Come summer and I start looking for ways to keep my sanity. Don’t get me wrong, but keeping two highly active and super curious kids isn’t exactly a cake walk. So my quest for fun & constructive activities reaches a whole new level! I know I’m not the “Coolest” mom around since I prefer my kids to be involved more in the real world than in the digital world. But there is one “Super Cool” exception I make! I do encourage my kids to play with various educational apps during their ‘Screen Time’. Especially so, if the apps are about Indian culture. I truly believe it’s an effective way to introduce and stay connected with our roots.
Peacock Book Store (http://www.peacockbookstore.com) offers some unique iPhone/iPad apps for kids based on Indian culture, heritage and themes. They currently have four apps under their ‘Tales of India’ series – Rani Jhansi: The Warrior Queen (Coming soon), Arjun & Bird’s Eye, Ramayan Children’s Book and Fearless Frog: Lesson of Hope.
Peacock’s apps are rich in visual and audio elements, and several highly interactive features successfully engage the children. Each app has beautiful illustrations that bring the characters to life and the stories are adapted to aid a child’s comprehension skills. The interactive elements include puzzles, coloring pages and memory games, There are three ways to follow each story –
· Read Aloud - Listen to the lively narrated story with sentences highlighted as they are read.
· Read Myself – Self-read the book in the traditional format
· Auto Play - Plays like a movie, automatically reading and turning pages. Great for younger children.
The creator of these apps is Shipra Mittal, a highly resourceful mom of 2 young boys. She has a Masters in Special Education, with emphasis on Autism. Having worked with special needs children and their families for many years, she has great insight into child psychology and their learning needs. When I asked her what the inspiration behind Peacock Book Store was, she said, ”I am in constant search for interesting books and references about India to share with my kids. Most print versions have difficult language and there isn’t much available in the digital media. It’s really hard to find anything that can hold their attention. So instead of waiting for things to change, I decided to make the change. Why not make Rani Jhansi or Ram as popular with the kids as Peter Pan or Mulan?”
So this creative mom took the initiative and jumped right into the process. This was a completely new field for Shipra. She spent many days and sleepless nights learning about the app making process – taking several online tutorials, talking to friends, deciding on the themes and eventually getting a team of people together to build her dream. And thus was born Peacock Book Store & their apps.
As Shipra rightly points out,” Numerous questions confound our children every day about their identity and heritage. Many go unanswered despite our best intentions. And within these answers lie the essence of our children’s identity and eventually personality.” She adds, “That’s exactly what our apps do. They help build our children’s identity and develop an appreciation for Indian culture.” I couldn’t have agreed more with Shipra! As a parent, it’s very fulfilling to see my children being able to relate to the same values, stories and traditions that I grew up with.
Shipra says that Peacock’s goal is to foster a love of Indian history, music, language, clothes, architecture etc. in today’s children, whether they are growing up in India or abroad. “We are trying to bring the age old experiences and stories to a level where kids just want to pick the iPhone/iPad and play with the app because it’s a lot of fun!”
Whether its understanding Laxman’s love and devotion for his brother Ram, or learning about Arjun’s power of concentration which led him to become the world’s best archer, or admiring Rani Jhansi’s courage in the fight for Indian Freedom, Peacock Book Store has an app for that!
Visit http://www.peacockbookstore.com to download the apps, or download them directly here.
Rani Jhansi: The Warrior Queen (Coming Soon)
Ramayan Children’s Book - Download FREE for a limited time! Use Codes MER66RFXFKW6 or APEX66WYXAJJ
Check out this video of Peacock apps!