-H-I-L-D
Each year since 1971, NAEYC has selected the dates and themes for the Week Of The Young Child™. This year’s theme is “Early Years Are Learning Years” and they kicked off the week with a reminder that play is where learning begins. We at Mrs. Judd’s Games are focusing on five goals as we reflect on this year’s theme:
C – Connection
Young children express their feelings, ideas, and accomplishments whenever they are involved in digital explorations, and we encourage the adults in their lives to find meaningful ways to remain connected to this part of a child’s life.
H – Help
Since many US families have internet access only through cell phones, we hope families and teachers will help young children gain comfort with this new small-screen/touchscreen technology with carefully designed app-play that is constructive, positive, and age-appropriate.
I – Individualization
Busy classrooms, childcare facilities, and home-lives cannot always individualize instruction for every child, so let’s find teacher-recommended toys, sensory activities, and touchscreen apps, that empower learning through active play that makes learning fun, meaningful, and individualized.
L – Learning
Touchscreen learning allows young children to be at the helm of their own learning, yet we adults also want to strive for digital experiences that can accommodate to parent awareness, involvement, and sharing. A parent is the first, and most important teacher in the life of a child.
D – Developers
We are pleased to welcome other app developers to join our growing Juddly network, so we can work together to offer children a broader spectrum of quality app experiences, and families a more diverse range of digital resources from which to choose.
- photo courtesy of Flickr Copyright All rights reserved by AbleNet Inc
See Juddly in Action!
We’re excited that so many of you have chosen to create a Juddly account and let your children send their in-app creations directly and securely to your mailbox. We wanted to create a short video to explain how the Juddly process works from start to finish. We hope you’ll share it with friends and family who might enjoy our educational apps, and especially with those – like military families – where loved ones are often apart for extended periods of time.
Mrs. Judd’s Thoughts on COPPA Changes: An Appolicious Guest Blog
With new changes coming to the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) on July 1, 2013, Mrs. Judd was recently honored to pen a guest blog for Appolicious, offering insights into how these revisions impact the safety and security of children in the digital space.
The team at Mrs. Judd’s Games is excited to be part of this conversation, with our Juddly app providing an innovative new way for children to share their app creations with trusted adults. Children are empowered to choose when and where to share content, with parents and teachers using the Juddly dashboard to organize everything.
Mrs. Judd at the Center For Digital Education
The Center for Digital Education wrote a great post about teachers breaking into app design and interviewed Mrs. Judd. An excerpt:
“While these former educators are designing games, not many of their peers do. Few teachers have game design experience, are planning to retire, and know a parent who has an app development company, which is what happened in Judd’s case. And not everyone has all the skills needed to make an app by themselves.
“I predict that it will become easier for a teacher to be able to do it on their own,” Judd said. “Right now, I would not be able to do games on my own personally because I don’t do programming.”
Read the rest here.
Rollin’ Out… Some New Free Apps For You!
We at Mrs. Judd’s Games hope you had a very happy, healthy holiday season and forged many fantastic memories with your loved ones. We had some fun, as you can see, traveling and exploring this neat trolley.
Some of you may have given or received a new touch-screen device as a gift over the holidays. For those who may have purchased a new tablet and are looking for educational, valuable kid-friendly apps at great value and no cost, we invite you to try four teacher-designed apps that are fantastic for young learners, and all for FREE.
SNOWFLAKE STATION: Children of all ages love to cut snowflakes and discover the beauty of symmetry. Snowflake Station is a teacher-designed game that offers young learners a foundation for a key concept important to math, science, art and architecture. The new music, updated functionality and new single-fold mode make the all-new Snowflake Station even better!
Snowflake Station encourages children to fold, cut, decorate, and display their own snowflakes on the iPad screen. Winter settings and accompanying music will add a bit of warmth on the chilliest of days. It’s all the fun of the classic classroom craft of snowflake-making, but with none of the mess.
CHALK WALK: Many children are coming into kindergarten unable to properly hold a pencil. Since time spent drawing and coloring with crayons is now being swapped for screen time, teachers see that key fine-motor skills may remain underdeveloped. But screen time can also help solve the problem. Chalk Walk is designed to give exercise to young children as they use a thumb & finger pincer grip to play this fun, innovative, teacher-designed game.
CRABBY WRITER: PHONICS, READ & WRITE: In Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write, players use their thumb-and-finger pincer grip to help Crabby write words in the sand and develop the muscle-memory needed for handwriting. This activity is reminiscent of the popular preschool classroom task of sand writing to enhance the tactile/kinesthetic moment in one’s early letter-formation training. This special beach was designed for building sandcastles, phonics, letter-writing skills and literacy.
SENDY (NEW!): The acts of writing, drawing and sending a message to family can be empowering for children. Sendy allows children to tinker with unique writing and drawing tools inspired by innovations of the past, present, and future. This charming steampunk-inspired world is just the right place for budding young artists and writers to create, innovate and express ideas of their own. Our antique rebus messages, airships and steam-filled gizmos are fun tools for your family, and for the friendly robot family found in this app.
We hope parents delight as they receive special messages created on Sendy. In today’s world where air travel, wireless messaging and digital technology are commonplace, we want to encourage the heartfelt connections and authentic, meaningful communication between parents and children.
NEW Snowflake Station, available FREE! 12/11-12
New Phonics App Taps Potential For Learning Literacy
New Phonics iPad App Taps Potential For Learning Literacy
Mrs. Judd’s Games Releases Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write,
Comprehensive Early Literacy Game for App Devices
Parents and educators may have more and more high-tech devices available to them by the minute, but certain things stay the same, among them, the need for high-quality apps and curricula to teach early literacy and phonics to young children. The team at Mrs. Judd’s Games is excited to announce the release of comprehensive early literacy app Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write, the fifth app in this line of teacher-designed games for iPad, iPhone and other tablets.
Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write is an early literacy game covering letter formation, basic spelling, phonics and practicing the pincer grip, a fundamental previously seen in Mrs. Judd’s Chalk Walk app, to develop handwriting and muscle memory. In the setting of a tranquil beach, young learners help a cartoon crab rebuild his castle by collecting shells and other objects and tracing letters in the sand that form recognizable words. Players use the thumb and finger pincer grip; an action frequently overlooked in early childhood touch-screen games, to help Crabby trace words in the sand. A tugboat pulls along three and four-letter words grouped by sounds, rhymes and themes to empower children to make key connections essential for reading. “We hope teachers and parents take the learning off-screen to encourage children to also write in real sand or textural sandpaper,” Mrs. Judd says.
As with all of Mrs. Judd’s Games’ apps, Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write was developed with feedback and consultation from early educators, literacy specialists, speech therapists and occupational therapists, who conveyed to the team their greatest challenges and fundamentals with teaching literacy. “If we had only had this app when we were all learning to read,” a Chicago-area reading literacy specialist writes. “What a fun way to read.”
Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write is available for the iPad and iPhone and costs $2.99. Mrs. Judd’s Games are available at the iTunes App Store and are ideal for children ages 3-7. Each game complements specific U.S. Common Core State Standards. Join in the conversation and connect with Mrs. Judd Games on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. Stay tuned for news on many more exciting titles in the works.
Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write on Appolicious
What’s cool? Crabby Writer presents reading and writing as a game for kids that helps them learn as they play. In the game, players match words, pick vocabulary words out of images, and learn how to spell. The game is beach-themed, and kids can write words in the sand on the screen, as well as add sea shells with letters for spelling practice.
Check back later for more reviews of our newest game, which you can download through the end of today for just .99 on the App Store!
Learning to Play, Playing to Learn: Lessons from the 2012 NAEYC Conference
Last week, I had the privilege of attending theNational Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Atlanta, perhaps the nation’s largest gathering of early childhood education professionals. It was an absolutely exhilarating weekend, and I cannot thank the organizers at NAEYC, the panelists or my fellow conference-goers enough for all your great insights. The panels I attended were all fascinating and covered a variety of subjects, beginning with Dr. Gary Stager’s “Digital Reggio” playground, where we captured childhood innovation with conductive play dough and one of my favorite new discoveries, MaKey MaKey, an open-source keyboard and “invention kit” that can connect any household object to a computer! We even turned bananas into a piano keyboard! Later on in the week, I enjoyed the insights of Nicole Dreiske from the International Children’s Media Center and her wonderful comments on “mindful viewing” and building relationships through the viewing of children’s media. With more and more very young children becoming screen-literate, examining how they view media on touch-screen devices is essential, and Dreiske is at the forefront of this research. I was proud to see Mrs. Judd’s Games’ hometown of Chicago representing well: Gail Conway of Chicago Metro AEYC, Brian Puerling Catherine Cook School and Carli McKenney had one of my favorite presentations of the whole week, focused on integrating tech into all aspects of school life.
In addition to the panels, conference-goers had plenty of opportunities to play, explore and revisit their inner child. On Wednesday, we helped turn Atlanta into ‘App-lanta’ with Tech On Deck, a grown-up playroom of sorts featuring free play of new technological innovations for the classroom and opportunities for dialogue and collaboration. I was thrilled to reconnect with many esteemed colleagues, including #ECETechChat facilitators Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth, and Margaret Powers, who created this fantastic Storify recap of the conference for those who would like to know more. There were small groups for discussing everything from app evaluation to parent engagement to social media practices for the classroom.
Everyone learned something differently, but several themes emerged throughout the day: first, that for better integrated technology in the classroom, educators must be aware of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) and must be open to collaboration on a grand scale. This is something we have discussed quite a bit in our game development, and I know my colleague Chip Donohue is also a major proponent of DAP in early childhood technology, as advocated in the 2012 NAEYC position statement on tech and early education he co-authored. But I think, for me, one of the most important takeaways was that I would encourage my fellow educators of young children to take the time and play with mobile devices themselves, and integrate them into other aspects of classroom and school life. I particularly loved this event because it gave educators the opportunity to play and experiment and get inspired the same way we hope our students do with our lessons, be they with a touch-screen or more traditional means. I was introduced to so many wonderful, whimsical devices and ideas!
The conference was also full of surprises. I learned about fantastic resources for educators many of my peers may not know about, from Ele (Early Learning Environment), a beautifully-designed new media activity guide for early childhood classrooms from the Fred Rogers Center, to Sylvia’s Super Awesome Maker Show, a unique DIY-focused web series in which a father-daughter team tackle some perfect projects for a classroom full of curious minds. I enjoyed meeting Lynn Maslen Kertell, who makes the iconic learn-to-read Bob Books, and discussing the brilliance of these sets. But one of the biggest surprises of all came in the form of a chance encounter. I got to meet a legend among those of us that work with young children—Ella Jenkins! Her fun folk songs have been a staple of my classroom and others for decades, so to meet her in person was a huge honor.
What were some of your favorite moments and key takeaways from the NAEYC conference?
Annoucing our RHINOWEEN! Costume Contest
Mrs. Judd’s Games at Chicago Ideas Week 2012
This week, Mrs. Judd is the guest blogger over at the Chicago Ideas Week blog, The Ideasphere! Go now to go behind the scenes of the new app Rhinomite (which is free for the next 25,000 downloads, so hurry up and get your copy!). Just to give you a preview:
“What did you play when you were little? In those moments when you were not playing board games, sports, video games, checkers, chess or cards, what kind of pretend did you and your buddies invent?
Now that I am a concept designer for Mrs. Judd’s Games, an educational app company, I often ask my friends this question. After watching decades of bright, resourceful children make up pretend worlds in my pre-kindergarten classroom; I wondered what adults remember when looking back on these moments of pretend.”
You can read the rest here.
Next Friday, mosey on over to 1871 for our Chicago Ideas Week Lab on “Children, Technology and Innovation”:
“Early childhood app developer Mrs. Judd will take participants through her app development process. From choosing educational concepts right for iPad , to artwork, animation, strategy and rewards, and sound recording. She will reveal to participants a real app in development and engage the group in a live programming demonstration.”
Spaces are filling fast, so reserve yours now. The lab will take place Friday, October 12th at 10 a.m. at 1871 Chicago in the Merchandise Mart. Hope to see you there!
