When I Play: Talking With Dr. Alice Wilder of Speakaboos

Books are a powerful resource for life. They provide topics, characters, places and stories that children can learn from and apply in their everyday lives. And the Speakaboos approach to interactivity allows readers to play with the illustrations and characters in a way that reinforces the meaning of the text. The better they understand the content and enjoy playing with the content, the more likely kids will be to use it in their everyday lives – that’s the ultimate offering from this book for both kids and parents!

How do you feel technology shapes the way children and parents play together?

I believe that technology has helped bring families together.  When the ipod came to the market it was the first time that families really started sharing music. And when Wii came to market there became a resurgence of multi-generational play around games.  This (along with other technological advances) has helped to create this notion of Family Fusion rather than Generation Gaps.

Speakaboos interactive stories include three interaction modes that match either a child’s reading level or the experience a parent and child might want to have together while reading: Read with Me; Read it Myself; Autoplay.

How do you see interactive stories like those on Speakaboos encouraging children to use their imaginations and engage in play?

As a media make for over 20 years I take very seriously this notion that, it’s not whether children learn from things like TV, iPads, books…but what they learn from the content we create.

Children are not passive consumers of content. As they watch and even play, they are making meaning. The meaning that they create depends on the individual child along with the meaning of the text and the experience they receive while playing. We also know that children use what they have learned from media and books in real life. So, by providing the messages and a play-based experience around the value of play in our digital interactive book we are inspiring children to repeat those messages and play with confidence in their real life!

One child after reading “When I Play” thought long and hard about the line “When I Play…I build” and ultimately asked “you mean when I build with legos I am playing…and learning?! Cool!”

As someone who has a background in educational entertainment for children, how have you seen play evolve or devolve over the years?

Children play instinctively – that has not changed. What has changed are the conditions around children’s play: time available for play; safety concerns; a world full of content and activity options.

So to provide the message to kids and their parents that what children do instinctively benefits their minds and bodies in numerous ways is a message we are so excited to reinforce in our interactive digital book and for them to carry into their everyday lives!

What’s one of the biggest challenges you see parents and children facing when it comes to reading, imagining and playtime?

Time to balance everything that we all have to do in our everyday lives with what we know is important for a child’s growth and development.

Tell us about your relationship with GoGo squeeZ!

GoGo squeeZ is the perfect partner for the “When I Play” message. Their product which is 100% fruit, squeezable, no mess and can be taken on the go promotes an active, playful and nutritious lifestyle. Nutrition and play are inextricably intertwined.


For more information please visit  www.speakaboos.com.




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