Show and Tell – Magic Stickers!

Magic Stickers! icon

Magic Stickers!

Subject: Art
Category: Creativity
Concept: Counting, Number Recognition
Age: 3 to 8
Price (as of publishing): $2.99
Device: Universal

 

“Magic Stickers!” is part of the Lazoo series developed by Play Date Digital. This imaginative app is designed to encourage creative play in children ages 3 and up. It welcomes you with happy giggles and lively music as soon as you open it. Before letting your child play, though, be sure to click on the “For Parents” section on the upper left side of the screen. While most of the material here is promotional, you’ll want to read the suggestions about how to use the app and check out the fun food ideas by clicking on the Crafts tab. You might also want to show your child the included video to stimulate her imagination.
Magic Stickers! screenshot
When you begin to play, the default bread roll background appears. You can add stickers from the left hand gallery and move them to the desired location. If you click on the stickers, either in the gallery or on the picture, they become animated. Stickers can be physically removed by moving them to the trash can or simply clicking the icon. If you click on the icon in the lower right corner, you can make your own sticker. Choose a tool and a color, and draw your sticker. After the picture is finished, you can choose to photograph it or animate it. Other backgrounds can be chosen by pulling down the gallery at the top of the page, or create your own background. The variety of activities in this app provides almost limitless opportunities for creative play.
 

 

Show What You Know

 

Activity 1: Sand Dough Small World

 
Take the creative fun of Magic Stickers! to a tactile, three-dimensional level by creating a “small world” out of anything that can represent the real world on a small level; use a tub or box to contain the small world. Encourage your child to role-play real-world stories as well as incorporating unusual elements in their play to develop creativity. For instance, an Artic-themed “world” may begin with ice cubes, water, polar bears and penguins, but who says that a tractor, fireman, or elephant doesn’t have a role as the story develops? Your child can include anything in their world; this will foster creativity, imagination and self esteem as well as developing motor skills and real world practice.
 
For “small world” suggestions and other creative play ideas for early childhood, visit Adventures At Home With Mum. Here’s a small world with a beach theme:

Small World Beach

Activity 2: Repurpose Summer Toys

 
Even though summer is just a fond memory, there’s no need to say goodbye to summer pool toys. Provide your child with access to simple basic props and brainstorm with them on new and fun ways to use them – then stand back and enjoy the creativity. For example, pool noodles can be used in a wide range of creative play, including art, building, games, and more. Here’s a post from Valerie at innerchildfun.com to get you thinking – 7 creative ways you can repurpose pool noodles.



Apps for Making Music – Selected for KinderTown

Sago Mini Sound BoxSago Mini Sound Box – Fun sounds for infants, toddlers and preschool aged children

Subject: Art
Category: Music, Creativity
Age: 3 to 5
Price (as of publishing): FREE
Device: Universal

 

Sago Mini Sound Box, called a 21st century rattle by the developers, is a fantastic early sound exploration experience. 9 thematic areas produce a variety of sounds with a tap, shake or slide on the iPad. Sounds emerges from the colorful spheres of various sizes that materialize as you touch the screen. Join your child to make a chorus of barking dogs, farm animals or our personal favorite, the crystal clear chimes.

 

 

MibblioMibblio

Subject: Art
Category: Music, Creativity
Age: 5 to 8
Price (as of publishing): FREE (with in-app purchase)
Device: iPad

 

Mibblio is the music app that will get the whole family making music and enjoy a story singing experience. Load a free song of your choice, other songs are available as in-app purchases. Using the many instruments and keyboard features in the app start making music with the app! Improv over the top or remove the background music, instrument by instrument, to take center stage in the music making. You can also sit back and enjoy the story built around the song with its lovely images. So many features for “kids” of all ages!



Show & Tell: Ladybug Number Count

Ladybug Number CountLadybug Number Count

Subject: Math
Category: Number Sense
Concept: Counting, Number Recognition
Age: 3 to 4
Price (as of publishing): $0.99
Device: iPad

 

Ladybug Number Count was developed by parents and their children along with some guidance from early childhood educators. Ladybugs are placed in images of the real world for kids to count. A wonderful meshing of animation with photography.

