3 Math Apps to Help Prevent the Summer Slide
Summer is here, but the learning shouldn’t stop. We have gathered 3 great apps that will help prevent the summer slide for your children in the area of math. These apps track your child’s progress and can be purchased on a monthly basis to supplement any curriculum your child has completed during the past school year.
Prevent the Summer Slide with These Math Apps
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, or levels PreK-2nd grade. There are additional in-app purchases to access more content. The additional content would be beneficial to support your child’s math practice over the summer months and help prevent the summer slide.
My Blee Math offers a wide variety of elementary math lessons on topics such as measuring line segments, working with money, mental math and multi-digit addition for students ages 5-8. KinderTown likes how the app gives initial instruction on a particular concept before the child is asked to practice or apply it. The instruction is given with a unique robotic-like voice. Another great feature is the use of “MyScript” technology that can identify a child’s handwriting as she writes her answer directly on the screen. Children will also find the use of the digital manipulatives which include movable rulers, blocks, protractors, etc. both interesting and helpful for solving problems. My Blee is an app that would benefit students who need additional practice with math concepts. The app offers communication to parents about their student’s progress through frequent emails. The app is free for 10 minutes each week. Subscriptions can be purchased for students who need more time per week for $9.99 a month or for $74.99 for a year.
Splash Math is an interactive workbook style app where you’ll find all the math practice your child needs to reinforce what they have learned throughout the school year. There is a nice mix of multiple choice, fill in the missing pieces and choose an answer problems. Kids will find some questions that require reading, so parents will want to stick close when starting the app. Parents get complete customization of what math concepts and skills are presented to multiple children in the app. Splash Math comes in a variety of levels from PreK-5th Grade and reinforces math concepts learned during the corresponding grade level. You must purchase each level as an individual app for $9.99 and it includes the entire year’s worth of skill review.
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Paper Bag Painting
My daughter loves to paint. She wants to paint every day, and paint supplies can become expensive. Today, I had a brown paper bag around, and it turned out to be the perfect canvas for paint because it is extra thick and stands up to the paint well. We used regular and glitter paints and different size brushes. She decided to paint a nature scene. This is a great way to spend a summer day!
Lazoo Art Box is a fabulously creative digital coloring book for children ages 3-5. The app presents a child with a starting place for adding creativity to an existing scene or page in the coloring book. When your child is finished, watch the page come alive as the objects perform short animations. The app is extremely easy to use and kid-friendly. There are 3 interactive areas; Let’s Squiggle, Let’s Color, and Let’s Draw. For each area your child is prompted to draw with their finger and then press the Play button to view the animation. The app does a nice job of providing directions and vocabulary to accompany the picture. There are a variety of coloring tools provided at the bottom of the screen including stickers, markers, spray paint, and paint rollers for a variety of effects. There is also a blank page where children can create their own pictures. This would be a great app to keep on your phone to use when you are on the go this summer! Lazoo Art Box is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.
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Anticipating summer? Get in the mood with these summer-themed apps.
This app features a theme of camping and has nature and adventure lovers in mind. KinderTown loves the Grandma and Grandpa characters created by Fairlady media; this app focuses particularly on lovable Grandpa. Grandpa invites your children on a hike through the woods where they choose a trail and identify plant and tree species with his help. In the app, children have to drag forest animals to the food they eat and identify coordinating shapes of common tools used when camping, such a pocket knife or hatchet. Another feature of the app is a word find, which may be more challenging for beginning readers interested in the app and who may need the assistance of a parent. Kids love going on a hike with Grandpa, picking special stuffed animals to sleep with, and roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the virtual campfire. As with other Grandpa apps, when children get the answers correct, Grandpa offers a high five that children get to slap (gently). Camping with Grandpa is a great way to get in the mood for summer camping. Camping with Grandpa costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.
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Bug Art provides an informal environment for children to learn and play with bugs. The free paint area allows children to paint and use stickers to depict a bug scene. The bug designer area allows children to choose a basic stencil and then design a unique bug around the stencil. Pictures can be saved in the app and shared with friends. The app also has free play areas where children can race bugs or use the iPad to make them fly through pathways. This app is a fun creative experience with bugs. Bug Art costs $2.49 and is appropriate for children ages 3-5.