An Endorsement from Potbelly CEO Bryant Keil
What do a chain of sandwich shops and a team of educational app developers have in common? On the surface, it may not seem like much. But we at Mrs. Judd’s Games see ourselves as kindred spirits with Bryant Keil and his team at Potbelly Sandwich Works — we both have roots in Chicago, we both operate out of headquarters in the Merchandise Mart and we’re both idea-driven, passionate businesses looking to create high-quality products that people love and of which residents of our hometown can be proud.
That’s why we were so excited to read the very kind words Potbelly Sandwich Works CEO Bryant Keil wrote about us on his blog after we were the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) Startup of the Week in mid-September. Keil writes:
“Right now, most pundits agree that early childhood education is in crisis. Mrs. Judd’s Games seeks to address the problem through a combination of experience, ingenuity, and technology. It allows many children the benefits of an excellent kindergarten teacher.”
From one group of passionate, entrepreneurial Chicagoans to another, THANK YOU!
Read the rest here.
Rhinomite Showdown! MLG Pro HALO Champ “Ninja” vs. 4-Year-Old Dylan
What happens when a seasoned professional gamer for MLG Pro, one of the top HALO players in the world, takes on a preschooler at Rhinomite, the new app from Mrs. Judd’s Games? Some tough competition, a little banter and a whole lot of fun. Check out the video of our Rhinomite showdown below.
Rhinomite Now Available for Android!
Rhinomite is now available for Android devices! Your favorite costumed rhinoceros can now be tapped for adventures on Android tablets and select phones for $2.99. Check out the link on the Google Play Store for details. (Requirements: Android 2.0.1 and up; size: 24M.)
Mrs. Judd on Appolicious!
School is back in session, and with learning at the forefront, many parents are looking for educational apps for their children to best supplement young learners’ classroom experiences. In addition to our own Mrs. Judd’s Games app line, Mrs. Judd was happy to recommend some other excellent apps from Motion Math, Ship Wreck Entertainment and PDJ Apps in her guest column at Appolicious. Read it here.
Letter from Mrs. Judd: Get your head in the game!
A back-to-school salute to coaches.
Why is it that children who participate in sports tend to perform well in school? Certainly part of this special recipe for success must be the power of true collaboration and commitment that players feel toward their teammates.
But another reason is the position that coaches play in the lives of these game-playing kids. Coaches watch their players struggle, learn and grow through the act of playing games and they give pointers on how they might improve. A coaches’ words of encouragement and support are invaluable in the lives of young sports players, and we want to take a moment to thank the coaches that have inspired our team throughout the years.
Watching great coaches in action can be a reminder for the rest of parents and teachers, too. Watching a child play games on their various touch-screen devices can offer opportunities for the type of encouragement and involvement that would feel great to children as they return to school. As kids think about the big transition ahead as they return to school, perhaps we can help children “get their head in the game” by offering fun games that involve those skills useful at school.
Games like Chalk Walk and Left Right Pup offer outdoor settings, yet help children get their hands and heads ready for class. Apps like Snowflake Station even offer a well organized desk for mathematical designs with symmetry. When adults take note of a child’s game-playing skills and offer a friendly word of encouragement, along with a reminder that those game skills are also used at school, we tell them that they are ready for school, and they have our support during the school year ahead.
Mrs. Judd’s Apps Can Now Be Found on KinderTown!
We’re excited to announce that two of our apps, Chalk Walk and Snowflake Station, can now be found on KinderTown!
KinderTown is a site which curates and aggregates the best educational apps for young children and a fantastic resource for parents. We’re happy to be included in their new additions and were touched by their kind words about our joining their big, happy app family:
“When you have an experienced early ed teacher designing your apps, you get something special.”
We certainly hope so.
Chalk Walk on ABC 7 Chicago!
We were excited to see Appolicious’ Brad Spirrison on ABC 7 Chicago bright and early this morning. Spirrison had some great tips on apps for back to school, and wouldn’t you know it, he was kind enough to recommend Chalk Walk to his viewers.
Watch the clip below and check out some of the other great apps he mentions as well.
How to Combine iPad Education and Real World Experiences
We have a new video up exploring the intersection between new technology and touch-screen education and creating rich, authentic teaching moments applicable to the real world.
Look at how much fun our young learners are having playing with sidewalk chalk outside after trying our app, Chalk Walk!
Mrs. Judd’s Games on Applooza!
Alana at Applooza wrote a really wonderful post about the Mrs. Judd’s Games team and what we’re doing. We were particularly excited for how she noted the emphasis on technology as a supplement for educational experiences and our philosophy with respect to screen time: that there should not be more of it, but the screen time children do experience is most effective when it accompanies learning / real-world activities:
“In an interview with WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody, Mrs Judd says ‘Hopefully, the number of hours in a day off of an iPad is more than the hours in a day on an iPad.’ So she’s not advocating the iPad as a replacement educational tool. Rather, it’s a good supplement. And if children are going to play on an iPad, they might as well be playing an educational game and learning something at the same time.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Five ideas for helping young children learn how to write well
Q: How can I help my child learn how to writewell?
Answer: Here are five ideas parents can use to teach young children to write.
W: Wordplay and storytelling.
Writing is self-expression. Playful experiences with a variety of different stories and styles of storytelling will encourage children to use their imaginations and set them on the path for learning how to write well. Rhyming, verbal storytelling, felt-board tales (like this beautiful set), experimentation with written symbols, pretend keyboarding and iPad games are just some of the fun and engaging tools which can be woven into a framework of experiences that encourage all aspects of writing, from learning to hold a pencil to writing a script for dramatic role-play. There Is A Flower At the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker is a fantastic source for empowering kids to hear language in a new way, and that turns concepts a bit on their ear. In our classroom, we would read this book and make up a poem all together while sitting around the rug.
Read rich narratives to children to introduce them to the language of the written word, characters with texture, and plots with interesting twists and turns. A good chapter book will stay in a child’s thinking until the next exciting chapter unfolds. The My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett is a fun, action-packed trilogy of chapter books for young readers, while Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson is a great book for very young children featuring a child as author and artist. Having stories in mind is part being a writer and spending time reading and thinking about stories will certainly help a child learn how to write well.