Ladybug Number Count 2

There are two ways to play the app. Choose to count the ladybugs by tapping one at a time or count by themselves and touch the correct number from a choice of three. The app has a very relaxed and slow moving pace. Kids also hear language like, more and less each time they get an answer wrong.

 

You won’t find an endless amount of scenes, so be prepared to see the backgrounds repeat frequently. Reminder: repetition and practice are needed to learn numbers and their order.

Ladybug Number Count 1

There are three languages to choose from: English, French and Spanish. Switching between them is an excellent way to introduce children to new languages!

 

We appreciate that for $.99 you get an outstanding counting app with no in-app purchases.

 

Kay Welch | Education Advisor | KinderTown

 

 

Show What You Know

 

Activity 1: What Did I Do?

Pennies in a hand

 

What you will need: Pennies (or a collection of small objects)

 

Hold up pennies in your hand and ask, “How many are there?” Then, “Close your eyes so I can make a change. Did I add or take away some pennies?” Repeat using the same dialog.

 

The first time you may be amazed at how much effort it is for your child to figure this out. Two ways you can help:

 

1) Give your child time to think
2) Have your child re-enact what you did, comparing and counting.

 

Let’s say you started with 3 and while your child closes his eyes you add 1 to make 4.

 

“How many did I have in my hand before? Take 3 clips and put them in your hand and hold your next to mine. Do you think I added clips or took away clips?”

 

This is a great game to play while waiting for food in a restaurant. All you need to do is pull out some pennies and you will liven up a boring time. This can also make a road trip more fun for everyone, assuming you are not the driver.

 

Activity 2: Fantasy Stories

 

We spend a lot of time in the car as a family and I wanted to share another “car” favorite. There is great power of number stories, making them fantastical adds more fun to the thinking. Try one (or a few) of these fantasy number stories about the zoo:

Animals in the Zoo

 

  • Your Uncle Steve went to the zoo and saw 6 elephants and 3 monkeys. How many animals did he see?
  • (continued from above) Someone accidentally left the monkey cage open and one of them escaped. How many were still in the cage?
  • Your uncle went after the runaway monkey and he ran directly into a clown selling peanuts. Monkeys love peanuts you know. 5 bags of peanuts fell on the ground. When the monkey realized what had happened it came running to get the peanuts. Before anyone could stop the monkey she grabbed 2 bags and ran off again. How many bags were left on the ground?

 

If you are a passenger, help you child draw each wacky problem to make them more visual.

 

Fantacy stories are great number sense builders. I quote Einstein: “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”



Apps for Social Studies – Selected for KinderTown

Fraggle Friends ForeverFraggle Friends Forever

Subject: Social Studies
Category: Social Skills, Reading
Concept: Sight Words
Age: 4 to 7
Price (as of publishing): $2.99
Device: Universal

 

Fraggle Friends Forever tells a story of friends sticking together even when times get tough. Join the Fraggle Rock friends as they solve the problem of getting too crowded at Fraggle Rock. Read the story yourself with or without interactivity, or have the story read aloud for you. You’ll find games and painting pages besides the story. We really like the sight word builder game that is perfect for kids just starting to read. At the end of the story you’ll find questions to use with your child to talk and think about the story. All links in the app are gated to keep little fingers involved in the story and out of adult designed areas.

 

 

Learn The States With Flat Stanley HDLearn The States With Flat Stanley

Subject: Social Studies
Category: People and Places
Age: 6 to 8
Price (as of publishing): $2.99
Device: iPad

 

Learn the States with Flat Stanley gives your kids the perfect outlet to slingshot Flat Stanley around the USA. Enter the app and choose from one of seven geographic areas to focus on or start practicing your knowledge of all the states. A state name is printed on a postcard, no speech is given, read the state and slingshot Flat Stanley to the matching state on the map. That’s it! There isn’t much to the app, and we really wish there was speech for our non-readers, but the game is a fun way to identify states.



