Gardening: Indoors With Apps

We are growing seedlings inside to start for our garden.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the science project I am conducting with my children. We are growing seedlings inside to start for our garden. My children have excitedly watched as the seeds have sprouted. We use our iPad to take pictures, and I analyze with my older son why one of the sprouts seems to be leaning towards the window.

They received the book How a Seed Grows for Easter, Read KinderTown's blog post about gardening and apps.and we have read it several times. We will review the pictures of the seeds later to remember how the seed started and progressed. This week we will use the app Popplet to make an organizational  chart about how seeds grow, include drawings, our own pictures, and color coding.

After reading How a Seed Grows, my children and I can talk about how the story connects to our own experience, and how the seed in the story is different from our seeds. Making connections to the story and distinguishing differences is a great thinking activity for reading together with your children. Use this printable to record your children’s thinking.

Popplet Review

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. Read KinderTown's review.

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. It is a great tool for lots of different subject areas, and simple enough for younger kids to use with guidance. I like how the app only offers the most simple and useful tools, and doesn’t overwhelm kids with tons of options. We will investigate the pictures we have taken and use the app Popplet to put the pictures and descriptions together to form a visual representation of the process of how a seed grows. Popplet could be used for many different  purposes such as a pre-writing tool, to recreate a timeline from a book, to describe a character from a book, or record facts you’ve learned about a topic. Popplet is a fabulous learning tool!

Read KinderTown's blog post about gardening and apps.

Happy Little Farmer

This app is adorable and you will fall in love with it! Read KinderTown's review.

Welcome to your own personal fruit and vegetable farm! This app is adorable and you will fall in love with it! Kids take on the role of the farmer and complete the tasks associated with growing food. The background music plays familiar nursery rhyme tunes. From the menu, children choose the garden, tractor or monster area to play. Children are engaged in play, but certainly learning about how food grows in an age-appropriate way. They can dig the holes for the seeds, plant the seeds, water the plants, harvest the vegetables, and even chase the unwanted bugs away. The app does not contain narration, so parents, talk to your children about what is happening as they complete all the interactive areas. Children earn stickers along the way for extra motivation and are able to navigate the app independently.

To round out the learning experience, I will make this little mini-book with my children. I found it on  A Teacher’s Touch. I will also use her Plant Life Cycle Sheet. These last two activities will round out our Science mini-study of seeds. Of course, the experiential learning will continue throughout the summer and fall as our seeds are transferred to our garden and we harvest the fruits of our labor in the fall.

Read KinderTown's blog post about gardening and apps.

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Turn your Plastic Easter Eggs into Hands-on Learning

Before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity.

Easter baskets, Easter candy, and a few new spring trinkets entertain my children this week. Easter grass and plastic Easter eggs are scattered over my house as the kids enjoy the aftermath of a busy weekend with family and friends, and several Easter egg hunts over the past few weeks. But, before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity. If your kids are like my kids, then they seem to never grow tired of the hiding and finding of the eggs.

Upper Case and Lower Case Matching

Before you throw the plastic Easter eggs away, turn them into a learning activity. Learn more at the KinderTown blog.

My daughter attends a local preschool and has begun to identify many letters. At her recent parent conference, her teacher shared her progress, and suggested we work on matching all of the upper case and lowercase letters. To create the game, I write with sharpie upper and lowercase letters on either side of the Easter egg. Then hide them around the house. I’ll be sure to include a few I know she knows for review and building confidence as well as a few she isn’t sure of yet. The easiest upper case and lower case letters to match are those that look visually similar such as Uu, Ww and Cc. Letters that are not as visually similar are more difficult to learn and recognize as the upper and lower case version, such as Ff, Gg or Nn.

This game will be perfect for her, and I’ll follow it up with a writing activity, and time on her favorite phonics app, abc PocketPhonics.  I’ll space the activities out and repeat them over the next week or two. This is a great learning combination for anyone still learning the upper- and lowercase letters. I’m tapping into multiple senses and experiences to solidify  her learning. To find out about more great apps for learning letters, download the free KinderTown app.

abc PocketPhonics Review:

PocketPhonics brings three important language skills together into one app. Read KinderTown's review.