Encourage a sense of intrigue, wonder, conflict, mystery, excitement and adventure into children’s tales to help them learn how to write well. Young writers often have a habit of just introducing new characters to make a story longer. Families and educators can model intriguing plot twists during weekly storytelling activities by building stories together, with all members taking turns to add new pieces to the developing tale. This inspires good listening as well as developing the writer’s voice.
Wherever young children are creating ideas, keep writing tools at the ready. Pens, pencils, interesting pads of paper, tape recorders, receipt books, keyboards, dictionaries, chalk and touch-screen devices are tools that can help emerging writers document what is on their mind. In my classroom, I often used the work of famous photographers or artists to inspire work in kids. For example, a painting by Howard Pyle inspired the accompanying drawing from our own app, Chalk Walk, which employs a doodle feature to empower children to build upon their ideas.
As author John Updike said, “writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.” Parents and educators could weave terms like “revision,” “review” and “rewrite” into early conversations about how to write well and model these practices in family (and classroom) writing experiences. By keeping these terms at the forefront, children grow up feeling that the editorial process is inherent in writing well.
How can I help my child become a leader?
A: Let kids play with leadership, following & cooperation
Being an early childhood educator, I have had the privilege of watching children blossom into empowered young leaders who enjoy helping and guiding peers with confidence and vigor. In helping a child become a leader, I would often encourage play themes that inspire an awareness of oneself in a social context. I see similar patterns of teaching and learning are described in this Wall Street Journal interview with Garth Saloner, dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
I would concur with Mr. Saloner who states that teaching personal leadership skills is “about self-awareness and that’s at the core of leadership.” Providing activities that welcome a social volley, in which all parties get a chance to lead, follow and reflect on the reciprocal nature of play and of life, are invaluable whether the student is in kindergarten or in graduate school. In my early childhood classrooms, putting out a set of oversized puppy food bowls, placemats, and fake dog bones inevitably inspires children to invent their own “puppy” pretend. Within moments, this naturally evolves into experimentation with the roles of leader and follower, mastery and cooperation (and at least one child sitting in a pretend food bowl). Who will be puppy and who will be trainer? They tend to take turns with both.
Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee have created an outstanding and charming children’s book, Please, Puppy, Please, which showcases this very interplay between young children’s desire for mastery, influence and leadership and their struggle to follow directions and temper a desire for complete abandon. Readers can see this book online or see me flip though its pages on this FOX Chicago piece about summertime learning. It is a truly great children’s book that would make a nice addition to any home or classroom library. Parents who read and discuss this book with children will find it a delightful experience.
High-tech educational learning can also connect to and complement childhood socio-dramatic role-play and literary experiences. For those outside of early childhood classrooms, it may be counterintuitive that something as natural as childhood pretend play can be core to one’s ability to become a leader, but with the right supplementary tools and guidance, it has that potential. Our own game, Left Right Pup, which teaches the empowering skill of directionality, also models these classic childhood themes of turn-taking, leading, following and cooperation. Since these are foundational for the development of leadership roles, our lighthearted app takes care to let the “pup” have his turn to lead his mild-mannered surfer friend in this reciprocal game of clue giving and exploration of a park and beach scenes. We let these two gentle, self-reliant young characters acknowledge their own moments of achievement as they experiment in roles of cooperation, challenge and empowerment. We hope it helps to encourage your children to do the same.
Mrs. Judd in Chicago Parent Magazine!
“I found that teaching through games is inherently motivating to young minds. We can embed the business of school learning within the fun of games. When they teach themselves, they learn enthusiastically,” Judd says.
Mrs. Judd’s Games in Crain’s Chicago Business!
Our own Steve Gradman was featured on Ann Dwyer’s Entrepreneurs blog, giving some intriguing firsthand insights on the ins and outs of creating a gaming brand for young children. We hope you enjoy the interview and learn something new!
“Crain’s: You’ve done several focus groups with kids, parents and teachers in addition to getting feedback from customers. What have you learned about the market that’s surprised you?
SG: We’ve found there’s guilt associated with extra screen time for kids, whether it’s TV or the iPad. Your overall goal, whether you’re a teacher in the classroom or a parent with your kid, you want to feel there’s some sort of positive in adding more screen time to a child’s life. So our goal is to create an educational moment that’s so powerful that parents will say, “It’s great if you play with this.’”
Why won’t my child listen?
(Cross-posted from Examiner.com)
Q: Why won’t my child listen?
A. Let’s take a look at listening.
In parent-teacher conferences, it is not uncommon for someone to bring up the topic of listening. Questions such as “Why won’t my child Iisten?” tend to be answered and discussed in these three categories: hearing, auditory processing and responsiveness. Any or all might be observable when children are engaged with playmates or language-based toys. A child who continually turns an ear toward a playmate’s speaking voice may struggle with the mechanics of hearing (related to the ear). A child who confuses or cannot recall terms said by a playmate may struggle with auditory processing (which could involve cognitive functioning in the language centers in the brain). A child who does not return a toy when asked to do so, may hear and process just fine, but may be not yet realize the value of reciprocity in the social volley. All of us can probably benefit from reminders to look up and say,” okay,” “just a minute,” or some such response, when we are busy at a task. We adults often benefit from reminders to model thoughtful listening within a social volley.
Play and Literature Investigations:
Caldecott Award-winning book Blueberries for Sal offers a springboard for discussions and explorations on the topic of good listening. Compelling consequences of not attending to family communication are revealed in this tale of a foraging bear cub and a berry-picking child who both wander from their mothers on the same hillside. As this charming text unfolds, we count how many blueberries are heard plopping into a metal pail. Teachers who enjoy presenting ‘Listening Centers’ will find that a toy pail, wooden beads and a visual ‘blind’ can be used to create a valuable curricular game to accompany this book. As child partners take turns hiding their eyes, and guessing how many beads have been dropped onto a pail, they are engaging in math cognition, auditory processing, and prep for studying syllables within reading instruction. Examining the protocols of good listening can help any learner become better at communication.
