The written word is one of the most important things the human race has accomplished, and of course, learning to decipher it. Literacy is so important to me, it is ironically difficult to find the words to describe the impact it has had on my life. I was fortunate to have parents that read to me from inception, and the joy of reading has stuck with me forever.
That’s the key, parents – start young and mold your children into the literati and not the ill-fated, unimaginative lower echelon of non-readers. With more than 67 million iPads sold to-date, it is more than likely you’ll teach your children to read using a screen instead of a paperback. Books such as Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, released in hardcover two years ago and now debuting on the little screen, are made for the next generation of tech-savvy, diaper-swaddled geniuses.
Based on the award-winning title by Dr. JoAnn Deak and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain is more than just an ebook for children, parents and educators. This interactive edutainment app teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning, and introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a creative and engaging way.
Fun features include a ‘Read to Me’ format with voice narration that helps children learn the pronunciation and spelling of new words (a feature available on most e-readers, taking vocab to the next level for all ages). ‘Fun Brain Workouts’ and ‘Games’ help strengthen memory, improve auditory perception and foster journaling (yes – journaling!). About this journaling concept – society may be keeping tabs on life in 140 characters, but I applaud parents and educators who continue to teach children to think and write in complete sentences (that means a subject, verb and maybe an adjective).
The app goes above and beyond the concept of a children’s book in digital format. Embedded lesson plans offer activities designed to build an understanding of neuroanatomy, the brain’s primary functions, and how to stretch and shape the brain to its full potential. I have a sneaking suspicion we could all use a refresher course in brain function, so parents and teachers might find this feature interesting as well.
For $2.99, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain is available for iPad, and a bargain compared to years’ worth of therapy sessions because your child blames you for inactive brain waves and a lack of ability to think, read or journal effectively. Go forth, young parents, and download.