Nothing’s quite as satisfying as watching kids learn. It reminds us how we all began, as little toddling humans with big smiles on our faces and no idea what adventures awaited us in the future. Although few remember reading their first words, it was no doubt a milestone in all of our parents’ lives — the moment when their little one’s world changes forever in the most amazing ways.
At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, Donob had the pleasure of speaking with several representatives from Square Panda, a company that designs physical and virtual products to help kids “follow their curiosity.” The reps were eager to explain how Square Panda works and why it’s become a staple in so many early childhood reading development programs.
Kids Just Want To Have Fun
A surprisingly small percentage of children between ages two and eight are drawn to serious academics like learning the alphabet, understanding phonics, and reading. The majority of them are more intrigued by sounds, visually stimulating images, and tactile interactions.
Square Panda’s research-based curriculum consists of fun and appealing games that perfectly combine sight, sound, and touch in each level, turning the educational process into a veritable by-product of the experience.
How It Works
Each Square Panda system includes a playset that doubles as a storage tray, 45 “smart letters,” and access to a library of free learning games, which themselves can be downloaded on the App Store/Google Play. Parents can monitor their child’s progress through a customizable portal that stores previously accessed words and pictures and maintains a database of learning milestones.
Younger readers are first introduced to the physical smart letters, which act as a gateway to the learning games. At the start of each game, the child is introduced to the different sounds of all the letters. From there, they start to put together a vocabulary of new words and discover the wonderful world of rhyming.
As children progress through Square Panda, they also improve in peripheral fields like Phonological Awareness, Decoding, Encoding, Letter Recognition, Letter Sound Decoding, Tracing and Letter Writing, Fine Motor Skills, and Kinesthetic Skills.
Customizing Square Panda
Square Panda Playground lets parents track their child’s learning development so they can hone in on the areas that need improvement like letter confusion, letter orientation, and word play. In addition, “Big Badge Graphs” allow them to see detailed progress maps for all primary curriculum objectives. They can also personalize their child’s experience by working in special words, family names and pictures, pet photos, and images of the child participating in sporting and school events. Confidence-building “Mini Badges” can be earned when children correctly spell words and numbers.
Variety and Accessibility Keep It Fresh and Easy
Children’s attention spans are notoriously short. Square Panda understands this and has made 10 intriguing games for them to choose between, including Square Panda Bowling, Bubbles, Farming, Fishing, Jiggity Jamble, Lagoon, Letter Lab, Letter Lullaby, Monster Rhymes, and Space Cows. Many more games are in development for all ages of Square Panda fans.
For easy and reliable use everywhere, Square Panda is Bluetooth-enabled and compatible with both iPads and Android tablets from brands like Google, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Asus.