For educational game designers like myself, there is an interesting challenge to create learning games that offer value whether the iPad’s volume is turned on or off. Options for written, symbolic, pictorial, auditory and spoken clues are valuable choices for parents and teachers when selecting games on a given topic. When envisioning a game to teach left-right directionality, I decided to present a set of two lighthearted characters (a pup and a surfer) who work in tandem, giving and receiving directional clues to follow directions and discover some things along the way. Certainly, young kids love to pretend to be puppy trainers or puppies themselves. If a young pointer puppy can take turns and listen to auditory clues, perhaps we can too. Like children, we adults also need occasional reminders to notice our own habits of communication, and to make sure that we too are looking up and responding when children call our names, ask for help, etc. A bit of eye contact goes a long way.
Accompanying this piece is a snapshot of Ella, a therapy dog trained to listen and respond with care in a Chicago special education classroom. I have learned a lot from watching Ella as she became trained for this important job.
Puppy Photo Contest!
Since we at Mrs. Judd’s Games are working on a several iPad games that include puppies and dogs, we welcome you too to send us a photo of your favorite type of pup to help with our designs. Submit your photos in the comments, via email to email@example.com or via ourFacebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages. We’ll post our favorite pups in a gallery on the day Left-Right Pup is released: July 10th, 2012.
Mrs. Judd on FOX 32′s “Good Day Chicago”!
“An ‘APPLE’ a Day Keeps The Summer Slide at Bay!”
Thanks to the creative team of Good Day Chicago for having me on this morning for a fabulous segment on helping children avoid “summer slide” this morning (for those who missed it, we’ll share it here).
Both parents and teachers want children to stay sharp during the summer so they reenter school in the fall with their confidence and skills in place. In any short segment offered on TV, one edits a well-rounded discussion into a few points.
For those wanting more information on this topic, please consider these five reminders of things to consider in the summertime. I use the word “APPLE” as a good reminder for five categories of summer learning:
A – ALPHABET
Notice and encourage alphabet symbols, letter sounds, verbal wordplay and written words in your child’s summer pretend. Whether children are busily creating their own menu when playing pretend “restaurant” or gathering sticks in the shapes of alphabet letters, bringing written symbols into childhood play is invaluable for bridging summer and fall learning.
P – PATTERNS
Parents wishing to encourage math thinking tend to remember counting and arithmetic. However, many of us forget the importance of patterns that repeat in a linear fashion, or symmetrically. Both of which are crucial underpinnings to a great deal of math. I recommend that we continue the valuable investigation of symmetry that we do in winter, with paper snowflake cutting tasks, into summer by cutting colorful “flower flakes.” This can be done in a simple fashion with scissors and paper, or more complexity and intricacy can be investigated in our iPad game called Snowflake Station. It is a fantastic tool for making symmetrical summer designs like flowers, fish or shining suns.
P – POSITION and DIRECTION
Words such as left, right, over, under, are terms that teachers use each day in class as they offer instructions. Encourage summer games that use these words and concepts. Games like Twister, or an adventure-filled “penny hike” choosing whether to go left or right by flipping a coin, are great for keeping this thinking alive in the summer. Playing partnership games, where one gives direction and the other follows, are extremely valuable. Our upcoming iPad app called Left-Right Pup (to be released July 10th) is the perfect game for children to practice these concepts while also exploring turn-taking, social leadership and following directions. The artistic settings of a fun-filled park & sunny beach are great for summer fun.
L – LITERACY
Not only do parents need to read to children each day, but it is helpful to notice if books and writing tasks are being included in pretend. Reading helps keep their receptive literacy skills moving forward and writing/drawing with a good pincer grip helps keep a child’s expressive literacy skills moving forward. Our app, Chalk Walk, is the only emerging literacy iPad game that uses a thumb-finger hand positioning on the touch screen to ensure that children hold onto and improve this crucial skill. Have fun with real sidewalk chalk and our iPad sidewalk chalk in Chalk Walk.
E – EMPOWERMENT
Old clocks, calendars and visual dictionaries are just some of the tools that can encourage children to be empowered in their own day and in their own learning. Give children their own calendar so they can keep track of how many days ’til grandma comes to town, or how many hours until dinner. Summer can feel like a long time without any exploration of time-keeping, but especially in summer, let’s remember to let children be empowered to explore these tools as much as possible. I love putting an analog clock next to a digital clock to encourage children to figure out the connections between the two.
How Do I Teach My Child The Value of Co-operation?
Q: How Do I Teach My Child The Value of Co-operation?
A: Teach the Courage of Co-operation
When parents ask children about their day at school or daycare, it can be the odd moments, rough spots, or social misunderstandings that stand out in their memories, and thus parents often ask me how they can teach their children the value of co-operation. In order to strengthen my kindergarten students’ ability to reflect upon and remember positive social exchanges, I spent a great deal of time calling their attention student exchanges and successes. Developing the habit of discussing the “courage of co-operation” or “the power of using your words” is invaluable. It is important to keep an eye out for the specific social strategies, already being used by children, as they collaborate with such playthings as Legos, art materials, chalkboards or dolls.
When I felt that my students needed to discuss the values of co-operation, leadership or fairness, I would read pertinent literature to them, such as Swimmy by Leo Lionni, in which a fictitious school of tiny fish learn to survive the dangers of the sea by using these same three social skills. There is plenty of great children’s literature available to teach children the value of co-operation, and these lessons should always be joined by a child’s opportunity to describe his/her own acts of social courage, leadership, collaboration, fairness and/or alliance. This teaches a social vocabulary and lets both adults and children define together what is expected and required in a social context, not just because one must obey, but because it is actually necessary for success
The mother of four who sent this snapshot of her children exploring Chalk Walk is just one of many parents who describes the effort that it takes to teach their children the value of co-operation at home. These photos reveal a sister’s instinct to point out something specific as she watches her younger siblings develop the pincer-grip and looping strategies used in this emergent literacy game for children. This is a perfect example of a small moment of cooperation and helpfulness to highlight for children. iPads are an exciting new form of tech, and it is encouraging to see an older sister taking a moment to give a bit of advice to someone she loves, even when waiting for a turn to be next.
