I've already been promoting my new gig at SavvySource, Being Savvy Columbus, but you may not know about the other features of SavvySource. Aside from the city guides, SavvySource also offers preschool recommendations and a chance to rate your preschool. But by far one of the coolest parts of the SavvySource website is the SavvyQuiz and recommended activities as a result of that quiz.
You might have noticed the little SavvyQuiz widget in the sidebar. Clicking on it will start you through a long quiz about where your child is at developmentally. (Don't worry, if you can't finish the quiz in one sitting, you have the option to save and pick up where you left off.) You'll answer questions about your child's ability to do things for himself, number recognition, language abilities, musical recognition, gross and fine motor skills, and more.
Once you finish the SavvyQuiz, you'll receive a customized report showing you your child's strengths and where your child is developmentally compared to preschoolers in general. Best of all, each section has a link to SavvyPicks, where you'll receive a personalized learning guide featuring activities recommended for your child's level of development. These picks include recommended books and toys that can be purchased, or activities created by both experts and parents like you.
I'm a big fan of the SavvyQuiz because Cordy's abilities are all over the map. Cognitively she's sharp and needs to be challenged, but she lags behind in social skills and some gross and fine motor movements. The activities recommended to me are never too easy for her, but provide the right level of challenge to keep her interested and learning. Best of all - the quiz and many of the activities are completely free! The only cost is if you choose to purchase any of the toys or books recommend for your child.
As an example of one of the recommended toys, I was sent the Leapfrog Tag Reading System to try out. If you haven't seen this, it's an electronic pen that goes with a series of books that are designed to work with the pen. When you purchase a compatible book, you can download the book's contents into the pen, and then the magic begins. Your child can then "read" the book on her own with the help of the Tag pen. The pen can be touched to an image to read the entire page out loud, or if your child is already in the beginning stages of reading, she can touch individual words to be read the word, or select to sound out the word.
Knowing that I love cool gadgets, this has to be one of the coolest kids' gadgets around! I enjoy reading books to Cordy, but I don't always have the time to do so. Now she can take the Tag pen and let the pen help her read a book. The pen is chunky and easy for little hands to hold, and so far I have yet to see it not recognize something on the page. (Another cool feature? You can touch the characters in the illustration on the facing page and each character will speak the words they say in that page of the story.)
I'll admit I'm biased, since I work for SavvySource, but I really do believe that their activities and recommended products are high quality and worth a look, and the SavvyQuiz is an incredibly useful tool. I've used several of the activities recommended for Cordy, many of which are quickly becoming favorite games in our house. She loves the Counting Beans activity, where we sort and count dried beans into different cups.
The widget is also something you can have on your blog! The Parent Bloggers Network is looking for more people to spread the word about SavvySource and earn a little money in the process by displaying the widget. If you think this is something you'd like for your blog, leave a comment here with your blog name and I'll let them know you're interested in participating in the widget advertisement.