What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 4KidCal is a simple calendar app that helps young kids learn to read and understand calendars and to record events. Parents and kids list an event on the calendar by choosing one of 28 colorful icons (sports gear, party, school, and playtime images; nothing religious, holiday, or chore-related) and then recording a message to go along with the icon. There's no writing or detail here, so it can't be used as a formal planner; but young kids can begin to associate calendars, dates, and events in an easy, personal way.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- time management
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's fun to list events on the calendar using sticker-like icons and then recording a message to match. You can't write on the calendar, so it can't be used as a formal planner and may limit engagement for older kids.
Using 4KidCal helps kids begin to associate calendars and dates with personal events, which can transfer to many life skills. This is a useful introduction to time management but requires parent support for best learning.
The How To Use tab explains the process of recording and playing back an event in seven brief steps. The app isn't meant to be a formal planner but it does send a reminder on the day of each event.
What's it about?
Create a user account by entering a name and photo of your kid (just on the app, it's not stored elsewhere). Next, you'll see the current month's calendar with 28 icons encircling it. Tap a date and select an icon. A microphone will appear, and you can record a message to go along with the icon ("Susie's birthday party!"). Tap "Play" to hear the recording or "Done" to finish that entry. Tap any entry on the calendar to hear the message played back. You can enter only one event per calendar day.
Is it any good?
4KIDCAL is a fine app to help little kids start using calendars to mark special dates. For older kids who want to create more detailed calendar entries, a few more features would be nice such as text entries, a wider variety of icons, or the option to create custom icons using a drawing pad or an image from the camera roll. Also, the ability to have multiple user accounts on the same app would be helpful for families with more than one kid. Overall, though, 4KidCal is a decent entry into calendars for kids.
Families can talk about...
Help your kid record all of the birthdays in your family on 4KidCal.
As your kids await a special date, encourage them to count down the remaining days, building counting backward skills and patience.