Sunday, April 1, 2012

D.W.'s Unicorn Adventure Encourages Healthy Eating



This post is part of MommyMaestra's series on Fighting Obesity in Latino Children.


My big holiday gift this year was a Kindle Fire. I thought I'd finally enjoy a few good books and browse blogs on the go. What I didn't realize is this: an episode of Arthur on my Kindle Fire is a sure fire way to get in a good shower.

Moms, you understand, right?

My almost 3 and almost 5 year old are huge Arthur fans; so they had stars in their eyes when I told them I needed their help for work. We downloaded the app and (15 after talking about how unicorns are not horses) let them know their job was to help get a lost unicorn safely home. I pointed out its home is very far away so they'd need to fill up on healthy foods to make the trek. They immediately loved the concept because it sounds exactly like what I tell them everyday about fueling their bodies with healthy foods and not just foods that taste good but don't help their bodies get through their day.

I have to admit, I love this game as much as my daughters! It's fun and teaches a very valuable lesson.

Targeted at children 4-6, it was a bit advanced for my almost 3 year old. However, it didn't deter her from having fun. When things got too challenging, I had her play sidekick. While big sister or I played, her job was to name all the colors she saw, identify the healthy and unhealthy foods, tell a story about the fun backdrops, and her favorite, hum along to the very kid-friendly music.

My almost 5 year old, on the other hand, was a pro! As a family who limits screen time, I admit to sometimes wondering if my girls will have a hard time picking up skills related to new technology. A minute with Arthur and friends, and my girl was in the zone. She found it easy to navigate and was really proud of herself for being able to identify so many of the foods. When asked her favorite part, she smiled from ear to ear and said it was the unicorn. :)

I think this will be a lifesaver in long lines or drives. We didn't get through all the levels and I so wonder if it's challenging enough to be a long term favorite. After some practice mastering the purple boot, double tap jump, my oldest zoomed through the first 4 levels. We'll see if the other levels can challenge her a bit more.

There are two ways I know this app is a keeper. First, and maybe important, I got in a 20 minute shower, hair washed and all! Ever grateful, Arthur, ever grateful. But the big thumbs up? My youngest asking for an Arthur/unicorn themed birthday party, the true kid seal of approval. Now to figure out how to get this app in the goody bag! :)

This app is for iPhones and iPod touch. You can download the app for only 1.99 here on PBSKids.org.


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Carla Molina is a weaver of words and creative collaborator. A Jersey girl at heart with lots of love for Boston, she spends most of her time raising two bilingual little ladies and brainstorming more ways to write her heart out. She blogs about being a woman and a creative creature at All of Me Now. And plays cheerleader to the local businesses serving families in her current home state at Petit Rhody.

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