Subject: Social Studies, Language
Category: People & Places, Pre-Reading, Comprehension
Target Age: 3,4,5
Price (as of publishing): $1.99
Swapsies introduces children to 10 different community helpers, their uniforms, professional items and vehicles. Choose from 6 characters to navigate the activities which are organized in a playful child focused experiences. 3 games include:
- “Mix Up” gets kids swiping through pieces of uniforms to make a match. The reward is getting to play through an experience that community helper would do.
- Learn about each helper by answering questions and following directions in the “Quiz Me” section. The bonus round is a colorful seek and find!
- Tap the circle in the upper right hand corner to “spin the arrow” and get to play the games from the “Mix Up” section.
This is an app to have for playful learning about all the important jobs that people do in our community. Great for both the classroom and at home. There are no levels or parent information in the app, largely due to the gameplay being so intuitive you don’t really need it. We love how Swapsies inspires increased sophistication in imaginary play as kids are easily able to mimic and try out the roles of these 10 jobs in their playtime.
Spinlight Studios has 3 more educational apps selected for KinderTown:
AlphaTots & AlphaTots Pocket Ages: 3,4,5
How kids learn: The alphabet is illuminated with bright colors, interactive games and engaging voice. Each letter is paired with “action-based verbs that encourage young minds to ‘do’ as they learn”.
TallyTots & TallyTots Pocket Ages: 3,4,5
How kids learn: Numbers 1 through 20 are presented first by counting to the number, introduced with a short game and reinforced through tapping and counting while playing.
Operation Math Ages: 6,7,8
How kids learn: Makes practicing math facts unbelievably fun! Knowing how to quickly compute without a calculator gives kids an advantage when solving more sophisticated problems. With this app your child will actually ask to practice their math problems.
Show What You Know
Activity 1: Prop Boxes
After spending time on Swapsies your child will enjoy some time organizing their various toy cars, dress up clothes, and toy box items into prop boxes. The objective of this activity is to gather objects that support make-believe play.
1. Boxes – shoe boxes, copy paper boxes or paper grocery bags
2. A space in your child’s room or play room to store the prop boxes
3. Time over the week to go through toy boxes and maybe a trip to the dollar store
Brainstorm with your child what jobs they may want to create prop boxes for. Start with trying to remember the 10 community helpers from Swapsies. Choose 2 or 3 to build over the week. Label each box with the name of the job and add a picture to help for easy identification. Encourage your child to think about items would go in each of the prop boxes.
Ask questions like: “What does a baker need to do their job?” “What kind of things to firefighters use to fight fires?” “What did we see last time we went to the doctor’s office?” While thinking about what you want in each box take this time to do some writing. A meaningful writing activity like creating a written list done by both child and parent yields tremendous benefits for your child.
Have a few ideas for each box written down? It is time to start filling the prop boxes. Hopefully you have many of the props in your home. If you don’t, a quick trip to the dollar store will help you find many objects to add.
Activity 2: Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride is a great little song and movement activity that kids will enjoy using while running around the yard or the house! Start by showing your child this fun little rhyme. Add some background music and we think you will enjoy this game just as much as your little one.
Tip-toe up, tip-toe down. (Go up on your tip-toes and then back down with the words)
Start the motor and turn around. (Pretend to use a key to turn over the motor and then turn around)
Spread your arms to the side. (Arms spread out wide)
And twist and twist for a helicopter ride. (twist side to side)
At this point your child takes off running!
Now don’t stop with just the helicopter ride. There are many other vehicles you can act out. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Race Car