5 Apps to Get Ready for PreK | Summer of Learning

Summer doesn’t need to be a repeat of the school year, but should be filled with fun and adventure. Each week we highlight five of our favorite apps for a little bit of learning in everyday play. Stay tuned each Monday throughout the summer for a new thematic “Summer of Learning” list!

Kids raising hands

 

 

5 Apps to Get Ready for PreK

 

 

Wee AlphasWee Alphas

Learning Area: Language

Price (as of publishing): $2.99

Device: iPad

 

Wee Alphas incorporates delightful early literacy experiences within a dynamic ABC app. Letters are presented in a witty and creative sentence. Vocabulary is dynamic with a nice infusion of alliteration and word play. Seek and find letters hidden in the illusions (you can tell the developers are designers) and watch as each letter is highlighted in both the picture and the text. Interactivity reinforces the letter stories in a way that we hope becomes the standard for all kids apps. Many more features to highlight, but we will leave you with the recommendation to start at the indepth parent pages that include tips for parents and kids playing together.

 

 

GazziliShapesGazziliShapes

Learning Area: Math

Price (as of publishing): $1.99

Device: Universal

 

GazziliShapes teaches 8 shapes by having children tap and identify each shape in real objects. Six levels progressively unlock and increase with difficulty. A narrator leads your child through each activity and cute child characters provide explanations and descriptions for each shape. Note that this app will prompt your child to share on Twitter and has an active Tweet button on each page, both can be turned off from the options page. Use GazziliShapes to help your child learn about shapes and as an interactive game for them to look for shapes in real life objects.

 

 

Elmo Loves 123sElmo Loves 123s

Learning Area: Math

Price (as of publishing): $4.99

Device: iPad

 

Elmo Loves 123s is a complete number sense experience to prepare young children for counting, number recognition, addition and subtraction. Join Elmo to learn the numbers 1 through 20 with vidoes, games and coloring. Abby Cadabby talks kids through a series of 1 to 1 correspondence, modeled early addition and subtraction play that is prefect for young kids. There is tons of language in the app and each game is incredibly supportive. Parents you get a full report, right in the app, of what activities your child has been doing, their success percentage and what numbers your child has been favoring. Overall, one of the best number sense apps we’ve played.

 

 

ABCmouse Music VideosABCmouse.com 26 A-Z Music Videos

Learning Area: Language

Price (as of publishing): FREE (with in-app purchase)

Device: Universal

 

ABCmouse.com 26 A-Z Music Videos is a collection of letter learning and vocabulary expanding videos for kids. Each video focuses on one letter sound and words that begin with that sound. Features in the app include options to see the text of the song as the video plays, an informative parents page for each letter, and a full glossary with a read aloud options. The app is structured so you get 5 videos for free. Then as you watch videos kids earn tickets. These tickets are collected to purchase more videos. It will take quite a bit of video watching to earn enough tickets to unlock more videos so we recommend downloading the full version off the app via in-app purchase. Be aware that this app currently doesn’t have you create an account which means that purchases made with tickets only (not the in-app purchase) do not transfer between devices.

 

 

Hurray for Pre-KHurray for Pre-K! – Teach your kids about what to expect from pre-school in this children’s book by Ellen Senisi (by Auryn Apps)

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): $1.99

Device: iPad

 

Hurray for Pre-K! is a great app to have for your child who is preparing to start Pre-K. This is a book that has no interaction, just pictures that clearly show a Pre-K classroom you would want for your child. Each page introduces your child to one awesome thing about going to school. Age appropriate text and the ability to record your own voice reading the story makes this a must have for your budding student.



ABCs and Opposites – Language Apps Selected for KinderTown

The OppositesThe Opposites

Subject: Language
Category: Reading, Vocabulary
Concept: Reading
Age: 6 to 8
Price (as of publishing): FREE
Device: Universal

 

The Opposites gives you 10 levels of opposite playing fun. The two kid characters in the app just can’t agree on their words! They take turns shouting words that turn into word bubbles and float to the top of the room. Your job is to tap two words that are opposites so they disappear and don’t fill up the room. You have to work through in the app, finding 12 opposites and completing a bonus round. The words start pretty easy but get progressively harder. The words are only stated aloud once, so this app is better for kids who have a strong reading foundation. There is a dictionary portion of the app for more word learning. Be careful for unintended purchases, there are many links open in this app.