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Park Math HD by Duck Duck Moose works on a variety of math concepts. Park Math HD is a thoughtful app that moves users seamlessly through counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterning, and comparing while being developmentally appropriate for early learners. Unlike many of the math apps in the app store, Park Math HD does not simply have children answering questions or tapping on objects; Park Math HD integrates three levels of learning into a park concept to practice and investigate math concepts in a meaningful way. Addition and subtraction are practiced in a story problem format. Park Math HD costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.
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10 Items from the Dollar Store for the Sandbox
The weather has gotten warmer, so it’s time to get into the sandbox.
For this post, I’ve used a container instead of a traditional, full-sized sandbox, which lengthens the season during which the sandbox can be used. In addition, you can use it in different locations. Carry the container to a covered porch or garage on a rainy day or use it inside when the weather is cold. I also chose colored sand for our makeshift sandbox; it’s available at big box stores and LOVED by kids. These smaller sandboxes are also great for smaller houses or apartments that might not have room for a traditional sandbox.
Sandbox Items Found at the Dollar Store
Here are 10 items we found at the dollar store to use in the sandbox:
- Paintbrush – My son likes smoothing out the sand with the paintbrush, as well as making roads for the cars and trucks. Also, it’s a nice tool to practice writing letters and numbers in the sand.
- Measuring cups – My daughter likes to fill these up and dump them out over and over, and I like using the real measurements with her. (For example, if we call them the 1/2 cup, ¼, etc., I feel she is gaining an understanding of what these actual measurements look and feel like and hope she will be able to transfer that knowledge to other areas later.)
- Imitation gems – The dollar store generally has lots of different colors, shapes, and sizes. My kids enjoyed “hiding” them from their sibling and then having them find them later.
- Mini dustpan and brush – Brushing sand into the dustpan is great practice for developing motor skills, but it’s also handy for cleaning up sand that ends up outside the “box.”
- Kitchen strainer or serving spoon – This can be used as a sifter in the sandbox and as a tool to find the gems. They are also great for moving sand or just watching the sand fall through the holes.
- Mini watering can – The sand will fall out of the can as it is poured, but it is also great if you choose to add a little water to your sandbox.
- Pie pans – My children used these to make pretend blueberry pies, mud pies, etc.
- Kitchen spatulas – These are fun for stirring the sand around and around.
- Paint holder – These worked nicely for moving large amounts of sand because of the nice handle. (You can see a red one pictured in the photo at the top of this post.)
- Cars, trucks, tanks – The dollar store is a great place to get toy vehicles for the sandbox. Ours stay in the sandbox for use only in this location. This makes them novel when the sandbox is out and keeps the sand from being relocated to the house.
Now, while your kids are playing, be sure to join them. Here are 3 questions you can ask your child as they play:
- What are you making?
- Where did you come up with that great idea?
- How can we play together?
There are also lots of free things around your house that work well in the sand, too. Any container recently recycled after being cleaned out, paper towel rolls, plastic silverware, plastic cups, or old plastic containers without lids all can be used for sand play. You can easily and inexpensively round up an afternoon of fun in the sandbox.
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Apps for Spring
Spring is a time for children to head back outside and re-investigate the world around them. Talk about what is happening outside and then follow up your conversations with these apps.
Plants by Tinybop is a fabulous app to explore, play, and learn about plants this spring. The app is based on three biomes: the grasslands, tundra, and desert. Once inside the deciduous forest, the seasons change, the weather changes, and children can interact with the plants and animals. The app allows for multiple logins, so children can explore at their own pace. The learning within the app is based on what your child explores within the biomes. While the app does provide labels in the various biomes for plants and animals, it does not provide facts about each one within the app. Also, the app does not include narration, so be sure to talk to your children while they are using the app. Be sure to explore their wonderfully created handbook about plants for parents on their website. It provides a purposeful way to explore the app and facts about the different biomes as well as further websites to explore. Plants by Tinybop is a truly unique educational app for children ages 4-8. Plants costs $2.99.