How do I approach teaching my child about diversity?
(Cross-posted from Examiner.com)
Q: How do I approach teaching my child about diversity?
A: Embrace the diversity of diversity!
Variety is the spice of life! When teaching your child about diversity, it is helpful to aim for thoughtful choices when selecting dress-ups, toys, dolls, role-play props, projects and posters. Try to find enriching playthings that work “against type” and negate dawning biases about race, gender, culture, ability, age and other aspects of human kind that begin being stereotyped at an early age. Have fun creating specific sets of playthings that can help with these efforts, such as a whimsical grouping of rubber ducks that represent wide-ranging characters for children to explore (with rock stars, royalty, bakers, athletes, etc.) and watch children naturally begin to categorize and discuss their ‘diversity ducks’ by interests, goals and activities. Then have thoughtful discussions about how categorizing ducks is different than categorizing people. People have real thoughts and feelings, and we need to meet people before we truly begin to know about them. You can’t tell much about a person from the outside.
A multitude of fantastic children’s literature can be used when teaching your child about diversity. Animal Faces by Akira Satoh is a great book for using the word “diversity” with children as they describe the unique faces of members from the same animal species. To start a conversation about diversity in people, try We Are All Alike…We Are All Different by the children of Cheltenham Elementary School. It is written for children, by children, and they do an outstanding job of reminding us of what’s important in humanity. We are more alike than we are different.
There seems to be a huge range in attentiveness to manners of teaching children about diversity through the growing medium of iPad apps. As you would do with searching for books or toys, search for thoughtful choices and variety in human representation. Sometimes, little lessons can be powerful. For example, in one of our own apps, Chalk Walk, each sidewalk section holds unique textures and features. With real-life surfaces photographed alongside city streets and rural routes, we hoped to celebrate the diversity of colors and textures in our midst.
Is my child gifted?
Originally posted at Examiner.com.
Q: Is my child gifted?
Educators meet people, from all walks of life, who notice qualities of genius in their child’s learning. We tend to get asked if it is possible that a child is gifted, talented, or even a genius. Certainly, these are possible. But, it is also possible that as adults, we are not accustomed to observing the quality of childhood thinking that reminds us all of pure genius. Visit any active early childhood program or kindergarten and you will likely see young learners who approach their work/play investigations with raw creativity and innate scientific inquiry. When confronting a given problem, normally bright children are likely to try many more possible solutions and strategies than their adult counterparts. Typical free-play investigations at home or at school reveal children using the traits found in this article on “How Geniuses Think” from The Creativity Post. Articles such as these serve as good reminders to those of us who support children’s growth to both allow and encourage children to explore, question and discover within their natural patterns of scientific inquiry. We can nurture those gifts and talents that we find in all young children, by providing enriching open-ended play sessions where they can tinker with old technology, new ideas, and fresh possibilities.
When choosing books and other written documents to encourage those areas in which a child might be gifted or talented, do not forget such powerful learning tools as visual dictionaries and atlases. Open-ended source materials, such as these, offer children the means to be ingenious and idiosyncratic in their inquiries as they question the patterns and schematics in these texts. The Macmillan Visual Dictionary, for example, is not at all designed specifically for children. However, if you are searching for a book to promote ingenious conversations between children and adults, this one is among the best. When it comes to atlases, many people forget to pull out their road atlas or old maps to offer for a child’s perusal. Sometimes it is of value to find a great book that bridges mapping concepts with culturally-minded photos/text such as this wonderful resource: Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World. Resources such as these allow children to ponder a large view of their world, and consider their own musings as they explore.
With very young children, exploring encyclopedic information, and searching Google Earth is probably best done in the company of adults. However, when life is hectic and/or you wish to let children follow their own gifts, talents and interests, adults will discover that there are many apps designed just for children, that encourage such areas as mathematical concepts, creative thinking, early mapping concepts, and/or playful ideas about real and pretend worlds. Our team would encourage other app-makers to do what we do at Mrs. Judd’s Games, which is to offer adults a set of resources designed to help adult/child discussions push beyond the content of a given app, and offer rich research on a given topic. For instance, if a child is gifted or talented with a knack for complex thinking, they might ask probing questions while exploring the concept of symmetry in an app like Snowflake Station. The “Research” section of our website connects parents to such organizations as CalTech and the Smithsonian Institution enabling parents/teachers to help bright children look further into this topic that extends into the math and science investigations of the college years and beyond. We think this type of research is something that families/teachers deserve.
Somewhere, beyond the sea…
A flower fish? Why not?
Show us what summer images you can create with Snowflake Station, now $1.99 in the iTunes App store, and we’ll post them here.
CONTEST: Thank a Teacher, Win FREE Apps!
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to show our admiration for all the hard work educators of all kinds do, so we’re having a ‘Thank A Teacher’ contest!
From now until the end of the week, go to the Mrs. Judd’s Games Facebook page or send us a Tweet with your ‘thank you’ to a teacher who made an impact on you or your child or a favorite classroom memory—the posts with the most “likes” will win a free download of Snowflake Station or Chalk Walk!
Helping children learn to read: three helpful strategies
(cross-posted from our Examiner.com page)
Q: When will my child learn to read?
A: Children are learning each day.
Help empower your child to learn to read by bridging the fun of pretend play with elements of reading and writing. Whether your child likes playing with robots, dolls, or bikes, each of these play themes can become the subject for illustrated word cards. Work together to illustrate word cards with favorite vocabulary, and/or the names of friends/family. Tape them on the wall, onto playthings, or tuck them into a ‘journal.’ On your way to bedtime, don’t forget to read these important word cards with your child and discuss all of the rich detail and meaning that is being represented by a give word. Pronounce words slowly and thoughtfully so children have a chance to connect phonemes to written symbols.
