My husband is a programmer and I am a blogger so when we got pregnant we were pretty sure that our child would be interested in technology. Sure enough, she was playing with our smartphones, computers, really anything that she was able to get her little hands on before she was even able to speak. Needless to say, at the ripe old age of 5, she is able to do things with my phone that not only do I not know how to do but also things that I have never seen on my phone. I have no idea how they become so intelligent so quickly …
While my daughter is a lover of everything technology, she is also extremely active and constantly on the go. I swear she moves from the moment that she gets out of bed until she climbs back into bed at night. That is fantastic now but I worry that as she ages and becomes more aware of social norms that she will become more involved in technology and less involved in activity. As someone who has struggled to maintain a healthy weight for their entire life, this frightens me. Kids needs to get up, get moving, and go outside and play. Things were so much different when I was growing up!
Recently I was introduced to a new device that I had never seen or heard of before, TheO SmartBall; a tool to make learning easy, fun, and active!
Did you know that active kids learn more and retain more of what they learn? With TheO SmartBall, kids learn while they play. This is a toy that promotes early learning through kids learning apps and active play. As the parent of a 5 year old, anytime I am able to find a product that focuses on learning AND entertaining kids, that is a win win.
TheO SmartBall is a soft foam ball, much like Nerf material, that uses technology and your smart device to entertain and educate children. Their apps offer a variety of games that get kids engaged mentally while they have fun physically.
So how does it work? You down load one (or more) of their apps to your smart device, insert the device into TheO SmartBall, and then let the fun begin! Toss, roll, or shake the ball to add to the fun. Physical Apps, the maker of TheO SmartBall, offers 8 free apps to get you started; however, there are paid options available. The apps can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or Google Play.
So how did we like it? First, there is a short video that plays when you open an app for TheO SmartBall. This video explains how to use the safety strap and I found this rather useful and important to watch the first time around. I was a little nervous about my phone popping out during play and imagined it breaking into a million pieces but that was not the case. My phone, a Samsung Galaxy III, fits securely into the toy.
Most of the free apps are aimed at children ages five and under; this was perfect for us as my daughter is five. Our favorites were Hot Potato and the Sing & Dance apps but there are a variety to choose fun; even a bowling app! My daughter also loved that there is a focus on animals as she loves anything and everything animal oriented. We won’t discuss how many times a year we make trips to the zoo! ;) As a parent, I love that the main focus is on letters, numbers, and math. This is a great learning tool to keep her moving forward in her education and I am thrilled that she is able to have fun while doing it. Check out Physical Apps’ website for a listing of all of the apps that they have to offer.
Overall, we love TheO SmartBall! It is a rainy day in Ohio and as soon as my daughter gets home from school we plan to play with our new friend. I can easily see this being the perfect present under the Christmas tree or even a great birthday present if you have a birthday party coming up! We are working on advancing our daughter as quickly as possible and I only see great things in the future for TheO SmartBall.
PURCHASE THEO SMARTBALL