Fredericksburg Parent

October 2017

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26 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • October 2017 Incorporating creative and educational activities that exercise a young child's developmental skills into a fast-paced, busy life can be diffi cult for parents, but with the prevalence of smartphones, it just got a bit easier. Combining education and technology, the Kid Builders mobile app offers a multitude of activities specifi cally designed to help children 5-years-old and younger build skills in six different areas, including body, health, mind, relationships and more. ages & stages WRITTEN BY AMANDA DANAHER "It's critically important that young children adopt healthy eating, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors," said Tiffany Alva, early learning director at Children and Families Commission of Orange County, creators of the mobile app. "By emphasizing activities that are fun and geared toward the entire family, the new mobile app promises to be a valuable tool in helping children grow up healthy." With the free mobile app, parents are given step-by-step instructions on how to incorporate and complete activities with their young children while offering an explanation to parents as to why the exercise is vital to their child's development. The activities are simple and can be done either at home or on the go. "One example of a Relationship Builder activity for parents or caregivers of a 2-year-old is the 'I Love Your…' activity. When you have a few minutes to give special attention to your child, ask: 'Do you want to know what I love about you?' Then start at the top of her head and work your way down, gently touching her and telling her you love every part of her: 'I love your hair. I love your pretty brown eyes. I love your nose.' And so on," said Alva. When a parent gently touches their child and tells them they are loved, the child not only is learning that they are loved but also how to love themselves, which is important for the develop- ment of self-confi dence all while learning the parts of their body, explained Alva. The Kid Builders mobile app was launched in late 2016 as an extension of the popular two-vol- ume Kid Builders books fi rst introduced in 2005. "The books are packed with early childhood development activities reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter. The numerous requests we continuously receive for the books served as the catalyst for the creation of an interactive, mobile application that would make the Kid Builders activities available to all," said Alva. An account is not required to use the mobile app, however, users will need one in order to track their child's advancement through the activi- ties. Parents with multiple children have the option to create separate profi les within an account to track each respective child's progress. The mobile app is accessible to both iPhone and Android users as well as available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Kid Builders is also desktop accessible at " It's critically important that young children adopt healthy eating, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors." Healthy Habits Early Helps Kids Develop Mobile App

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