PocketPhonics brings three important language skills together into one app. In abc PocketPhonics, children learn to recognize letters, hear letter sounds, form letters by tracing, and use the letter sounds to build words. Encourage your child to repeat the sounds made by each letter. Parents are able to create multiple users, have control over the font, letter types, what letters their child can work on, and how flawless the writing needs to be. PocketPhonics tracks each user’s answer and will not advance a user unless they first demonstrate mastery of the basics. KinderTown recommends the use of a stylus to help in the transfer of letter formation from the iPad screen to handwriting on paper. There is a Lite version to try to see if this app is a good fit for your child.

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Watch Spring Bloom with Apps








As Spring arrives, children start to spend more time outside. It’s a great time to talk about all that is happening in nature.

As Spring arrives, and children get to spend more time outside, it’s a great time to talk about all that is happening in nature. Last week, my daughter and I took a trip to the seed store, had a helpful conversation with the owner, and returned home to plant our seeds. My daughter wanted to grow specific plants for the garden so she could enjoy the fruits of her labor. The owner of the shop explained it was too early to plant certain kinds of seeds, and guided us in the best and most fun way to plant seeds inside to watch them grow. He also suggested Peat Pellets to aid in growing, and we watched the pellets expand by adding water to create the soil. My daughter kept saying “I didn’t know we could plant seeds inside!” We predicted how long it would take the seeds to sprout, and talked about the essential items for seeds to grow: sun, water, and soil. We chose a sunny spot to keep the plants, and my daughter is keeping watch over them. I know this is a valuable hands-on learning experience she won’t forget.

Gro Garden

Gro Garden is your child’s virtual garden. Read KinderTown's review.

Gro Garden is your child’s virtual garden. Drag the seeds into the holes and add fertilizer. Stir up your own compost pile and add rain to your garden to make it grow. Tap to pour on the sunshine and rain.  There is not a right way to play the game, rather, discovering how to make your garden successful through interacting with the different components is the goal. Feed your fresh vegetables to the characters in the app, and start the process over again. The app does not include narration, so parents you will want to supply the vocabulary and guide the discussion about growing plants. Gro Garden is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island

Ansel and Clair take your child to their own virtual world and adventure. Read KinderTown's review.

Ansel and Clair take your child to their own virtual world and adventure. Ansel and Clair encourage you to keep your island clean, thereby earning points to sustain your island with water, sunlight and trees. There are 18 missions to unlock and earn prizes in order to keep the island world running smoothly. All of the missions focus on sustaining the world, such as planting trees, adding a bike path, planting grass, recycling trash and reducing pollution. The missions make a great connection to real-world problems. Little Green Island is $1.99, appropriate for children 4-8 and only available for iPad.

Plants by Kids Discover

Plants is a wonderful non-fiction app for the iPad. Read KinderTown's review.

Plants is a wonderful non-fiction app for the iPad. Children can take an in-depth look at the process of photosynthesis, and adaptations that plants make in the environment. This informational app includes sections such as “Plants as Art,” “Unusual Plants,” and “Plants Around the World.” Plants by Kids Discover includes animation, videos, puzzles and games for children to learn about Plants. Check out their website for a Lesson Plan to help you learn along with your child. Kids Discover is $3.99 and available for iPad. This app is appropriate for children ages 3-8.

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Freefall Apps are Swimming with Learning








Read KinderTown's reviews of Freefall's educational apps.

Freefall learning apps take skills that can sometimes be less exciting to learn and often require a lot of repetition, and swirled them into engaging, motivating practice apps for kids. The graphics have a unique, simple, kid-friendly look, and children are motivated by earning prizes to keep their pet fish alive and well in their own personal aquarium.

Freefall Spelling

Splish! Splash! Play with a fish tank and practice spelling words along the way. Read KinderTown's review.

Splish! Splash! Play with a fish tank and practice spelling words along the way. Freefall Spelling is an app for practicing your own spelling lists, or pre-made lists that exist within the app. Freefall Spelling has three unique modes in which the user can practice spelling words: Type Mode, Freefall Mode, and Scramble Mode. In Type Mode, children type the words using a child-friendly keyboard that automatically appears on the bottom of the screen. In Scramble Mode, the words are scattered and the child must recreate the word, and Freefall mode, the child must recreate the word with the letters before they fall to the bottom of the screen. Freefall Spelling’s default setting uses all capital letters. KinderTown recommends that parents change the type to lowercase, because that is how words appear most often in print.  As the students practice the words, the words are said aloud, and hints can be displayed to help children. For more advanced learners, turn the hints off so children must recall how to spell the word entirely. The most loved part about Freefall Spelling is the fish tank play area. Children earn the ability to buy animals and other trinkets for their fish tank as they correctly complete the spelling activities. They can also feed the fish, play with the fish and  clean the fish tank, a great motivating hook for children ages 5-8.  Freefall Spelling is $2.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

Freefall Money

Freefall Money follows the same idea as Freefall Spelling but tackles the difficult concept of counting money. Read KinderTown's review.

