Tips and Tricks for using First Blubs

For the last few months, we have been quite busy building and testing First Blubs. We’ve gathered a ton of feedback and collected a bunch of tips on how to use the app effectively along the way.

ipad_5Our Quick Screener
Therapists have told us that many parents are prone to overreact when it comes to their child’s speech delay. That’s why all Blub Blub apps start with a couple of simple yes or no questions regarding your child’s hearing, social and communicative development. The questions were designed by professionals, and the results will tell you if your child is on par (developmentally speaking) within his or her age group. Using the app, you can even send the results to your email and show it to your child’s caregiver or SLP.

Turn speech practice into a fun daily routine with your child
To achieve best results, you should practice with your child on a regular basis. But don’t push it. Choose two or three days a week, at a time that you would normally play with your child (e.g. just before bedtime). If your child is already in speech therapy, you have to practice anyways. Use our app to playfully kickstart the home practice prescribed by your therapist.

Gently introduce the app to your child
Don’t just stick a tablet in your child’s hands and wait for results. Introduce the app carefully. Start with a sticker book (a list of animal stickers). Slightly unusual animal characters will attract your child’s attention. Then ask him or her about their favorite animal. Let the child show it to you. Talk about that animal, and be super excited about it! Now let your child find that animal! Can’t find your child’s favorite animal? Let us know, we might just be able to fix that in the future!

Don’t hold back. Become that animal!
We have noticed parents holding themselves back when it comes to playing with their children. And here’s a tip for them… Role play like there’s no tomorrow! Get on all four legs and BECOME that bear. Or chicken. Cluck, cluck, cluck. Try laying eggs on the sofa! Make faces like a chicken would? Become an angry chicken! Go “nuts” and your child will sooner or later follow your example. Of course, there’s a child model imitating each of the animals, but the key element of this app is you, the PARENT. First Blubs was built to motivate parents to play.

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Really earn that head prop!
After a while, a red line on top of the screen (progress bar) will load. This means you and your child have been really good observers. You’ve earned yourself a sticker! And an animal head prop. And guess what? You can now go to the mirror screen and see that head prop on your own head. Yay! Face recognition magic! Take a screenshot (How To), and post it to our Facebook page.

Bribe your child with digital candy
Every now and then a colorful surprise candy appears. CANDY!! Or an animal sticker. Say something like: “Become that bear and I’ll let you tap that candy.” Each candy contains a surprise video. Each candy is hiding a surprise. Sometimes it’s a funny video: A child goes wild. ?  But the next time a candy appears you might find something even more interesting: Conversation starters. Tell your child the story that you see on the screen. Or ask him a question displayed on the screen.

Use animal facts as conversation starters
Each animal in First Blubs contains educational content about that animal. It’s a simple video or picture that creates context about that animal and helps you tell the story. For example, the fact in the cat practice contains a video of a cat licking it’s fur. Read that fact to your child. Or get even more creative and make up your own story.

Pause.
Just like your own child may become a handful at times, the children in our app can be a bit annoying. They are on a loop, after all. Adjust the volume accordingly and use the pause button. Press it and let your child mimic the animal while the model in the app is “waiting”.

Really earn that head prop!
After a while, a red line on top of the screen (progress bar) will load. This means you and your child have been really good observers. You’ve earned yourself a sticker. And a model has become an animal, head prop. And guess what. You can now go to the mirror screen and see that head prop on your own head. Yay! Face recognition magic! Take a screen shot (how to) and post it to our Facebook page.

It’s an app built for TWO
REALLY BE THERE WITH YOUR CHILD. We cannot emphasize that enough. The First Blubs app will help you to spend some quality time together. In that little circle at the top right, there’s a mirror. And in that little mirror, there’s a place for two. Tap on that mirror, make it bigger and enjoy each other’s company.

What if my child won’t imitate?
Be patient. Relax and don’t be pushy. Any negative emotions in you or your child will block the learning process. Simply let your child choose how he or she wants to use the app. Perhaps as an observer, if not as an active participant. From a neuroscience perspective, we can easily claim that observing is (nearly) as good as doing. If your child doesn’t want to imitate, don’t get distracted and imitate the animal yourself. Be goofy and have fun. Merely watching you and the model triggers the mirror neurons. Maybe after a couple of days, while brushing his or her teeth, they’ll become that kitten.

Combine the app with First Blubs coloring pages or stickers
We’ve found it beneficial for children to play with all of the First Blubs stickers and coloring pages first. Afterwards, they tend to get very excited when they recognize the same characters in the app. Just send us an email to hi@blubblub.org and ask for animal stickers.

Haven’t installed First Blubs yet?
Well… Now that you know how to use it, download First Blubs for your iPhone, iPad or iPad Pro.

What about Android?
Here.

Like our app?
Rate it in the App Store. It would mean the world to us!

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