 

 

Playground 3Playground 3 – ABC Edition.

Subject: Language
Category: Pre-Reading, Writing
Concept: Letters and Sounds, Letter Writing
Age: 4 to 6
Price (as of publishing): $3.99 (there is a free to try version)
Device: Universal

 

Playground 3 – ABC Edition provides 6 early letter identification and writing activities for kids which include tracing, matching and free writing. Kids are encouraged to write with crisp, clean strokes in order to reach stars and apples as part of the Yeti-Game. This playful game involves strategic apple core throwing. Parents can enter the child lock area to customize the app to word on letter names or phonics. Parents can choose from 7 different languages and set the game timer if you want to control the time your child plays. Overall, Playground 3 has a nice mix of learning activities and one fun, unique reward game that motivate kids to keep earning apples.

 

 

Animals Flip and MixAnimals Flip and Mix- ABC Cognitive Game for Kids

Subject: Language
Category: Pre-Reading, Reading
Concept: Word Play, Phonics
Age: 4 to 7
Price (as of publishing): $1.99
Device: Universal

 

Animals Flip and Mix breaks apart three syllable words for your child to rebuild. Words like cucumber, strawberry and dinosaur are paired with matching animal pictures. These words and pictures are split apart by syllable into three pieces. Kids swipe across the top, middle and bottom or the app to build real or pretend words. After building the word kids play a quick activity featuring the wacky character they just built. The games add a little bit of fun to a meaningful language experiece. If you want to app with out the games checkout Alphabet Animals I Mix.



5 Apps for Learning about the USA | Summer of Learning

Summer doesn’t need to be a repeat of the school year, but should be filled with fun and adventure.  Each week we highlight five of our favorite apps for a little bit of learning in everyday play. Stay tuned each Monday throughout the summer for a new thematic “Summer of Learning” list!

 

Apps for Learning about the USA

5 kids apps for adventuring around the current and historical USA

 

 

Ansel and Clair Paul Revere's RideAnsel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): $4.99

Device: iPad

 

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride takes kids on a historical journey to the original 13 colonies of the United States. Kids learn about early american history by traveling along with Paul Revere. Like the other excellent Ansel and Clair apps, you utilize your camera, guidebooks and on screen hot spots to systematically learn about an important time and place. The activities are engaging and fully support historical learning.

 

Geography Drive IconGeography Drive USA

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): $0.99

Device: iPad

 

Geography Drive USA tests your child’s geography knowledge of all fifty states, with a few history questions thrown in. Kids travel the highways while answering questions to unlock airports and gas stations which are essential to stay in the game. Bonus games allow them to visit the state fair to take the capital and state shape challenge and earn trophies and headlines. Overall fantastic apps that encourages kids to independently study up while incorporates a dynamic game to motivate and make learning meaningful.

 

My First Trip To Washington DCMy First Trip To Washington DC

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): $3.99

Device: Universal

 

My First Trip to Washington DC is a wonderful app for learning more about our nation’s capital. 43 pages of maps, monuments and history are narrated by three inquisitive children. The story is presented with a simple picture that is not animated but develops as you swipe the screen or penny at the bottom of the page. Tap the paper icon to read a short page about the image.

 

iStoryBooksiStoryBooks

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): FREE (with in-app purchases)

Device: Universal

 

iStory Books is one we are recommending because of the amount of content you get for free (at the time of this review). 25 books include everything from fairy tales to biographies of historical figures. Each story is presented with clear pictures and well spoken text. With this app your child gets to listen to tales from Africa, folk tales that have been told for generations or learn a little bit about important historical figures.

 

What Does The President Look LikeWhat Does The President Look Like

Learning Area: Social Studies

Price (as of publishing): $5.99

Device: iPad

 

The app looks at the history of how people learned what a president looked like, which is a very approachable topic for kids. The app is not about politics. It introduces your child to the people who have served as President. The app requires reading, so download for kids who are strong readers, or use the app alongside your child. The app presents a lot of information paired with videos, portraits and photographs. All interactive elements are highlighted with a star, but kids mostly are exploring and learning through the text.