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GazziliScience introduces young kids to science topics in engaging and kid-friendly play. In the app, kids progress through 6 science learning areas that teach through discovery and narration. Explore sections such as “Plants,” “Water Cycle”, and “Seasons” this spring. After completing each area, go to the Gazzili fun page, where you use prizes earned in the game to build a unique contraption. GazziliScience costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-7.
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Dr. Panda Veggie Garden playfully gives kids the tools to be gardeners. There are 12 fruits and vegetables to grow. Over 30 activities, such as plowing, digging, picking off insects, and planting seeds, are sequenced appropriately for growing each type of produce. The app is more geared towards amusement and working through 1- and 2-step tasks than learning the sequence of growing fruits and vegetables. Each task is fun and easy for kids to work through, but there is not much free play in the games. In addition, there is not any language provided for your child. Be sure to supply rich vocabulary and questions while interacting with this app for your child to gain the most out of the experience. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6.
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Best Apps for Learning About People
Kids love to learn about other children around the world, and one of the great advantages about the iPad is that you can easily access information from around the world to have at your child’s fingertips. Enjoy these apps that celebrate all types of people!
Learn About People with These Apps
Wee-You Things (iOS only)
Wee You-Things is a beautiful e-book app that shares an important message. “You-things” in the app are all those unique things about people. The message in the app is that we all have “you-things,” and that is what makes us special. Kids are greeted by over 20 unique characters to learn about each one’s “you-thing.” Interactivity on the page highlights, in some very funny ways, the character’s special quality. You are sure to hear some giggles when your children use this app. What we love about this e-book is that it opens up so many possibilities for conversations between adults and kids. You-Things is an excellent social learning app that is a must-have for your kids. Wee-You Things is appropriate for children ages 3-8 and costs $2.99.
Barefoot World Atlas (iOS only)
Barefoot World Atlas will completely mesmerize all members of your family. Open the app to a globe dotted with images that just beg to be tapped. Read and listen to fun facts by touching the images on the screen. Looking for more depth? Search by country and region to learn facts that give you a look into the lives of people and places around the world. The app is completely worth the price and will be appreciated by both adults and kids. Additional information packets such as World Art or Great Cities can be purchased for $0.99. We see this app becoming one the family sits on the couch and uses together. Barefoot World Atlas costs $4.99 and is appropriate for children ages 5-8.
One Globe Kids – children’s stories from around the world (iOS only)
One Globe Kids is an app designed to bring kids in other countries and cultures into your child’s world. The app allows children to learn about kids from around the world. KinderTown loves the pictures and voices of the children included in the app as they share different aspects of their everyday life. The app opens by allowing your child to personalize their experience by choosing their language and adding a photo of themselves. Then children can explore different cultures by spinning the globe and tapping hot spots that indicate a child is featured from that part of the world. Each child featured includes facts about that child’s native country, language, and even a tutorial on how to speak a few words in that language. Pictures of the child in their home country are included and show what a typical day in the life of the child might include. The app is appropriate for children ages 3-8 and provides an easy way for children to learn about other cultures without ever leaving home. One Globe Kids is completely kid safe with no advertisements or information being shared with others. There is a section where children from other countries can ask your child questions, and they can record their responses as if they were talking to that child, but the information is not shared outside of the app. The app is free and includes a profile of one child in Haiti. Additional content can be purchased for the price of $1.99 per country. One Globe Kids has an education version available as well called Globe Smart Education 1, which provides all of the content for one purchase price of $3.99.
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Apps for Learning About Government
What is an election? What are laws? Who is running for president? Your children may be asking questions like these as our country experiences a presidential election year. Check out these apps to help them learn more about how government works and help explain the some of the difficult concepts associated with election and government.
