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Sparkler for Families

Sparkler’s mobile app enables organizations serving young families to fuel child and brain development. The app empowers parents and caregivers as first teachers and helps systems serve families better, together.

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Sparkler helps families know how their children are developing — through observation of age-based play activities and through the leading child development screen.

After each play activity, parents make in-app observations. Those observations help establish patterns in the child’s play, and are the foundation of coaching from early childhood experts.

Sparkler is proud to offer the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®), which assess wellness in five developmental areas — communication, fine motor, gross motor, personal-social, and problem solving.

There are 21 different Ages & Stages Questionnaires for children from birth through age 5. Parents spend about 15 minutes answering the ASQ’s 30 questions. The ASQ is designed to be taken by parents; it is written in language that they understand.

As soon as a parent completes and submits the ASQ, the partner receives the results and a PDF report — which they can print and share with the family. 

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Sparkler helps parents and caregivers play with children … to help them learn. Children learn through play. Sparkler gives families 1,200+ ideas for off-screen play that grow children’s hearts, minds, bodies, and words. The types of parent-child interactions Sparkler enables spark the kind relationships that promote early brain development.

Each Sparkler play activity is a simple recipe for play; parents can read the instructions quickly and get down and play with their children.

Activities are created by expert early childhood educators, and are aligned with Early Head Start standards. Each one is focused on supporting a child’s developing heart, mind, body, or words, and reinforces 24 core skills:

Heart

  • Social
    • Trust
    • Empathy
  • Emotional
    • Identity
    • Feelings
    • Self-regulation
  • Outlook
    • Curiosity
    • Persistence
    • Independence

Mind

  • Focus/Reasoning
    • Focus
    • Working Memory
    • Cognitive Flexibility
  • Math
    • Counting & Number
    • Patterns & Operations
    • Geometry & Measurement
  • Creativity
    • Connection Making
    • Imagination

Body

  • Perception
  • Gross Motor
  • Fine Motor

Words

  • Talking & Listening
    • Expression
    • Comprehension
  • Reading
    • Sounds & Letters
    • Stories
  • Writing
    • Representation

Play in Sparkler is related to many knowledge areas — from the arts to STEM, social studies to literature — and it encourages families to pretend, create, get outside, and play games.

After a family finishes an activity, the parent can click “we did it” and answer a few simple questions. If a partner offers coaching, this feedback ensures that families receive custom, meaningful feedback from their coach

Sparkler helps families follow their children’s growth. Watch your child’s scrapbook to see how much you can accomplish together. See which areas are your child’s strongest and where he or she needs more work. Get ideas for play that can help your child make progress.

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Sparkler puts everyone on the same team — and connects families with experts who can help. Chat with family and teachers — and expert early childhood coaches — to support your child’s learning and development.

Sparkler’s coaches provide observations, ideas, and feedback based on children’s learning profiles, including ASQ results; play records; and shared photos and comments. It enables two-way messaging between families and coaches.

Sparkler also allows family members to share children’s accounts so that all of the adults caring for a child can work together to support his or her growth.