★★★ Open House ★★★
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CTR Review
For ages 2-6
For grades P, K, 1
$free, iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle
Teaches: a parenting tool
Amazon wants to put a parenting coach into your home with its Echo and Vroom, a new skill. Vroom also runs on mobile devices. Funded by the Bezos Foundation, the objective is to "fuel children's early learning and development by empowering parents to transform existing moments into brain-building opportunities." Vroom appears to collaborate with groups that sell baby products such as diaper makers and Amazon's baby registry. So -- besides the good willed intentions of building babies brains, there could also be the objective of building a baby goods empire. After all, Echo is a new, ever-listening device that has a lot of new potential. You can make your own conclusions.

The skill is optimized for the Amazon Echo Spot and Echo Show (with video content). The tips are customized to the age of your child, and include suggestions for parents to enrich daily activities like cooking or cleaning. The free app, called Vroom Daily runs on iOS and Android (and Amazon tablets) and pushes daily age appropriate tips to your device. The curriculum of Vroom centers around five generic parenting strategies: look, follow, chat, take turns and stretch. These easy-to-understand steps are behind all the brain building. They are also used in many tried and true adult/child interaction styles common in most constructivist-inspired curricula like High Scope. Learn more at
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