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Academics' Choice Award™ Winner


Ages: 0 - 4
Price: $199 (retail), $169 (presale price)
Type: Gear & Equipment, App
By VersaMe


Put simply, the Starling uses technology to empower parents to become their child’s first (and most important) teacher. The Starling is a wearable device that tracks the number of words your child says and hears each day. The Starling’s companion smartphone app will help you set word goals, track your child’s language exposure, measure your child’s development, and gives age-appropriate info and activities for even more learning opportunities.

The number of words a child hears before age four is one of the biggest predictors of their future cognitive, social, and emotional success. Over 30 years of research has proven that it's critical to talk to children during this period of rapid brain growth and development. So much focus is put on education once a child starts going to school; however, research shows that this is much too late because 82% of brain development happens in the first 1,000 days of life. This research, along with our passion for education, inspired us to create the Starling. The Starling does not record anything you say--it merely counts words as they pass by.

Review Highlights:

We were immediately captured by the statistic of how important it is to speak to your baby before the age of 3. My wife and I had no idea! Needless to say it was a strong hook for us to look and think a bit more about the product. The research on the website really validates this young team of Stanford grad's vision - Why not invest in simply talking to your 0-3 year old child a bit more and even tracking how many and which words you use everyday?

What an innovative and cool product! We were very impressed how well the device counted the number of words our three year old said, and the words we used. At first we were not even close to the recommended 20,000 words a day, but after a few days we got a lot better. The best part is that we became conscious of the fact that we should be talking to our kids more, and engaging them with more thoughtful questions/observations, even if they didn't understand all the words. After a few weeks we were amazed when our daughter started using much bigger words such as "tomorrow" and "together."

We speak both Spanish and English at home and the Starling actually tracked the words in both languages! The wearable recording device didn't seem to bother our son and it could be attached to almost anything.

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