This post is sponsored by Playing Forward. All opinions are that of Daily Mom.
Technology is all around us. Unless we put ourselves off the grid or in a bubble, there is no escaping it. It is an integral part of our children’s education with technology often being a separate class and computer work being a part of daily homework. Research has continued to show that screen time for kids should be limited, making it more apparent that moms and dads need to make sure that the screen time their kids do get is valuable.
There are countless educational apps out there available to our kids which can make it difficult to decide which one is the best. Playing Forward is designed to support kids’ social and emotional development through storytelling, visual effects, and the use of Augmented Reality. Social-emotional development is one of the biggest factors in school and future successes in kids, and Playing Forward’s mission is to give each child the very best shot at a happy childhood and successful adulthood by “playing it forward.”
Playing Forward’s transformational technology studio helps to ignite a child’s imagination through digital experiences. Their app designs are based on extensive research to include beta-testing the app in real-life classrooms across the US and Canada. In order to incorporate story-telling and the arts, Playing Forward has recently launched three-character driven apps based on best-selling children’s books, Maxi the Taxi Dog, Dex T-Rex, and It’s Just So. Each story can be experienced either as a bedtime story that can be read along in 3D or as an augmented reality game where the child actively interacts, moves around, and experiences the story from different perspectives.
Daily Mom Kids had the opportunity to try Playing Forward’s Maxi the Taxi Dog. This classic children’s story was first published by Penguin Publishing over 25 years ago, but developers John Attard and Victor Talbot (who together have worked on over 100 films, television shows, and digital series like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2) have created an app for today’s generation, bringing Maxi the Dog to life. The app features Maxi, Jim, and their friend Tupa who are headed to the Cooper Hewitt Museum to help Tupa overcome his fear of the dark. While interacting with this app, children can learn ways to overcome fears and even meet some new friends along the way.
Our Daily Kids truly enjoyed playing with this app. It brings together two things that our kids love: books and technology. It is much more than a story being read to them- they are interacting with the book and learning productive social and emotional cues. One of their favorite parts was being able to personalize their experience- each time they play the game, they are able to interact with different characters and even change the way their characters look!
One of the things we love about the app is that it can be modified for different ages. The Maxi the Taxi Dog app works for ages 4 and up, but it can be used in story-mode for younger children while older kids can move up to the augmented reality version and truly interact with the characters and move the story line along in their own time. The visual effects are on point and we love that our kids aren’t just blankly staring at a screen- they are actually using critical thinking skills and learning important social and emotional development skills while they play.
To celebrate the launch of Maxi the Taxi Dog, Dex T-Rex, and It’s Just So… Playing Forward is running a contest in which the Grand Prize is an amazing experience of STEAM-powered play during a weekend in Manhattan. The prize includes:
- Air Transportation, a two night hotel stay, a Visa gift card to cover meals, and various museum tickets for a family of four.
- A personalized experience at two of Manhattan’s favorite museums – The Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
- The runner-up will win an iPad.