Monday, July 9, 2007

Surprises are Welcome.


Last night, my son Parker returned from the Adirondacks; he had been on vacation with my in-laws for a week. I missed him terribly, and he me. After our normal run through of the toys: cars, trains, balls, and books, he wanted to play Thomas the Tank Engine on the computer. They have tons of games and activities on their site, and he especially likes using their online coloring books.

Instead of having him sit on my lap and have me use the mouse on the Mac, I thought we might give the tablet a try.

Revelation.

I felt like I was in the audience at TED when Jeff Han was speaking, as his interaction with the machine totally changed. He is not yet 3, yet there he was controlling the screen by himself. He was picking colors, clicking on icons, changing the screens in a manner that was somewhat self-directed. I exclaimed to my wife that this is the machine he will start out with when that time comes. We used Imagination Cubed to give him access to some basic drawing applications.

It really changed everything for him, at least for a little while, at which point I looked at the clock and realized that it was 10:30--well past his usual bedtime. Sometimes, though, I can't help but break the rules.

5 comments:

Mike Waiksnis said...

My son loves the online Thomas goodies as well! The coloring book is his favorite!

Rebecca Leonard said...

I can't imagine my son being gone for a week! My "baby" is now going to be a junior in high school and we still have his original Thomas wooden train set. I live in the Adirondacks and I hope he had a blast! He's so cute.

Patrick Higgins said...

He has always loved the website and of course the actual trains. Using the tablet was the first time he could interact with the website himself, instead of telling me what to do.

It was hard to see him go away for so long, but he was with his grandparents, and when they are around, sometimes it's like we don't exist! He has such a good time with them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...

Anonymous said...

Interesting...meaning what?