OK, so you're stuck at home, trying to figure out how to entertain your four-year-old, but also trying to figure out ways you can get their early education started because, you know, preschools are shut down right now. There are a lot of educational apps out there and some of them are really good, but many of them focus on K-12 education and not much for the years prior to your little tyke's first day at kindergarten.
This is where Sago Mini School comes in. It's a fun, brightly-colored education app designed specifically for those pre-K years, ages 3 - 5. It's a very open, simple app that requires pretty much zero set up or interaction from parents. Kids can just swipe and tap and drag their fingers all over the screen to discover all the fun games they can play (while secretly being taught some great early childhood education skills along the way).
Sago Mini is based out of Toronto, Canada, and as a way to give back to the community that helped them get started, the company is offering a free six-month subscription in Canada. It's the perfect gift for anyone teaching from home right now.
You may already be familiar with Sago Mini. The company has dozens of adorable education games for kids, and Sago Mini World is a one-stop subscription shop for the complete 30+ game collection. Sago Mini School promises the same level of content as the team builds more topics and lessons. Right now, kids can interact with Bugs, Rainbows, and Big Trucks. Lessons include such topics as math, literacy, science, and spatial skills.
They've also started a subscription box for toddlers in the U.S. that includes adorable papercrafts for as low as $15 per month.
As a grown-up, I played around with School for a while and one thing that stood out to me is how it is designed to let kids just explore. Swiping the screen brings up new lessons where kids can trace letters and numbers or watch a video or have an interactive book read to them (they can play with a pop-up-book style lever to change words and tell the story in different ways).
Kids aren't stuck in a lesson either. A little icon will pop up sometimes when they're playing which will prompt them to tap into a new lesson. They can swipe here and there to move to new subjects. They won't need to call mom and dad for help when it's time to try something different. It's very discovery-based. Taping or swiping will unveil something new.
Activities your little one does is shared with you via the parenting app, Sago Mini Parents. In the parenting app, you'll see some general information about topics (like bugs and rainbows), plus see what your little one has been working on (like tracing numbers). If they draw a picture, not only is the drawing process on-screen recorded, but their voice is recorded (with your permission given first, of course), so the things they say while drawing can be played back for you later while you watch the art unfold, giving you a little insight into their creative minds.
Sago Mini School was designed in collaboration with child education and development experts and playtested with families and their toddlers with positive feedback.
If you've got a toddler at home and you're looking for ways you can help facilitate their preschool learning at a time when preschools are shut down, check out Sago Mini Schools, and if you're a Canadian resident, you've got six months of free lessons waiting for you. The offer is good until June 1, 2020. A standard subscription is $9 per month or $65 per year.
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