The Children and Families Commission of Orange County today introduced a free mobile app called “Kid Builders,” an early childhood-development resource packed with activities to help children grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.
The new mobile app is an outgrowth of the popular two-volume Kid Builders books. Introduced by the Commission in 2005, the books’ activities were reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics – Orange County Chapter, and were created as an easy and effective way to help children grow in six areas: body, health, mind, relationships, safety and words.
The new app is free of charge to both iPhone and Android users. It is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, making the Kid Builders activities and resources widely and easily accessible to parents and caregivers for the first time. The Commission continues to receive requests for the printed Kid Builders books, and its contents have demonstrated and supported positive impacts on children’s health and school readiness – the catalyst for the creation of an interactive, mobile application.
“Developing the Kid Builders mobile app will extend the reach of this valuable resource to a much wider community of families nationwide,” said Kimberly Goll, executive director of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. “Children’s development in their first few years of life lays the foundation for lifelong success in school and beyond. The free app offers impactful activities that parents can easily add to their daily routines to enhance their children’s development.”
The Kid Builders app provides parents and caregivers with developmental activities in each of the six areas of healthy development, along with a one-sentence explanation of how the activity helps with their child’s development.
“The Commission’s new mobile app is a terrific resource for families who are determined to help their children lead healthy, happy lives,” said Jamie McDonald, executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics – Orange County Chapter. “The activities are creative and fun, but even more important, they were designed in a way that makes it simple and practical for parents and caregivers to incorporate them into kids’ and families’ daily schedules.”
The app was developed through a grant from the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). The Commission received $15,000 to fund the design, development and implementation of the app.
“We were very impressed by the popularity and positive impacts of the Commission’s Kid Builders books, and this app seemed like a logical extension of what we felt was a very creative educational resource,” said Dr. Al Mijares, Orange County Superintendent of Schools. “It’s critically important that young children adopt healthy eating, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors. By emphasizing activities that are fun and geared toward the entire family, the new mobile app promises to be a valuable tool in helping our children grow up healthy.”
Irvine-based SwizzMagik coded and designed the mobile app with easy navigation, learning, and interactive markers and trophies to track children’s progress using the app. Parents can input their child’s name and age, and use the app to work through a series of modules and activities in each of the six developmental categories. Parents with more than one child can create individual profiles for each child and track their progress.
The free Kid Builders app is now available in the Apple App Store, Android App Store and online at https://kidbuildersapp.firebaseapp.com/#.