What makes the iPad so amazing is how it lets kids engage in activities that are either traditionally too expensive or too difficult for little hands. Monster Physics is a perfect example of how touch screen play benefits our kids.
Our parent review team was the first group to get their hands on this app. Both a 4 year old and 8 year played alongside Mom. Amazingly, the 4 year old was able to set up strategies and help in building machines to solve each mission. As we read her review we got our first glimpse of all the value in Monster Physics.
What happens in Monster Physics?
Start your game play with a supportive tutorial. The tutorial teaches and progresses you through each of the physics rules and tools you use in the app. Spend some time in the “Learn” area of the app to read kid friendly definitions and modeling of physics terms.
Play 50 challenging problem solving missions that may stump any engineers you have in your home. Strategically use over 60 different parts to complete missions. You don’t have to play in any specific order so encourage kids pursue their interests and challenge themselves.
For the kids who love to invent and create, the “Build” area will be their favorite place. Customize your own invention with the vast amount of tools in the app. Even choose your own scenery and how much gravity you want for your environment. The possibilities are endless!
Design and create your own monsters (up to 5 profiles) that play the leading role in each mission. You can get completely absorbed in the monster making features! Listen for the funny eating sounds these adorable little creatures make.
Overall, the open ended play is both challenging and entertaining. Kids persevered to complete missions that were at first attempt too difficult. We encourage you to play as a family as there are no hints provided. Beyond the missions this app has an area that gives kids the tools to create their own inventions. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself replaying many of the missions and creating your own rocket powered vehicles after your kids go to bed.
Activity 1: Sequenced Movement Cards
Try out this sequencing game with your young child who is just getting ready for manipulating gears, pulleys and rocket engines on an app. Sequencing play encourages kids to apply strategies for organizing multiple steps like those found in Monster Physics.
What You’ll Need:
• Construction paper
• Kids poems, songs or stories
We recommend starting with the story The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
Other good stories for sequencing:
• The Napping House
• Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Read through the story to get familiar with the order and animals that the little old lady swallows. Draw pictures or find pictures online for each of the swallowed animals in the story. Clearly write a label for each picture. Once you have your cards created you may want to laminate them so they last a bit longer.
There are many ways that you can use your sequencing cards now. For quiet play your child can lay out the cards in order they are presented in the story and retell the story. For more active play kids can lay out the cards on the floor and jump between characters retelling the story and acting out each part. Leave the cards with your child and watch a brand new literacy experience emerge.
We also highly recommend the storybook sequencing activity with The Very Quiet Cricket that comes with printable cards.
Activity 2: Gears!
What You’ll Need:
• Potatoes and a sharp knife
• A box of toothpicks
• Nails or drinking straws
• Boxes, cardboard, or foam board
If you don’t have a box of awesome gears, we suggest making some of your own. Start by slicing the potato into rounds about ½ inch thick. Place the nail (or a small segment of a drinking straw if you need something safer) through the middle of each round to act as an axle. Insert 6 toothpicks, evenly spaced, deeply around the edge of each potato round. Now you have a set of potato gears!
Place your gears onto cardboard so that the toothpicks are interlocked. Make sure each axle is secured into the cardboard (which is why nails work well). As you spin one potato gear the other interlocked gears will begin to turn. Consider adding a vertical gear attached to a cardboard box to add complexity.
Feeling really inventive? Try building your own gears from junkmail and cardstock.