What should a parent do when their child isn’t interested in reading?
What if they aren’t prepared for kindergarten?
Will they ever learn their letters?
I just found the perfect solution for the disinterested child. A Bluebee Pal.
As an OT and a newly certified Assistive Technology provider, I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate interactive technology into to my sessions. I often recommend educational apps and games to parents to help with follow-through at home. Let’s face it: Kids love technology. It’s important for them to still manipulate and play with toys, games, and puzzles, but a tablet or cell phone can be used in any location to work on almost any goal.
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What is A Bluebee Pal?
OK, so what the heck is a BlueBee Pal? Basically, the BlueBee Pal is an adorable stuffed animal that you can hook up with any mobile device, laptop, cellphone, etc. and it does the talking. It comes in a few different characters – there’s Leo the Lion, Lily the Lamb, Riley the Zebra, Sammy the Bear, and Hudson the Puppy. So if your kid loves a particular app or game, or loves to have books read to them, you can hook it up with your tablet, etc., and the animal does the talking! Children often learn from playing (AOTA, 2012). So setting your child up with a toy that encourages learning is the perfect way to get your kid interested in letters, books, and reading!
How does it work?
Bluebee pals are Bluetooth enabled, which means that you can use them with any laptop, tablet, or cell phone. Even if you aren’t too “techy”, it’s a super simple setup. You can check out the tutorial here. It’s a piece of cake!
Use the BlueBee Pal to teach your child the ABCs and 123s.
“I’m so nervous! He’s going to kindergarten soon and he has NO interest in learning his letters!”
“I want him to have an easy time, so he likes school!”
As an Occupational Therapist, I’ve heard this from countless moms. It’s nerve-wracking to think that your child might be unprepared for school when the time comes. Technology can be instrumental in getting your child prepared. Of course, hands-on activities, puzzles, and toys are important, too. But sometimes a favorite app such as “Starfall ABCs” or a game on the Ipad can be the “Hook” to get your child interested. Incorporating their new plush interactive Bluebee Pal will make it even more enticing!
Use the Bluebee pal to your Get child interested in reading
Does your child get frustrated when they don’t know a word? Do they always ask you to read TO them, rather than trying to sound out the words on their own? The Bluebee Pal is a wonderful way to get your child reading along as the story is read to them. Encourage your child to use their finger to track the words as their pal tells the story. Or, you can use an app such as the ones from “StoryToys”, which allows digital storytelling of your favorite books. This is a wonderful way to get any child interested in reading and stories because the stories and possibilities are endless!
Use the Bluebee Pal to encourage your child to use their AAC device for communication
Having a non-verbal child can be overwhelming and upsetting to any parent. An AAC device, known as an Assistive Augmentative Communication device is sometimes recommended for children who have the motor and cognitive skills to negotiate a communication app such as “ProLo Quo” or “Go Talk Now”. However, getting a child familiar with the device and the application can be a timely and cumbersome task. The Bluebee Pal would be a wonderful tool for a Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Assistive Technologist to use with a child who is learning how to use an AAC device. It would also be an amazing way for parents to follow through with using the device at home. Carry-over is so important when a child is learning a new skill. The adorable animal can verbalize your child’s wants and needs as your child learns how to use the app to say “I want snack!”. The Bluebee Pal can support your child’s expressive and receptive language skills in therapy and at home.
The Bluebee pal makes a perfect gift!
Thinking of a good gift for a child can be STRESSFUL! Getting them something “cool” is hard enough, but then you have to pray they don’t have it already! The Bluebee Pal has won tons of awards!
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2012). Learning through play. Retrieved from http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Practice/Children/Browse/Play/Learning%20Through%20Play%20tip%20sheet.pdf