Reading with children is a bonding experience, and a learning experience. Often, the written word is different from spoken word and children need to become accustomed to this difference. Rhyming books, like the Dr. Seuss classics or these books from Lakeshore Learning, are particularly helpful for connecting the visual, auditory, and oral aspects of literacy. When children learn to read, some may request to hear the same story over and over again, deriving pleasure from the predictability that is bringing meaning into their dawning world of literacy. With repetition, children can learn to read in part by memorizing the text and may even spot a familiar word on the page. After re-reading a familiar tale with your child, start a new one in order to cycle in new characters, authors, plots, words, settings and strategies into your book discussions.
There are a number of helpful resources out there for finding the best iPad apps to help teach children to read—Yahoo!’sAppolicious site is among the most complete. One of my own apps, Chalk Walk, is found in their ‘Kids’ educational games’ category. Using Chalk Walk’s innovative ‘pincer-grip action,’ players use their handwriting muscles to connect alphabet puzzle pieces and form thematic words such as ‘ROBOT,’ ‘PUPPY,’ ‘DOLLS,’ ‘PIZZA’ and ‘SILLY.’ After playing Chalk Walk, children will have fun exploring these same beloved themes with household books, playthings and drawing/writing materials. There are a number of other fantastic iPad apps out there that will help your child learn to read as well, but having a nurturing teacher, parent or guardian is just as important as the newest technology to the process.
Ask Mrs. Judd: How to choose a perfect preschool
Q: How do I choose a preschool or early childhood program for my children? A: Look for meaningful interactions between teacher and student.
Parents often ask how to choose a preschool for their child. As an early childhood teacher and educational consultant, I have been privileged to see a wide variety of preschool programs in Chicago and other cities around the U.S. I answer, “How do you choose a perfect preschool?” with the suggestion to look for interaction between adults and children. This may seem like the simplest of criteria, but it is crucial.
When Harvard University did a study on what makes an excellent preschool program, they included my classroom at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago in their study. As the Harvard observer left my classroom, clipboard in hand, I asked him what they were learning. He said it was clear that adult-child interaction is key. “So it is just the quality of the interaction that is crucial for success?” I asked him.
“No, just adult-child interaction at all,” he said. I was astonished.
When parents are faced with the decision of choosing the perfect preschool, they should remember that the business of schools is built around relationships. Good schools and pre-schools teach content through relationships. In my recent observations of successful preschool classrooms at Francis W. Parker School, Mary Meyer School and Catherine Cook School in Chicago, I can say without hesitation that ongoing, meaningful, and thoughtful interactions between adults and children are omnipresent.
For example, I recently co-taught a pre-school math lesson on symmetry at Catherine Cook School, helping small groups of students use my iPad game, Snowflake Station, to explore the topic. Not only was this lesson masterfully interwoven into their preexisting math and science curriculum, but the setup (semi-circular table with four iPads) was effective for interacting with each group. Whenever visiting a school as a prospective parent, I suggest that you look for these types of small-group learning situations.
Their small-group setting allowed me and another colleague to be nearby as children described their observations about their symmetrical designs created on Snowflake Station. Student comments like “look how it cuts through the middle” or “I counted eight sides. Is that an octagon?” deserve thoughtful adult responses. In this classroom, on the cutting edge of iPad education, talented adults and talented children are constantly learning from one another. That’s the richest kind of preschool educational experience, and the kind you should want for your children when choosing a preschool.
Making Kids’ Clean-Up Time Fun and Meaningful: Building pride in your child’s work by remembering how to play
Q: How do I get my kids to clean up their mess? A: Turn clean-up time into a game.
As a retired preschool teacher, I empathize with parents who see a beautiful classroom and ask, “How do you get children to clean up at school when they won’t help at home?” They go on to describe the mess, adding, “There must be lost puzzle pieces all over his bedroom somewhere.” To be honest, I think the rich social camaraderie of classroom life is likely what’s missing when parents remind a child to clean up his/her room at home. Children give their all at playtime and they may still see beauty in the mess they have left behind. Parents may try a “punishment and reward” system help with this difficult transition, but young children are not always logical and may choose not to respond to once-successful positive or negative reinforcement.
In my classroom, I tended to build structures of inherent reward to make the chore of clean-up more fun and enjoyable for both the children and myself. For example, some days I offered “dancing clean-up,” in which I would play a song like “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire, knowing the upbeat lyrics and tempo made everyone want to join in and help. Children also love the explicit challenge of dancing and working at the same time. Specialized tools can also be highly motivating and rewarding (such as small whisks & dustbin sets or magnifying lenses for spying the tiniest paper scraps). Just suggesting that children begin clean-up by only collecting items containing their favorite color/shape/letter/texture interjects personal investment.
But most importantly, each & every day before clean-up began, I would offer a reminder for my students to take notice of the “before” and “after” views of our busy classroom. I challenged them every day to examine “our beautiful mess” as a playful way to state my respect for the accomplishments of their play, and for the new task ahead. Our messes were impressive. After cleaning, dancing, and sleuthing, we would sit together on the rug for a quiet book reading and I would ask, “Was it magic that created this transformation?” Kids beam with pride, knowing instead that it was their own hard work.
A is for Awareness – Using the iPad to Prepare for Handwriting and Math
Each school day, as teachers face the task of creating an arena that will inspire young minds, we begin by making choices about which things might work best to open the eyes, ears, and thinking of the students in our care. In many ways the work of early childhood educators is to promote awareness…awareness of the world around us, and of the world of ideas in our midst.
Parents begin this process by helping their infants and toddlers to become aware of shapes, colors, stripes, and polkadots. Teachers build upon this effort by presenting tasks that awaken their students’ thinking about patterns in mathematics, literacy, science, and social relationships at school. It all begins with awareness.
As a retired classroom teacher, now working on iPad game design, it seems apparent that the world of the iPad education offers young learners a chance to explore, engage, flounder, and fly in areas of learning that are right at their fingertips.
When designing apps, we want to make children aware of those key educational moments. For example, when they play our app Snowflake Station, they experience the beauty of symmetry and are compelled to put down the iPad, pick up paper and scissors and cut their own paper snowflakes. Since more life and learning takes place offscreen, we want to make sure the lessons we present are ones that awaken the eye and inspire new levels of learning in their real-world experiences.