Learn About the Government with These Apps
How America Works by KIDS DISCOVER for iPad (iOS only)
This app tells about the different parts of American government and reads like a magazine for kids. It includes videos and interactive learning activities that discuss democracy, how a bill becomes law, and checks and balances within our government. Be sure to enjoy the 3D representation of the Oval Office and Air Force One with your child. Browse the gallery of all 44 presidents. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children 6-8. Also, visit the KIDS DISCOVER website for a free lesson plan to accompany the app.
BrainPOP Jr. (Android and iOS)
BrainPOP Jr. uses cartoon style movies, quizzes, and facts to teach children. The app tackles difficult concepts for younger kids such as U.S. history and government. Be sure to check out the free video, The Branches of Government, in the Social Studies section. Free content is available within the app, but a subscription to BrainPop will give you access to a complete digital video library. The subscription can be completed through an in-app purchase. There are two options for a subscription: BrainPOP Jr. Explorer Subscription, which offers the free movie of the week plus 3 related movies for 1.99 a month, or the BrainPOP Jr. Full Access Subscription for $5.99 a month.
BrainPOP Jr. is a wonderful app for sparking curiosity in children and can serve as a resource to answer the many questions children may have about a wide range of topics. There are videos on Science, Social Studies, Math, Language, and more. Each video is followed by an easy or hard quiz for which KinderTown encourages parentparticipation, as reading is needed.
News-O-Matic, Daily Reading for Kids (iOS and Android)
News-O-Matic is a news magazine for kids. This magazine contained within an app includes interactive activities and videos. News-O-Matic features 5 daily stories covering the United States and international news, sports, arts, science, and more. The articles are written by their staff of journalists, including educational experts, and reviewed by psychologists to ensure age-appropriate content. The content of the articles is designed for young readers to understand. The app is also ad-free, so the distractions are limited. News-O-Matic also features complete playback of the articles via a Read-to-Me function, making the information accessible to younger students and struggling readers. Definitions and pronunciations are provided for difficult words within articles. A few games are featured as they relate to the news of the day. The app also offers a Spanish translation. A special school edition exists for classroom settings or homeschool environments. KinderTown’s favorite feature that is only included in the school edition is the ability to change reading levels within the app from a first-grade reading level up to a sixth-grade reading level. In addition, the school version includes assessment questions for students. News-O-Matic is a very complete educational news magazine for kids and lots of features for educators and parents. News-O-Matic is appropriate for children ages 5-8 and offers many different choices for price and time duration for subscriptions.
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Tags: App, brainpop, civic, Educational, election, government, kids discover, KinderTown, laws, politics, president, review
Top 10 Must-Have Math Apps
Must-Have Math Apps
Motion Math: Pizza! (iOS only) teaches children beginning economics by simulating a pizza shop. While using the app, children are learning about economics, setting prices, and serving customers through simulation. Parents, follow up the use of this app with conversations about why certain things cost more money than others and how your family makes purchasing decisions.
Bugs and Bubbles (iOS only) is an engaging app for younger children. The randomized practice offers multiple ways to practice beginning math skills in a visually rich environment. Counting, upper- and lowercase letters, and sorting are all presented with a fun garden theme.
Pet Bingo – by Duck Duck Moose (iOS only) is a math fact practice app that includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, anddivision. This app can be replayed for a long time and could be used with multiple children in your house. Children earn rewards for completing math facts correctly in order to care for their virtual pet.
Quick Math – Multiplication Table & Arithmetic Game (iOS only) offers basic math fact practice with a simple, clean interface. KinderTown’s favorite feature about Quick Math is that you can write on the screen with your finger and it will recognize the answer. Quick Math has also developed the apps Quick Fractions and QuickClocks that provide similar practice of the concepts.
Dragon Box Algebra 5+ (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone) is an app that develops algebra skills with approachable problems for children starting at age 5. (There is a second Dragon Box app for more advanced students, called Dragon Box Algebra 12+.) Both apps create problems that must be solved visually in order to make the quantities on both sides of the screen equal. This app is excellent for preparing students for algebraic thinking.