Freefall Money follows the same idea as Freefall Spelling, but tackles the difficult concept of counting money. Sometimes learning to count money can be difficult and often requires repetition in order to be successful in mastering the skill.  Freefall Money has three distinct modes as well: Cluster Mode, Scatter Mode, and Type Mode.  In addition, parents can set the number of coins that are presented in each activity, from 3 coins to 10 coins. The app does not include any instruction on how to count coins, so your child should have a basic understanding of this concept before they start. Cluster Mode shows different groups of coins and different total amounts. The child must match the coin groups to the coin total amounts. As with any matching, it’s possible to make guesses, so it is helpful to watch them do this activity. In Type Mode, the coins are scattered and children must type the total amount using the number keys that automatically appear at the bottom. KinderTown likes how the coins can be moved around in order to assist children in counting the total value of the coins. For example, children could arrange the coins from largest to smallest in order to count the total value of a group of coins. There is also a movable pencil in the game if children need to tap or point, but the pencil doesn’t actually write on the screen. This would be a helpful improvement. Lastly, in Scatter Mode the coins are scattered and the child must add the correct amount of coins to the piggy bank to equal the value shown at the top of the screen. Again, watching your child complete this activity will ensure they are not just guessing which coins to add to the piggy bank. FreeFall Money is $1.99 and is made for iPhone and iPad and appropriate for children ages 5-8.

Freefall Time

Freefall Time practices telling time up to the minute. Read KinderTown's review.

Freefall Time practices telling time up to the minute. Parents can use the Settings menu to set the practice clocks to show 1-minute, 5-, 10-, 15-, or 30- minute intervals. There is only one mode of play in Freefall Time. Clocks fall from the top of the screen and children must match the clock to the options at the bottom of the screen. Freefall Time includes a practice area where you can move the hands of the clock to practice creating different times. This would be a great parent-child practice tool. The clock works well for telling time to the minute, but the hour times were not correct when displaying times to the hour.  Children earn rewards for their own personal fish tank to customize the fish, food, and cleaning tools. Freefall Time is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad and appropriate for children ages 5-8.

Freefall Math

Freefall Math offers practice for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division which means that the app can serve multiple children in one household or grown with your child. Read KinderTown's review.

Freefall Math offers practice for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, which means that the app can serve multiple children in one household, or grow with your child. Freefall Math includes a Fall Mode and Type Mode. In Type Mode, children type the answer, and in Fall Mode the facts fall and must be matched to the correct answer. The customization of which fact tables you would like your child to practice is a nice option for parents. This app includes an interactive piece of chalk and an eraser but they only serve as pointers in the app. A nice addition would be the ability to write the answer with the piece of chalk. Freefall Math is $1.99 and available for iPad and iPhone and is appropriate for children ages 5-8. As in the other Freefall apps, your child earns rewards for their own personal aquarium.

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Maker-Inspired Apps








KinderTown nods to the Maker Movement with three apps that encourage using tools, making plans, and creating a final product!

Last week, I attended SXSWEdu and there was a big focus on “making.” The Maker Movement has been characterized by students using tools, designing plans, and executing all the steps needed to create a final product. Here are a few apps inspired by the Maker Movement.

Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe

Ropes, pulleys, belts, and gears to combine and play with! Read KinderTown's review.

Ropes, pulleys, belts, and gears to combine and play with! My son really loves the challenge offered by this app, and it has quickly become one of his favorites.  I like that it works on problem solving and engineering thinking skills.The app introduces the quirky characters, Pettson and Findus, and they serve as the student’s guide in creating crazy inventions. Each invention challenge involves the use of simple machines. Students must match the pieces up into the correct order to make the machine move and complete a task such as helping the bunny reach the carrots. Each challenge slowly becomes more complex as children understand how each machine part works. A star is earned for every invention that is completed correctly. There is also a “versus” section where two children can challenge each other to complete the task as a timer ticks away. In the settings section, you can increase or decrease the level of difficulty. Children will love this introduction to how simple machines work together. Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 6-8.

