Two innovative solutions for parents worrying about their children’s increasing screen time
If you go to restaurants or shopping malls, you’ll probably see parents giving their mobile device to their child to keep him or her quiet. Even at home, many parents love to see their kids play with their mobile phones, laptops and tablets, but healthcare experts warn that this could affect the child’s mental and physical development. Constantly glued to the mobile phone, physical activity takes a backseat. This puts them at risk for obesity and other illnesses. Like it or not, the fact is that the proliferation of devices is growing by leaps and bounds, and we need to curb our children’s growing device addiction. Recently, this writer came across two interesting and meaningful solutions for parents worrying about their children’s increasing screen time.
Orboot World of Dinosaurs (Rs 2,499)
PlayShifu, a fast-growing AR toy company, has come up with Orboot Dinos, an interactive Augmented Reality (AR) globe recommended for ages 4-8. Orboot Dinos offers an interesting phygital experience with lands and dinos from 60 million years ago. It is a combination of a beautiful globe with lands and dinosaurs from millions of years ago and an interactive companion app. You can discover 400+ incredible dino facts with engaging voiceovers, play fun time-travel and adventurous games with adorable characters, or unravel the timeline of this era to know how dinosaurs went extinct.
How it works is fairly simple. Download the free Orboot Dinos app from App Store/Play Store to get going. All you need is a smart device and the Orboot globe. Use your device to scan icons on the AR-powered globe, pick a category to explore, and learn away! After the Orboot app is set up on your device, you can play the games offline, without the internet. However, you will need to connect to the internet from time-to-time to update your app and have access to all new games and levels.
The play experience is unique in three ways: One, the physical+digital aspect and interactive games ensure high engagement, which in turn helps children develop skills and retain knowledge longer. Two, visualisation of realistic dinosaurs in natural habitat boosts imagination and attention to detail. Three, exploration of 500+ fun facts through a dynamic play method builds scientific thinking and persistence skills. I reckon Orboot Dinos is the perfect toy to introduce a child to the concept of fact-checking and acts as a gateway for STEM learning.
Carvaan Mini Kids (Rs 2,990)
Carvaan Mini Kids combines the dual aspects of fun and learning, in an engaging way for children without having to resort to look at digital screens. It is a Bluetooth speaker designed for children aged 2-10 years. It is compact, portable, lightweight, child- safe and easy to use as it requires no assistance from parents to operate. It doesn’t need any internet to play and there are no ad breaks to interrupt the child’s listening or learning experience. It can also be used by children as their personal Bluetooth speaker to play their own music or any other collection on phone/ tablet.
Carvaan Mini Kids has dedicated modes for Rhymes, Stories, Learning and Mantras for easy selection by children. The Rhymes mode has 80+ classic English and Hindi rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty, Mary had a little lamb, Ring a ring of roses, Jack & Jill, Twinkle Twinkle, Chanda mama aao naa, Lakdi ki Kaathi, Akad Bakad Bambe Bo and many more. The Stories mode allows the child to enter the world of unending imagination with 300+ stories in English and Hindi such as Panchtantra, Akbar & Birbal, Fairy Tales, Mythology, Lord Ganesha. The Learning mode help the kids to learn phonetics, Days of the week, Months of a Year, Numbers Tables, etc. with its 15+ specially curated topics. Under Mantras mode, there are 33+ mantras and devotional songs such as Om Shanti Mantra, Gayatri Mantra, Hanuman Chalisa, Sai Dhun and more for kids to sing along and learn at an early age.
Carvaan Mini Kids comes loaded with additional features such as Bluetooth, USB , Aux In/ Out, has a long lasting battery of up to 6 hours and can be charged with any Android charger. It has a special loop feature which allows children to play their favourite audio in a repeat mode. It comes with a 6-month warranty too.