Splash Math (iOS, Kindle, Android) is a series of apps that are made for each grade level. The Splash Math apps cover an entire year’s worth of math skills. Through the app, randomized practice is presented to your child. The app also offers parent features such as progress reports and the ability to customize the skills your child is practicing. This app serves as a great reinforcement of concepts your child has already learned in math.
Math Doodles (iOS only) is a puzzle app that brings a visual perspective to math thinking. This app contains many complex concepts and spans a wide range of skills. Your six-year-old child could use this app as well as a high school student because of the ability to change the type of puzzle pieces presented from simple dice to Roman numerals.
Operation Math (iOS, Android) has created two apps, Operation Math and Operation Math Code Squad. Operation Math simulates high-tech, intense math missions for children to undertake. Operation Math Code Squad follows the same ideas, but up to 4 players can play at the same time. There is a timer feature in this app, and if your child does not like the feeling of being rushed or timed, this would not be a good match. Operation Math Code Squad is an example of how apps can involve multiple players in order to practice math facts.
Motion Math: Zoom (iOS only) moves your child along the path of learning numbers, place value, and number relationships with this thoughtful app. By the use of analytics, the app guides your child at his own pace through a variety of number quantities with the goal of helping him manipulate a number line and make connections between 1’s, 10’s, 100’s, and eventually decimals. The game appears simple as numbered balloons float on the screen, but the swiping, pinching, and tapping will keep your kids on their toes.
Cash Cow Deluxe (iOS only) uses gameplay to help kids become proficient at manipulating money. Tap small coins to make quantities of 5, 10, 25, or 100 cents. The more coins you make, the more the cash cow earns to save the duck’s farm. The app offers several modes of play including arcade, relaxed, endless, practice, or story modes.
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Tags: App, counting, economics, Education, Educational, fact, fun, game, ios, KinderTown, math, money, practice, pricing, problem, puzzle, review, skills, sorting, thinking
myBlee Math offers a wide variety of elementary math lessons on topics such as measuring line segments, working with money, mental math and multi-digit addition for students ages 5-8. KinderTown likes how the app gives initial instruction on a particular concept before the child is asked to practice or apply it. The instruction is given with a female robotic-like voice. Another great feature is the use of “MyScript” technology that can identify a child’s handwriting as she writes her answer directly on the screen. Children will also find the use of the digital manipulatives which include movable rulers, blocks, protractors, etc. both interesting and helpful for solving problems. myBlee is an app that would benefit students who need additional practice with math concepts. The app offers communication to parents about their student’s progress through frequent emails. The app is free for 10 minutes each week. Subscriptions can be purchased for students who need more time per week for $9.99 a month or for $74.99 for a year.
Read about other math apps here.
Tags: addition, App, concept, Educational, elementary, instruction, KinderTown, lessons, math, measurement, mental, money, myblee math, practice, review, student
Engaging Math Apps
Engaging Math Apps
Jump! (iOS only)
Jump! is a truly unique game experience based on numbers. The app takes children through challenges involving counting, skip counting, and addition. The player must lead their character from one shore to another by jumping on the correct number. Players can combine numbers to make numbers needed if they are missing. There is a hint button which is helpful to players who are just learning to play the game. The app uses adaptive technology to quickly adjust to your child’s learning level. There is a rewarding play area where children can play with the characters they have saved. The game has additional obstacles called “Stompers” and “Fuses” that will add a challenge to your child’s strategy as they navigate their way through the game. This app is appropriate for children who are becoming confident with recognizing numbers and counting approximately ages 4-8 and is $2.99.
Motion Math Match (iOS only)
Motion Math Match presents children with a series of cards and challenges them to match cards that equal the same value. For example, a student might choose the following cards, 2+2=4, 4, and 3+1=4. The students can use both hands to match multiple cards. Once a match has been made the cards disappear and more cards fall into place. The app adjusts to your child’s level and can be played with addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, or division facts. This iPad app is appropriate for children ages 5-12 and is $3.99. Motion Math Match is available for iPad and iPad mini.
Read about other math apps here.
Tags: addition, App, apps, artgig, cards, counting, Educational, engaging, game, jump, KinderTown, learning, match, math, motion math, numbers, skip counting