World of Goo

The World of Goo is sure to inspire the messiest builders. Read KinderTown's review.

The World of Goo is sure to inspire the messiest builders. The heart of this app is playing with the gooey, stretchy substance. Students must stretch the Goo to complete a task such as making a bridge or reaching a higher object. Each challenge has a goal of a certain number of moves (or times you stretch the Goo) to complete the task. This is truly a unique game, and the graphics are captivating. The overall game is organized into chapters and tells a story as you complete the tasks.  You have to try the World of Goo to fully appreciate the experience it provides. Playing with the Goo feels like a surreal cinematic experience! The World of Goo is $4.99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8.

Goldie Blox and the Movie Machine

The Goldie Blox app is inspired by the Goldie Blox toys. Read KinderTown's review.

The Goldie Blox app is inspired by the Goldie Blox toys. If you haven’t heard of them, they are engineering toys for girls made in appealing pastel colors. The app works to teach beginning animation skills. Children are given step by step directions for drawing simple shapes in different spaces in order to make an animation when played consecutively. The app is focused on creativity and uses photos, colors, shapes, and stickers to make a movie. Students can browse other creations for ideas, or watch the tutorials to learn new techniques for animation. The app is focused on children ages 4-8, and is free. Check out the Goldie Blox toys as well! From this app, you can print your creations and use them with the Movie Machine Toy Set. This combination would make a great gift for the girl inventor you know!

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5 Must-Have Apps for 6- and 7-year-olds








Six- and seven-year-old children are a sponge for learning. Their academic growth is exciting to watch. Use these apps to encourage and challenge them!

Six- and seven-year-old children are a sponge for learning. Their academic growth is exciting to watch. Use these apps to encourage and challenge them!

Rocket Speller

Rocket Speller offers children an engaging space scene in which to practice spelling. Read Kindertown's review.Spelling skills are emerging as children are learning to read and write more complex words and sentences at this age. Rocket Speller offers children an engaging space scene in which to practice spelling. The app presents words to students and they must reconstruct the word. In addition, each word is presented with a picture to reinforce vocabulary development. Rocket Speller has the option to have the word displayed (visual hints), so students are reconstructing the word in order to build visual memory of the letters. Children like how getting a few correct answers leads to different choices for designing their own rocket ship and eventually blasting it off into space. From an educational perspective, Rocket Speller combines naturally occurring letter sounds together such as ck, ee, ea, and or. Rocket Speller offers some nice options for parents. There are several different categories of words to choose from, or you can mix them all together. Parents can choose to have the narrator say the letter name or sound. KinderTown recommends choosing the “sound” option when working on spelling words. Parents can choose between capital or lowercase letters to form the words. KinderTown recommends choosing lowercase for activities involving common words that mostly appear in lowercase print. Rocket Speller has five different levels that provide options for visual and audible hints, and smart technology that can determine when a child is having difficulty and provide assistance called Adaptive Assistance. Rocket Speller is $2.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

Todo Math

Todo in Spanish means “all” and is designed to inspire play with all the early childhood math concepts. Read the KinderTown review.

Todo Math is a free app designed to practice early childhood math skills. Todo in Spanish means “all” and is designed to inspire play with all the early childhood math concepts. It includes 20+ multi-level games. It has two different types of play, free choice and mission. In mission mode, the app gives a brief overview of each game and guides your child through each game one at a time. In free choice mode, all games are presented and your child chooses which one they would like to play. It includes multiple levels of math games and adaptive play, where the games automatically adapt to your child’s skill level. Other options for children are the Mathematical Missions, designed to motivate children to engage longer with the mathematical concepts. Parents, you can sign up for a parent account which will provide you with a more detailed look at how your child is progressing through the app. Compared to most apps, Todo Math does contain a worthwhile amount of free content practicing many different areas of math for children ages 3-6. There are additional in-app purchases to access more content.

Endless Wordplay

As children begin to learn to read they begin to notice patterns in words and how words relate to one another. Read the KinderTown review!

