New apps in KinderTown this week include:
- 3 eBooks to add to your home library
- 4 apps that give kids a fun way to do their homework
- 1 Spanish language learning app
- 1 app for getting kids up and moving to seek out answers using your devices camera
- and 1 puzzle app perfect for your little one!
Subject: Language, Science
Category: Pre-Reading, Investigation, Comprehension
Alien Assignment is a must-have app! Download today, it is free (at time of this review). Your child needs to the help the aliens fix their broken ship. The only way to do that is to take pictures of objects around you to help the aliens. The app teaches your child how to use your devices camera. Then the game gives them short questions, like find something cold, and sets kids off on tasks around the house to capture an image. Parents play an important role as they check to make sure that the pictures match the given question. This is a delightful app that gets kids up, moving, thinking and interacting with trusted adults. Only quick fix we want is for there to be a skip button for the introduction, but it’s on the short side so kids don’t mind.
Gus on the Go: Spanish helps your child learn beginning Spanish vocabulary. Small groups of words are organized by theme. Kids tap on images in context to hear the word in Spanish. Tap and listen as much as you like! Then take a short quiz, where kids listen to a word in spoken and have to tap the correct image. The quiz helps kids learn through errors by highlighting the correct image and giving them a chance to answer it correctly later in the quiz. Follow up the quiz with a fun listen and tap game where kids play with balloons, frogs, racing horses and more. A nice app for practicing pre-taught vocabulary. If your child is new to learning Spanish, support them by playing along side and practicing the pronunciations. Find Gus on the Go in many other languages too.
Subject: Language, Math
Category: Pre-Reading, Reading, Measurement, Number Sense
Concept: Word Play, Spelling, Phonics, Sorting, Operations, Counting/Reasoning
Pocket Charts! Pro combines 20 pocket chart activities for your child to use on the iPad. Just like the pocket chart games popular in the classroom, this app gives kids a fun way to practice adding and subtracting, sorting blends and digraphs, matching positional words to picture, spelling 3 letter words, combining images to build compound words. The youngest iPad users are not left out, some early learning activities include counting, sorting, matching colors, shapes and uppercase to lowercase letters. The design of the app includes options for turning on and off the voice prompts (but not the sound effects). We like how it allows kids the freedom to try out possible answers without immediate error messages. Pocket Charts! Pro gives kids a lot of learning fun for a very small price.
Concept: Word Play, Listening
Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime brings 9 of the most popular nursery rhymes in an interactive touchscreen experience. Each rhyme is presented with creative use of text and graphics. Most of the graphics are literal, so you do chop off the tails of the three blind mice and both Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill make some pretty big falls. Kids love playing around with all characters and objects on the screen. Parents get an app that presents all the delightful nursery rhymes of their childhood.
Category: Number Sense
Concept: Counting/Reasoning, Operations
Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory: Place Value is a complete app for working with place value for kids. The premise is simple, you need to fill cookie orders. The math application is excellent, kids fill orders by 1s (single cookies), 10s (cookie packs), 100s (cookie boxes) all the way up to 1,000,000s (trucks full of cookies). 4 kids can log in and playfully apply and build their understanding of place value over 6 levels, with addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Parents, visit the online learning guide which provides a tremendous amount of resources, including educational theory and extension activities, to support your child’s learning place value. We recommend you start the app with your child to make sure they understand all the hot spots and where all the information they need to play the game is located.
Concept: Logic Games
My First App Vehicles is a delightful app with a nice variety of games designed for young children. The puzzle game is perfect for little fingers. 8 of the 16 vividly designed vehicle images are broken up into 4 square pieces. Drag and drop them into the correct spot. The turning game gets your child thinking about what the missing half of each picture looks like. Spin through the wheel to find the match and hear the vehicle come to life. The last game is a pinball, marble rolling game introduces 8 more vehicles. Tilt and turn your device to land the small marble in one of the holes on the pictures. The picture animates to reflect real vehicle movements (and other fun) right where the marble gets swallowed up.
Subject: Social Studies, Language
Category: Social Skills, Reading, Pre-Reading
Concept: Reading, Listening
Gerry the Giraffe is a story you will want to have your children hear again and again. Gerry is the smallest volleyball playing giraffe in his village. When all his friends go off to volleyball camp without him, he has to deal with disappointment and heartache. The message in this story is one of perseverance and hard work, something kids benefit from hearing in the context of stories. The illustrations are unique and will inspire many drawings in your home. At the end of the app there are fact pages and a parents “reading strategy” page with tips for making the reading more meaningful. Enjoy learning from Gerry that hard work and persistence not only can have external rewards, but provides internal joy too.
SpellingCity has created one app for parents and teachers to access spelling practice activities for multiple kids in grade K through 12. 7 spelling activities support kids learning new words, in playfully practicing spelling lists and working through spelling tests all right in the app. SpellingCity app connects to the popular spellingcity.com website. Adults can log in, create accounts for individual kids, make custom spelling lists and keep track of the progress their children are making in learning their spelling words from the website. For young children parents need to play alongside, as much of the text is not read aloud. Ideal for kids on the path to reading, and are actively working on spelling lists in school. There are variety of options with the SpellingCity app and website which is why we recommend you check it out today.
Category: Pre-Reading, Reading
Concept: Listening, Reading
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a delightful story that the whole family will enjoy. Mr. Morris Lessmore ends up in a magical world of books. He falls in love with each of these books and shares little tidbits with the reader through quotes and games. Kids get to immerse themselves in language and letters with mini-games and thoughtful interactivity. A wonderful app for sparking a love of reading. We highly recommend it for talking about the variety of books and purposes for reading with your child.
Shape Up! is a book and activity app that helps kids learn about shapes. Read the book which is a story of 3 cows who want to get out of their fenced in field. These cows get creative and move the fence posts to create a variety of shapes until they finally escape. A cute short story, which is reinforced with a “draw shapes” game where kids get to create shapes just like the story. Other games include “spot the differences” and a tap to make crazy noises and other interactivity with “moo boxes.” We like this app for talking about shapes with kids, but some of the design can be challenging for young children. Consider playing this app a few times with your child so they know which buttons start the reading.