Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Samsung KidsTime – Aiden’s New Delight!

Wow – time sure flies. It has been two weeks since Aiden started using Samsung KidsTime but it has integrated quite seamlessly into our family routine that it feels like it has been around since forever!

Yes, routines are important to help kids thrive. And Aiden knows he needs to stick with the routine with Samsung KidsTime - three sessions to be precise. After school, Aiden gets his first session with Samsung KidsTime. With the duration limit feature (my favourite feature!) I no longer have to worry about Aiden spending his entire afternoon staring at the tablet. He now knows that once his time is up, he cannot continue using the tablet and he would dutifully return the tablet to the kitchen table (away from Ian’s curious fingers!) and then he would ask to play outside with his friends. I like the idea of him on his bicycle or kicking ball in the afternoons – but sometimes when weather isn’t on our side, I usually allow Aiden to watch some television.  At night, if he is done with his homework, Aiden is allowed his second session on Samsung KidsTime to give hubby and me some peace and quiet over dinner. And finally, before I tuck him to bed, Aiden gets to choose an eBook on Samsung KidsTime and we would read it together before he dozes off.

Aiden posing with his new found delight.

Aiden squeezing in one last game during his night tablet session.

I also have my own routine with Samsung KidsTime. I make it a point to view Aiden’s progress using the Child Progress Dashboard at least twice a week, and periodically check the games and eBooks that Aiden has been interacting with.  And guess what I discovered? Despite my earlier belief that Aiden had a thing for numbers, I found out (from stalking his favourite apps) that he loves science too. Oooo… looks like Hubby and I have both passed on the engineering gene to him! This is really quite amusing though, because if you were to ask Aiden what he would like to be when he grows up, he would answer confidently; “I want to be a guard!” *smacks own head*

The dashboard reported Aiden's love for Science themed games, surpassing his previous interest in Math.

Future engineer in the making?

Let’s move on to app content. Previously, I used to have a love/hate relationship with the tablet. I loved how the tablet kept Aiden (and sometimes Ian) occupied and entertained, but despised the kind of games that he was playing with. His preferred games would usually involve violence - fighting, shooting, or hitting… you get the gist. Although this would probably help his future dream career as a guard *chuckle*, games like these aren’t really something I want my 5-year old son to be exposed to.

With Samsung KidsTime, the games he plays are not only age appropriate; they stimulate his mind and encourage him to think too. As I mentioned in my previous blogpost HERE, with Battle Station, Aiden now understands basic fractions, especially because he needs to get the answers correct to defend his ship from enemy submarines and move on to the next level. (My son is competitive that way!) With Gro Garden, Aiden now understands that crops need good soil, sun and water to grow, and composting food scraps produces nutritious soil for sustainable farming. Aiden also knows all 19 characters from Bugs on the Run; I was watching him play the other day and I tried to help him out by shouting, “Watch out for the grasshopper, Aiden!” in which he replied “Mummy, that’s not a grasshopper. It’s a cicada.Erk… *google Wikipedia cicada*

Yes, that's a cicada chasing after the ladybug (on the rocket)!

The activity feed showed how long Aiden played Bugs on the Run that day.

Another favourite of mine is the Samsung KidsTime eBooks. Although adults are known to enjoy curling up on the couch with a good book, kids are exactly the opposite. They need vibrant colors, animated images and dynamic sounds to entice them. All of the books within the Samsung KidsTime eBooks collection are exactly that – they are colourful, interactive and amazing; a great combination of things literary and digital. By routinely reading the eBooks before bed, I have successfully cultivated a healthy reading habit for Aiden. Sometimes by afternoon, he has even picked out which eBook he wants to read for that night!

Vibrant colours, animated images and dynamic sounds.

Samsung will be introducing localized Malaysian content soon, but in the meantime there are some pretty interesting localized Korean games that Aiden has seemed to take a liking to. His current favourite, Gus on the Go: Korean for Kids. Recently, I supervised him playing the game and discovered that not only can he pronounce the Korean word (with proper diction, mind you!) but he can also correctly identify what the word means. He taught me something new that day too - “baji” means pants in Korean! Bet you didn’t know that, right?

Aiden correctly identified baji, erm I mean pants!

Aiden's progress for Creativity and Language Arts increased significantly with his new found love for the Samsung KidsTime localized content.

Oh, remember the first impression review that Aiden and I did a couple of weeks ago? Well, Samsung filmed the whole thing and made it into a video. So go ahead, grab some popcorn and click on the YouTube link below to watch us in action. And go easy on the critics please – I am a blogger who flourishes in writing, but unfortunately not really made to be on TV. *smile* Nevertheless, at the very least, you can truly see for yourself how amazed and impressed I was with this nifty technology. (And how Aiden absolutely enjoyed the experience – he literally couldn’t put the device down!)

I am glad that I introduced Aiden to Samsung KidsTime. After two weeks, it seems that the positive first impression I had of Samsung KidsTime is now validated. The next time Aiden asks for his tablet, you won’t see me hesitate, for sure! I am now personally convinced that Samsung KidsTime is more than play because I know that Aiden is subconsciously learning through play and he is exposed to quality screentime that keeps him busy and engaged.

Thank you Samsung KidsTime for addressing every parent’s nightmare – navigating through the digital age for children. If you are a parent who is looking for a good night’s sleep (who isn’t???), take my advice and download the Samsung KidsTime app HERE via the Google Play Store or visit the Samsung KidsTime official website HERE for more information.

Samsung KidsTime is providing a trial of one month which includes all 80 games and ebooks, for FREE (yes, FREE)! After that, you can extend your good night’s sleep for a subscription cost of only RM15.90 per month. (Safe and quality screentime, plus my peace of mind, for only RM15.90? Really, where do I sign up??!!)

If you are already embracing technology and currently using Samsung KidsTime apps for kids, let’s swap reviews. I am sure you have your own share of stories too!

A thumbs up and a huge grin from Aiden for Samsung KidsTime.

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