As children learn to read, they begin to notice patterns in words and how words relate to one another. Endless Wordplay practices this skill in a fun way! The lovable monsters are back! This time, with a focus on reading rhyming words. The monsters travel around a map with stops along the way. Once the monster stops, his mouth opens with a rhyming word. The word is sneezed out and the letters are scattered. Your child must reconstruct the word. The letter sounds are made when the letters are touched, and the word is read when the word is reconstructed. The app does require the child to reconstruct the word in letter order. The words continue to be presented and all relate to a rhyming family: ran, can, pan, tan. Once a series is complete, a sentence is presented with the rhyming words in context and the monsters act it out. The app is free and does have in-app purchases ($4.99) to buy more rhyming families once you complete the 3 free rhyme families. A great app for the beginning reader in your family.

Scribble Press
Scribble Press is a must-have app for the family who loves to read, story-tell and create books together. Read the KinderTown review!

Scribble Press is a must-have app for the family who loves to read, story-tell, and create books together. Like other book creation apps, you can easily add your own photos, your child’s picture, a title and text to create a book. Scribble Press walks you through creating a story by providing lots of ideas from the start, and supports your child until you are ready to add your finished book to an eBook reader, or my favorite–printing your very own book! Choose from book templates, or create your own book from scratch. Your child is sure to love the rainbow pen, stamps and stickers included in Scribble Press. If your child needs inspiration, there are over 50 story templates. The app encourages younger learners by providing complete stories where they only need to fill in the important details. Endless possibilities – endless fun! For the parents of young children, you will need to work with your child while using this app, since reading and typing skills are needed. Scribble Press is $3.99, and if you would like to have your child’s book published and mailed to you, there is a fee for that service. Scribble Press is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Thinkrolls

In Thinkrolls, rolling character balls take the stage as your child solves increasingly complex problems to allow their character to progress through the maze. Read the KinderTown review!

In Thinkrolls, rolling character balls take the stage as your child solves increasingly complex problems to allow their character to progress through the maze. There are two levels of game play, easy and hard. Easy is recommended for children 3-5, and hard for children ages 5-8. KinderTown recommends that all children begin at the easy level to understand the goals of the puzzles. Your child does not have to spend a long time at this level to be ready to move to the harder levels, but this will set them up for success. A blinking “redo” symbol flashes in the corner to assist your child when they are stuck and unable to complete the challenge. The challenge is then reset with the maze. The challenges in the mazes come in the form of obstacles. Some unique obstacles include fire blocks, ice blocks, balloons, and KinderTown’s favorite, the jelly block. The jelly block allows your character to jump up from one area to another. Another child tester favorite was the fire block. Watch out! If your character rolls into the fire block, it will turn black and burnt, which our child testers loved! However, the goal is to not become burnt. Children eventually solved the puzzles after experiencing the burnt characters. As the levels progress, children have to use visualization skills to predict the cause and effect of several “moves” in the puzzle. Concepts about physics and chemistry are sprinkled along the way when children must make decisions about the moving gear box, figure out how to make the balloon pop and move the ice to squelch the fire. The app offers an amazing amount of content in the 90 levels of easy game play and 90 levels of hard game play. Be sure to read the Chapter descriptions in the settings section for parents in order to have a complete understanding of all the challenges presented in each level or chapter. There are nine levels of game play included. Thinkrolls is a truly unique app priced at $2.99, available for iPhone and iPad, and is recommended for children ages 3-7.


 
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Write, Swipe, and Tap Math Apps








Read KinderTown's reviews of top math apps.

QuickMath

QuickMath works to improve math fact fluency by offering the challenge of speed and accuracy. Read KinderTown's review.

Be Quick, Be accurate! QuickMath works to improve math fact fluency by offering the challenge of speed and accuracy. Math facts are presented to children and they write their answer on the screen with a finger or stylus. The app has handwriting identification mechanisms that allow the child to write their answer anywhere on the screen. The app offers practice of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. There is even a mixed operation mode. Quick Math allows for multiple users, so brothers and sisters, or classmates can use the app together. The app tracks progress and parents can see how much time children have spent using it. The app encourages children to beat their scores from past sessions in order to improve. The app does adjust to children’s levels, and increases the difficulty of the facts as they progress. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for students ages 6-12

