SmarterPlay is an app that provides families in the county of Kent (UK) and hopefully beyond in the future, with the knowledge they need on child development, so that they are well-informed and able to understand how their children learn and why they do the things they do, right from birth. The application provides up-to-date information from a range of locations that provide families with ideas and knowledge to enhance young children’s learning experiences. The app successfully collates a wide variety of resources needed by any discerning parent.
SmarterPlay is an interesting and useful application designed to be a one stop area to store and obtain information for your children. Downloading the app from the store is painless and the user is immediately asked whether they want to share their location, a facility to automatically pin point your location when filling out the ‘moments’ diary. The user is also asked whether they want to be notified of any notifications from the app provider, these are weekly and range from ‘fun ideas’ linked to statements based around EYFS development. There is a helpful ‘Audio’ button to help users with sight or reading difficulties where the text is read out . The swipe across screen gives you an understanding of what you can do with the application. The app also provides the user with an opportunity to personalise by a entering a number of individual children’s names and providing an age category so that push notifications can be targeted to the right age group.
The moments diary lets the user record particular events in the life history of their child by taking a photo or video and this will automatically be placed in a moments folder the date and location are automatically recorded with any comments the parent would like to make.
The locations menu presents the user with a map of Kent with a lot of tags, these tags are colour coordinated, the key usefully lists the different coloured tags which range widely from Country Parks to Schools and on to Car Parks. Once the tag is selected the user can open a context specific page with further links out to the web site or with schools an OFSTED page relevant to the organisation.
The Top Tips menu consists of a series of statements categorised into Babies, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers and provides interesting facts about child development issues. The News menu has four items of news. The ‘SmarterPlay and you’ menu has a category of Information based around the acronym “SMARTER” this as the provider states
“…outlines key information on child development around bonding and attachment, the importance of keeping active, understanding schema (children’s innate patterns of play, learning and behaviour), the development of relationships, top tips for talking, exciting explorations and open-ended play and the need for rest and routines.”
The Quiz has twenty-eight questions and they are multiple choice with a pop up dialogue box informing the user if it is correct or not with an explanation of the correct answer. The Free Childcare menu links directly to the Kent County Council website and provides further information on this subject.
Under the ‘more’ section is a useful list of considerations when looking for childcare.
This is clearly an app that will be of use to parents/carers of small children and will be a splendid way of recording key stages in their development ready to pass on to them at a later date. The information provided is of an excellent quality and I would recommend this application to any busy parent or carer that needs to find valuable information quickly.
From the Developer
SmarterPlay is a fantastic new app providing families in Kent (England) with exclusive free access to a range of opportunities and facilities to support them in the demanding and fun role of parenting their young children.
With up-to-date information from a range of locations and in-app tools, SmarterPlay offers families, ideas and information to enhance young children’s learning and experiences - literally at their fingertips!
Features of the SmarterPlay app include:
• Regular weekly pop-ups (Push Notifications), related to age of child, on fun ideas and activities to promote early learning related to the EYFS Development Matters statements
• Information and links to useful websites covering:
Special Moments – the importance of bonding and attachment
Movers and Shakers – the importance of physical activities
Again, Again & Again – recognising and understanding schemas
Relating to Others – the importance of forming relationships – social and emotional development
Tips for Talking – supporting and encouraging children’s ability to talk
Exciting Explorations – the wonders of playing with every day and non-expensive items
Rest, Routines and Relaxation – the importance of ensuring adequate rest and regular routines
• Making Memories – capture and annotate special moments, significant learning shared with families. Families could be encouraged to share these with you and add to their children’s Learning Journeys. A useful tool to support meaningful and individual planning.
• Family Friendly Places (geo-located) to visit including:
Nappy changing facilities
• Choosing Quality Childcare? Guidance and helpful hints on what to consider when selecting childcare
• Information on local early years providers and schools including link to Ofsted website for latest Ofsted inspection reports
• Free Childcare – access to information on funding and relevant forms
• Quiz - an interactive quiz for families highlighting the importance of supporting children’s development, well being and safety in a fun and inspiring way