With our release of Chalk Walk (out April 18th) we aim to help children in this digital age improve their pincer grip and fine-motor functioning needed within pencil and paper tasks. We know that just raising a child’s awareness of his/her own hand positioning can be a big start in sparking an interest this important area of classroom life. We hope the game inspires children to become aware of their own “handy work” by creating a fun world for them to discover and explore. It presents a fanciful journey, specifically designed to awaken a child’s eyes to the diversity of textures in the real world around them. Such small lessons can be invaluable in the hands of bright young minds.
New Game, CHALK WALK, Is Here!
The team at Mrs. Judd’s Games is proud to announce the arrival of our new app, Chalk Walk, the first app designed to help children develop the thumb & finger pincer grip, which is needed for pencil and paper tasks at school.
Many children are coming into kindergarten unable to properly hold a pencil. As time spent drawing on paper or coloring with crayons is swapped for screen time, key fine motor skills remain underdeveloped. But screen time can also solve the problem and prepare kids for the pencil-and-paper tasks they encounter in school. Chalk Walk is designed to fill in the blank: young hands get needed exercise as they use a thumb & finger pincer grip to play this fun, innovative, teacher-designed game.
You can download your very own copy of Chalk Walk at the iTunes App Store for $3.99!
Mrs. Judd’s Games Is Proud to Support the Work of Autism Speaks and Brain Parade
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, on which Autism Speaks and other autism research supporters encourage the world to Light It Up Blue, a campaign in which blue lights are shown from skyscrapers, statues, apartments and front porches alike to encourage the world to “shine a light” on autism and encourage research. For a condition that affects 1 in 88 children, so little is still known about autism and so many prejudices remain. Misconceptions have arisen about the origins of autism-spectrum disorders and children affected by them are still treated with prejudice and bullying at school.
As educators and parents, we believe in the power of all children, on the autism spectrum or not, to grow, learn and succeed and want to do what we can to empower children who develop and process the world in all ways and at all paces. As game developers, we believe in the potential of the iPad to be a valuable educational tool for children on the autism spectrum. Educational tablet apps can cater to more visual and kinetic learners, and more importantly, they encourage self-directed learning, empowering the child to learn in a manner and at a pace that makes sense to them.
That’s why Mrs. Judd’s Games is proud to join the incredible effort of Jim McClafferty and the good people at Brain Parade as one of 43 developers donating their educational apps to fully stock the iPads Brain Parade is donating for Autism Speaks’ giveaway. The organization is giving iPads to families with a child on the autism spectrum who would benefit from iPad learning but are unable to afford the device. Each iPad given to a family as part of the giveaway will include a free copy of our app, Snowflake Station. We hope the families and children involve enjoy their new iPads and have hours of fun cutting snowflakes and experiencing the other great apps from our fellow developers.
Snowflake Station Demo – Now on YouTube!
In this video, Mrs. Judd of Mrs. Judd’s Games shows you how to make your own creative snowflake designs in our new educational app game, “Snowflake Station.” Check it out!
You can download “Snowflake Station” in the iTunes App Store (FREE 3/30 – 4/1, normally $3.99): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snowflake-station/id496808131?ls=1&mt=8
Mrs. Judd’s Game Tip of the Day
- This stores your framed design in your iPad “Photos”, to be shared when desired
Here’s a snowflake framed atop a photo of Princeton University. Go Tigers!
Snowflake Station FREE Today (3/16) at the iTunes Store!
Another green snowflake for all this spring weather and St. Patrick’s Day this weekend! We’re hoping everyone gets out and enjoys their weekend, but if you have a little downtime, Snowflake Station is available for FREE on the App Store today! Give it a try, tell your friends and make your own beautiful flakes!
Travel The Country With Our Snowflakes
We were so inspired by Steve Shanabruch’s amazing Chicago Neighborhoods project—particularly his interpretation of one of our favorite historic neighborhoods, Greektown—that we decided to turn it into a snowflake!
Much like us, the ancient Greek architects were big fans of finding the beauty in symmetry, be it in nature or their beautiful structures.
One of the settings for our wintry backgrounds in the game is Princeton, New Jersey, so we decided to make a flake as a salute to all you Tiger fans!
Mrs. Judd’s Games on the Jellybean Tunes App Report!
Our app, Snowflake Station, was featured on the Jellybean Tunes App Report on MomsWithApps! We shared the “Art” section with Momalo, another cool app which teaches children how to paint and mix colors using the iPad. So exciting!
One Day Only! Get Snowflake Station for Free!
As a kid, remember the joy of making paper snowflakes and unfolding them to see your beautiful designs come to life? Snowflake Station, the just-released first title from Mrs. Judd’s Games, brings that fun, hands on relatable experience to the iPad. Snowflake Station teaches young children the concept of symmetry, key to math, science and art.
The Mrs. Judd’s Games team will be taking part in Free App Friday TOMORROW, March 2nd, offering Snowflake Station, normally $3.99, FREE on Friday to you!
Get Snowflake Station tomorrow for free at the iTunes App Store. Don’t miss this one-day opportunity!
Make a Flake for a Friend!
We’re inviting you to use Snowflake Station to make customized flakes for a special friend or family member!
You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy when you give and receive these beautiful custom flakes… much better than a text! Submit your best on the Facebook page or by emailing us, and include the heartfelt message of your design, we’ll post them on Facebook and on our site so your special person can see them!
Check out the awesome examples below from our family and friends!
Education Week: iPad K-12 sales outpace other Mac products
According to this interesting post from the Education Week blog, Apple outperformed all other Mac PC and laptop products in sales to the K-12 age group. EdWeek attributes this in part to the iPad’s kid-friendly nature and wide availability of educational apps and games — ours, for example.
More Snowflake Station screenshots up at our Facebook page
Spring may be just around the corner, but it’s still a snow day at our office! Check out an album of amazing snowflakes made by our staff at the Mrs. Judd’s Games Facebook page.
Snowflake Station now available in Beta on the iTunes Store
Our first Mrs. Judd’s Games title for the Apple iPad, Snowflake Station, is now available for purchase at the iTunes store! Try it now for $3.99 and tell us what you think. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. More great titles will be released later in the year, so stay tuned!