Being a first time dad has been the most amazing experience of my life. Watching my daughter grow, and witnessing her constant exploration of the world around her has been extraordinary. Unfortunately when Mondays roll around, it is time for me and many other parents to drop off our kids at the babysitter. The amount of time we get to interact with each other is very minimal, and pretty sad.
In a world where we all feel so “connected”, the people that matter most have no method of remotely interacting with us. My 1 1/2 year has no twitter, or Facebook account to update. She doesn’t check into fourSquare every time we go to grandma’s house. Even with mobile phones and Skype video conferencing, there is no direct method of me interacting with her without the assistance and supervision of an adult. So basically, we could only interact with each other when another adult has both the time and is willing to put in the effort to set up an environment for us to communicate.
This got me thinking “how can my daughter and I interact during my work hours?” The first thing I did was identify the main characteristics of my daughter, back when I first started working on this project:
- My daughter was one year old.
- Her vocal communication ability was in the preliminary stages of development
- Her motor skills where still not fully developed, so complex tasks like using a keyboard or mouse where not possible.
- She needs adult assistance to use our everyday communication tools that available to us (moble and land-line phones, computers, etc).
At this young age, children are extremely dependent on their parents and other adults for just about everything. However, there are also several activities that come as naturally as breathing and eating to a child. Two of those activities that i observed where exploration and play, many times triggered by a common catalyst of curiosity.
Children gradually explore their environment and toys and interacted with them, mastering the new skills that they learn along the way. Quickly they are able to identify all sorts of toy input locations which triggered various types of output, such as audio and visual feedback.
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