 



Show & Tell: Meet the Insects – Village Edition

Meet the Insects Village EditionMeet the Insects: Village Edition

Subject: Science
Category: Life Science, Investigation
Age: 4 to 8
Price (as of publishing): $6.99
Device: iPad

 

Meet the Insects: Village Edition is best described as a multimedia encyclopedia. Unlike the encyclopedias of my youth, this one gives kids ways to actively engage in the learning and dig deep into the insects and ideas they are interested in.

 

There are 5 areas in the app that provided varied learning experiences:

  • Insect StoryMeet the Insects various play
  • See Insects
  • Multimedia
  • Observational Journal
  • Quiz

 

We also really enjoy the 6 high-quality short videos:

  • What are insects
  • Life Cycles of Insects
  • Dazzling Colors
  • Diverse Patterns
  • Why Do Cicadas Cry
  • What Happens at Night

 

The app has over 30 insects to explore! Kids investigate by interacting with fact pages, watching videos, perusing photos, taking quizzes, going on insect hunts and a variety of other in-app features.

 

You’ll find TONS of text in the app, but with a simple tap a narrator reads aloud the rich information. Meet the Insects gives kids a wealth of information and actually supports them to consume it. We love apps that understand that kids are smart and don’t need content “dumbed down.”

 

Make sure to spend some time with the observational journal. It is perfect for getting kids outside and looking for each insect in real life. Any app that has kids apply and expand on the digital experience really makes us smile. We don’t see enough apps that take this small extra step to get kids thinking beyond consuming content on the screen alone.

 

There is also a forest edition if you want to learn about insects that exist outside of the village and into the forest.

 

 

Activity 1: Nature Treasure Hunt

 

The “GoBookee” site has a free download of a nature treasure hunt perfect for a summer day with the kids. We have it right here on the KinderTown blog for easy printing.

 

Questions for your kids are much more open ended than most treasure hunts and include nature objectives like:

 

  • How many different colors can you find?
  • Find something that moves.
  • Make a tool, like a hammer or a drawing stick.
  • Find or name two things that all living things need to survive.

 

Page one is for kids ages 4 to 7, page to is for kids 8 to 10. We are pretty sure that with an adult either page can be tons of fun.

 

Nature Treasure Hunt
 powered by GoBookee.net

 

Activity 2: What Do Insects Like to Eat?

Butterfly

You’ll need:

  • small plates or shallow bowls
  • something sweet: syrup, soda, fruit snacks (candy)
  • something sour/bitter: lemon, pickle juice, coffee
  • something wet: ketchup, ice cube, lemonade
  • something dry: crackers, rice, chocolate

 

In your backyard or on a patio, place out four plates. Make sure you place the plates away from your home, this activity is all about attracting bugs!

 

Put one item from each category on the plates. Now wait and watch. Set a timer to go off each hour. Then go and inspect the plates. Some questions to ponder:

 

  • Which plates attract more insects?
  • Does any foods trap the insects?
  • Do the insects move any of the foods?

 

Continue the experiment for as long as you want. It is fun to leave the plates out overnight and to run out in the morning and see what happened.

 



Playing with Numbers – Math Apps Selected for KinderTown

YodelOh Math MountainYodelOh™ Math Mountain

Subject: Math
Category: Number Sense
Concept: Operations
Age: 6 to 8
Price (as of publishing): $2.99
Device: Universal

 

YodelOh Math Mountain is a fun math operations fluency app. Your job is to solve math problems from a series of multiple choice numbers. Keep answering correctly to make sure Hans doesn’t fall off the cliff. Obstacles and bonus abound in the game play which keeps you on your toes. Overall, a fun app for building math fluency with the additional bonus of a game play that helps kids stick to the task and want to challenge themselves to go back and do better.