Winky Think Logic Puzzles

Slide and move shapes, and explore cause and effect in Winky Think. Read KinderTown's review.Slide and move shapes, and explore cause and effect in Winky Think. Children are introduced to the concepts of each puzzle slowly, and they must drag and move shapes around the screen to solve the puzzles. Creative obstacles are introduced, such as pins, ice, bars, and lines. The game offers three different skill levels with 180 games in each level. Winky Think is designed so players can progress at their own pace.  Children can use multiple fingers to slide the shapes on the screen, but parents will want to be sure to disable Multitasking Gestures in your settings to prevent the ability to use multiple fingers to accidentally send you out of the app. Parents, you will enjoy these puzzles, too, and can watch your child’s problem-solving skills as they play or make suggestions in order for them to advance to the next level. A user-friendly replay button is located in the bottom right hand corner to reset the puzzle if needed. As each level progresses, additional obstacles are presented and children earn different tools to solve the problems. Winky Think Logic Puzzles is $2.99, available for iPhone and iPad and appropriate for children ages 3-8.

Montessori 1st Operations

Montessori 1st Operations uses pictures to represent math problems. Read KinderTown's review.

Montessori 1st Operations uses pictures to represent math problems. For example, to solve the addition equations, children can use the blue and red number rods to assist them in solving the problem. For subtraction, children can use the number rods to show the answer. The app uses counters to demonstrate the concepts of halves, doubles, odd and even. There are two games offered inside the app, as well: Monsters Addition and Subtraction, and Bubble Games. The monsters help the game come to life as children practice the addition and subtraction facts. The app also introduces division by having children place counters on either side of a line. The app includes a toolbox section where children can explore addition and subtraction tables and take a quiz. This app is appropriate for children who can successfully count and recognize numbers up to ten and benefit from the use of a picture to solve math problems. Create multiple user profiles in order to customize the experience for each child. Parents or teachers can specify how high you would like the numbers to progress, for example 10, 20, 50 or 99. In addition, individual operations can be turned on and off. As children are successful in the app, they earn points in order to make their own customized monster. Montessori Operations is $3.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

Pet Bingo

Pet Bingo is an excellent app to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. Read KinderTown's review.

Pet Bingo is an excellent app to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. If you have multiple children in your household learning their math facts, this app can be used by several different children by setting up multiple profiles. Children answer math problems correctly by identifying the correct answers on the bingo board. Children continue to play until they earn five in a row on their bingo board. Children are motivated by the prizes, which include pets, pet toys and accessories. Parents, you can check the report card section for each user to see how they are progressing in learning different types of facts such as adding 0 to a number, or adding doubles. Each math fact has the option to access a hint to solve the problem. Pet Bingo is $1.99 and appropriate for children who are working to learn their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts, usually in grades 1-4 or ages 6-10.
 
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Valentine’s Day E-Books








Snuggle up with your sweet child and enjoy these Valentine's Books.

Snuggle up with your sweet child and enjoy these Valentine’s Books. All of these books would be appropriate for children ages 3-8. Enjoy with your Valentine!

Wubbzy Loves You

This is a cute story about how Wubbzy finds his Valentines for Valentine's Day. Read KinderTown's review.

This is a cute story about how Wubbzy finds his Valentines for Valentine’s Day. At the end of the story there is a nice Grown-Up’s Corner that provides suggestions for questions to ask your child about the story. In addition, your child can help Wubbzy count heart bubbles by popping them while learning beginning counting skills. The Love Words game helps children identify beginning consonants in words by matching the letter on the envelope to the correct mailbox. There is also a nice coloring section where children can color a scene from the story. Parents, you can save your child’s creation to your camera roll to share with friends and family. The app is $2.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter!

This story by Mercer Mayer is about Little Critter and how he prepares for his school's Valentine's Day party. Read KinderTown's review.

This story by Mercer Mayer is about Little Critter and how he prepares for his school’s Valentine’s Day party. Your child is sure to have lots of connections to Little Critter’s Valentine’s preparations. Along the way your child can count the creatures hidden in the story. Beginning readers can also record their own voices reading aloud. The app is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

I Love You Too! by Ziggly Marley

I Love You too! is a story about a parent's love for their child. Read KinderTown's review.

This story app is based off of Ziggy Marley’s Grammy-winning children’s album, “Family Time.” I Love You too! is a story about a parent’s love for their child. Colorful artwork of everyday situations between parent and child brighten the pages. The  book contains sweet lines such as: “Like a lizard loves to climb, up into a tree, Like a bird loves to fly way up in the sky, Like a worm loves to go way down low. I love you too!” There is a great sing-along section where you can sing along with Marley’s song. The app is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.
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Stuck Inside: There’s an app for that!








