Stacey Loscalzo

Jan 17

A Growing Vocabulary

by Stacey

The girls play very few video games. The only device we have is an iTouch and I do my best to keep most of their games in the educational category. Over time, though, some purely fun ones have snuck in to the mix. Lately the girls have been playing a mindless game called Air Penguin whenever they get their hands on the iTouch. I have been feeling guilty as I do every winter when their screen time increases more than I really like. Fortunately, the other day, I was reminded that all the time spent on these devices is not truly wasted…

Me: While reading a book, the word iceberg came up and I began to tell Katherine what an iceberg was.

Katherine: “I know! An iceberg is a large piece of ice in the ocean.”

Me: “How do you know what an iceberg is?”, I said, assuming she would tell me that she had learned about icebergs in a book.

Katherine: “From Air Penguin.”

And there you have it…


  1. MotherReader says:

    Great story! My girls are teens, but I feel like overall the things they’ve picked up from video games is a confidence in exploring technology. Like I’ll be afraid to do something on my pretty low-tech phone, because I think I’m going to mess it up. But they grab the phone – or iPod or whatever – and play around, sure that they’ll figure it out.

    When we worry about technology taking over our kids, I see how it’s more like they are fluent in a second language that, say, I learned in a high school class.

  2. Great story! I think as long as kids are encouraged to be curious–explore, read, ask questions–they’ll pick up information no matter what they’re doing! I remember listing “b” words in kindergarten, I offered up “barracuda”–even spelled it for the teacher–because I had a how-to-draw book that included one. You never know what kids will take away from something (I certainly can’t draw a barracuda!)

  3. CS Perryess says:

    There’s a good possibility we humans discount the wisdom of not only Air Penguins, but those waddling about on the ice. Same goes for grains — my middle schoolers learn heaps when playing Free Rice. Rice & Penguins – who knew?

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