 

 

VersaMateVersaMateVersaMate Fractions for Schools

Subject: Math
Category: Geometry
Concept: Fractions
Age: 7 to 8
Price (as of publishing): FREE (with in-app purchase) & $4.99
Device: iPad

 

VersaMate is a fun game for practicing a vast amount of learning with fractions. The free portion of the app includes games for identify fractions and equivalent fractions. With in-app purchase you can get a pack of over 20 more fraction challenges. Play against a friend or the computer to see who can earn the most blocks by dragging and dropping fraction choices to the correct numbers. Gameplay is engaging and thoughtfully supports the learning by providing examples when a problem is solved incorrectly. Get the full version without in app purchase, VersaMate Fractions is good for Schools.

 

 

KidsCalc 100KidsCalc 100

Subject: Math
Category: Number Sense
Concept: Operations, Counting, Number Recognition
Age: 4 to 7
Price (as of publishing): FREE
Device: iPad

 

KidsCalc 100 is a free app for kids to play with numbers 0 to 100 and basic operations. The platform is a 100s chart where you can add and manipulate dots to count, add, subtract and multiply. There are multiple skins so kids can switch between standard dots and working with sheep in a grassy field. The app allows for lots of possibilities, but is not a game.



5 Apps for Making Music | Summer of Learning

Summer doesn’t need to be a repeat of the school year, but should be filled with fun and adventure.  Each week we highlight five of our favorite apps for a little bit of learning in everyday play. Stay tuned each Monday throughout the summer for a new thematic “Summer of Learning” list!

Apps for learning music

 

5 kids apps for making music

 

 

ABC MusicABC Music

Learning Area: Art/Music

Price (as of publishing): $2.99

Device: Universal

 

ABC Music brings learning through research and discovery to our youngest learners. Traditional encyclopedia-style presentation combined with accurate sounds, videos and quality images makes the ABC apps from Peapod Labs truly special. Your child will be learning letters and words while they are exposed to information about musical instruments. We also recommend Peapods Labs because they consistently update and improve their apps. Hopefully they will add speech to their interesting facts for non-readers.

 

 

Cat Doorman's Little Red WagonCat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon

Learning Area: Art/Music

Price (as of publishing): FREE

Device: iPad

 

Cat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon from Night & Day Studios takes kids on a musical and interactive journey. Enter the app, choose an instrument and start walking with your little red wagon. As the app sings along you visit the bakery, dairy, garden and more places to pick up what you need for your picnic. The song finishes as you enjoy a messy meal with your friends. Each verse in the song has specific graphics with interaction for kids. An enjoyable app for kids who love repetitive songs and interacting with hidden surprises on the screen.

 

 

Dr. Seuss BandDr. Seuss Band

Learning Area: Art/Music

Price (as of publishing): $0.99

Device: Universal

 

Dr. Seuss Band is a highly motivating, learn without even knowing it app for kids. A scale of circles is found at the bottom of the screen which extends to three octaves of notes by a quick tap of well placed arrows. A goofy horn that with a swipe can take on a new look and a new sound fills the top of the screen. Follow the colorful “Guitar Hero” style cues to play along with an seemingly endless amount of “Seussical” melodies with three levels of difficulty. Unlock more songs or instruments parts by reaching set scores or through in-app purchase.

 

 

Morton Subotnick's Pitch PainterMorton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter

Learning Area: Art/Music

Price (as of publishing): $3.99

Device: iPad

 

Pitch Painter is not just for kids but the whole family. Create your own compositions with a variety of interesting instruments and a delightful, colorful design. The beauty of this app is that your 4 year old can listen and play with sounds while your 14 year old composes simple pieces. Parents, look through the instructions page to get a feel for all the features. Through discovery and exploration music comes alive with Pitch Painter.

 

 

Musical PaintMusical Paint

Learning Area: Art/Music

Price (as of publishing): $1.99

Device: iPad

 

Musical Paint is a breath of fresh air in the educational app drawing market. In this app kids are not given an abundance of drawing tools, stickers or other features found in many drawing apps. Kids choose from a few colors and are tasked with creating art and music jointly. As your child’s finger moves across the screen different musical sounds and pitches match their movements.