Snowy, Rainy, Cold... Stuck Inside?  Try these apps for those kinds of days.

Snowy, Rainy, Cold… Stuck Inside?  Try these apps for those kinds of days.

Color Zen Kids

Color Zen Kids is a puzzle game based on a very bright and colorful animal theme. Read KinderTown's review.

Color Zen Kids is a puzzle game based on a very bright and colorful animal theme. This app will keep your child thinking and problem solving in order to arrange the colors to pass each level. The way it works: each screen presents colors and shapes. Your child’s job is to rearrange the colors and shapes so they combine and disappear to leave only the color on the outside. If you make a mistake, the game resets. There are no points earned and no score, which makes the app child-friendly. The motivation and challenge of the games is solving the puzzles in order to gain a new puzzle. There are 100 levels of gameplay, so there are plenty of puzzles for the $2.99 price. Color Zen Kids is appropriate for children ages 4-8.  Adults, you may love it too!  Color Zen Kids is made for iPhone and iPad.

Art Class with Dr. Panda

There are six different virtual art activities for your child to experiment with in Art Class with Dr. Panda. Read KinderTown's review.

Create your own pottery with the virtual lathe. Then fire it and paint it. Fold origami paper to make a virtual pinwheel to play with in the wind. Design a virtual kite to sail through the sky. Put colored pegs on a board to create a design. There are six different virtual art activities for your child to experiment with in Art Class with Dr. Panda. The best part is that they can experience the process over and over again, and play with their finished creations.

Jelly Jumble!

Jelly Jumble! is a clever game that is based on a story about a young boy who is sent away to stay with his Aunt. Read KinderTown's review.

 

Jelly Jumble! is a clever game that is based on a story about a young boy who is sent away to stay with his Aunt. He makes friends with a blue monster named Soran, and they work their way through the forest having different kinds of adventures, which present the challenges for the puzzle game. The app is a multi-faceted matching game for kids. Each level has a new task or way children need to match the items presented on the grid. For example, collect as many strawberries as you can. Along the way, children can collect stickers for passing levels. While kids play this game they are strengthening their logical thinking skills. The app is appropriate for children ages 3-8, and is $1.99.



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Science Apps for Kids








Check out these Science apps to dive deeper into science topics.

A love for Science is a wonderful thing to cultivate at an early age, and naturally falls into a young child’s inner curiosity. Check out these Science apps to dive deeper into science topics. To find even more great Science Apps, download the free KinderTown App, and select the Science category.

 

Piiig Labs

This inquisitive app brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. Read KinderTown's review.

Science Experimentation without the mess! Thank you Piiig Labs for this inquisitive app that brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. The budding scientist in your house will love making a volcano erupt, building a light bulb, and tinkering with a radio. The app does touch on themes such as electricity, chemical reactions and cause and effect, but the app is designed for children ages 3-6, so the activities are age-appropriate. Each experiment is accompanied by a short science fact for kids. The app is $2.99 and available for iPad only.

Star Walk Kids

Star Walk Kids is a fascinating learning tool for your kids that brings the solar system to life! Read KinderTown's review.

A fascinating learning tool for your kids, Star Walk Kids brings the solar system to life! Each planet has a fact card and a short video to explain key facts about the planet. There are extra movies as well that explain space-related ideas such as the Hubble Spacecraft. A wide variety of constellations and stars turn the sky into an imaginative area for kids. The most amazing feature of Star Walk Kids is that children can take an iPhone or iPad outside and point it to the sky to guide their exploration, and Star Walk will map the stars seen from your location. This is a great  activity for parents and children to do together. The app does not collect any personal information but is able to use the location features of your device. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

 

ABC Aquarium

ABC Aquarium brings learning through research and discovery to the youngest learners. Read KinderTown's review.

ABC Aquarium brings learning through research and discovery to the youngest learners. Traditional encyclopedia-style presentations combined with videos, interactive activities and quality images makes the ABC apps from Peapod Labs truly special. The pictures are captivating and appropriate for young learners. The app is organized with pictures with an ocean theme in ABC order. Your child will be learning letters and words along with interesting facts about ocean animals and plants. ABC Aquarium is appropriate for children ages 3-6, and is $2.99.


 
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