Apps That Teach Telling Time Concepts Through Games

It’s never too early for your child to become aware of telling time; read our reviews of quality apps that teach these concepts in a fun way.

It’s never too early for your child to become aware of telling time: time of day, when certain activities occur, what time of day you eat breakfast, or what time someone arrives home from work. Also, because of the digital age in which we live, be sure that you have both analog and digital clocks in your home and have your child compare them at different times of the day.

 

Telling Time App Reviews

 

Todo Telling Time

todo

Todo Telling Time is an app that includes six games that develop time-telling skills. There are three levels of game play included in each of the games. KinderTown likes how concepts about the clock are developed in several of the games, such as counting by 5s and arranging the numbers on the clock. Todo Telling Time also includes games about time that include understanding the days of the week, the months of the year, and the calendar. The app also includes a fun quiz section that parents can use to inform them about their child’s development of these skills. The app is priced at $4.99 and contains three levels of content that should last from approximately kindergarten through second grade.

 

Interactive Telling Time – Learning to tell time is fun

interactivetellingtime

Interactive Telling Time presents time in a variety of interactive ways. Your child can learn about digital and analog clocks by playfully experimenting with artful clocks. Watch day and night modeled as your child interacts with hours and minutes. The app provides a variety of games for children of different ages in your home or classroom. Older children will be able to set the clock to the minute in the Set the Time! game, while younger children will enjoy assembling the clock in the Play Puzzle game.  Time and clock vocabulary is thoughtfully presented in the app. There is a quiz section that provides the parent with an assessment of their child’s knowledge of time. The app does have a fun aquarium play area where students can earn stars to buy fish or objects for their aquarium. This is a lite version to try out for free but it has ads and pop-ups; proceed with caution before handing that version over to your child. The app costs $2.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

 

Quick Clocks – Telling Time

quick clocks

Quick Clocks has three different areas for learning. The first section, Find the Clock, shows your child the time, and they must select the correct clock, all while being timed. The app records your child’s time, and then they can compete against their personal best score. This app is great for kids who like competition or obtaining a goal. The second section allows your child to set the clock to the given time, again while being timed to see how many problems they can complete in a given time frame. The last section is called Question Time, where the child writes the time with their finger and the app tells whether the answer is correct. The app does have the ability to have multiple users and remembers each user’s scores in order for them to compete against themselves. Each section has 3 levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The app costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

 

Looking for even more great early math apps? Check out more here.

 

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Develop Phonemic Awareness with These Educational Apps

One of the most important ways to set your children up for success is to develop their phonemic awareness.

As parents, we all want our children to be successful in the process of learning to read. There are many things parents can do prior to that point in order to set their children up for success. One of the most important is to develop your child’s phonemic awareness. Research shows that phonemic awareness is the number one predictor of a child’s success at reading. It makes sense to approach the development of this skill in many different ways, including apps! Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words. This is done through activities that help the child break those sounds apart, identify the individual sounds, and then change a sound in a word (cat to bat). Check out these apps that help your child develop phonemic awareness.

 

Phonological Awareness Lab

phonological awareness app

This app was designed by a speech language pathologist and covers the different parts of phonemic awareness through activities in a room that looks like a science lab. The activities cover skills such as rhyming, blending sounds, and counting syllables; however, the app does not provide any type of reward or entertainment value. Even when children successfully complete the activities, there are no rewards or free play. The app would be great as an assessment tool for parents or teachers, and the app does record your child’s scores and progress. The app also allows for tracking of multiple students. The app costs $19.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6.

 

Dora ABCs Vol 3: Ready to Read!

Dora

Dora ABCs Vol 3 takes your child to a frog fiesta while helping them blend and change sounds to make words. The phonics games have your child blend simple three-letter words together by themselves or with the support of tapping the letters to hear the sounds. Drag and drop the matching picture next to the word. Then the app gives you a new word, and you have to change the initial sound to build the new word; for example, change car to jar. The frog games that your child can play after the phonics practice keep children interested in the app. This app is not very long but practices important early pre-reading skills. The app costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

Monkey Word School Adventure

monkey word

Monkey Word School Adventure uses mini-games to help kids get started on the road to reading. Games include spelling, letter identification, rhyming, and much more. Kids love the fast-paced and engaging activities. Children are rewarded with special pieces to add to their own terrarium. Parents get so much value out of the descriptive settings page that break down the learning in each mini-game. The app auto-adjusts based on your child’s play or gives the controls to the adults for customizing the app. Either way, you will know what your child is working on! The app costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

If you are looking for more apps to support your child in pre-reading, check these ones out.

 

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The 7 Types of Educational Apps

Many educators and parents are searching for educational apps that provide the best virtual environment for learning to take place. Generally, this means apps that deliver meaningful content with an in-depth experience incorporating discovery and challenge.

 

Many educators and parents are searching for educational apps that provide the best virtual environment for learning to take place.

These apps are often “free-play” or “choice-filled” games that encourage kids to engage in their own learning. Apps that integrate depth of content and choice empower learners and construct understanding. These apps have activities designed to support the child as they progress and master tasks. This keeps your child in the ideal zone for learning , building on past concepts and challenging them to try something new. Feedback is often provided for parents or teachers through email to let you know how your child is progressing.

 

However, a lot of educational apps don’t fit this ideal or only offer one of the types of learning experiences listed above. Often they don’t offer children independent choices, and they stay on the surface of educational subjects instead of diving into deep thinking. Is there value in these types of apps, or should parents and teachers not use them? Just because an app doesn’t meet the ideal doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the other experiences. Completing math drills, reviewing grammar skills, or playing puzzle games can support your child’s overall development, too.

 

To help me make sense of the different types of educational apps and the learning experiences they provide, I have created 7 overlapping categories. Sounds like a lot? It is. Keep in mind that many apps fit into two or three different categories because each provides something a little different to a child’s learning experience.

 

Breaking Down the 7 Categories

 

1. Playful Learning

These are the apps that I tend to enjoy the most. They are silly, funny, and open-ended. Just because the educational content doesn’t take the center stage doesn’t mean that your child isn’t learning through play. Play is primary mode of learning for most young children. These apps mirror the free play your child enjoys at home, such as pretending in the kitchen, driving trucks, building with blocks, or playing dress-up. You want these educational apps for your kids because they encourage creativity and lead to more creative, playful experiences away from the app. For example, after playing with a virtual science lab for kids, my daughter asked if she could freeze soap bubbles to see what would happen to the solution. Good examples of this type of app would be the apps made by Toca Boca and Dr. Panda. Try out Toca Lab for a playful science lab your children will love!

 

2. eBooks

When reviewing an eBook for educational content, not just a good read, I look for the experience to encourage learning through listening and observation. eBooks that use meaningful interactivity (not just tap to see what happens) for extra practice and play also fall into this category. It is always exciting to find stories that use interactivity to connect learning experiences and vocabulary to real life. Your child benefits from hearing stories read aloud in order to develop vocabulary, an understanding of story lines, and a love of books, especially during the pre-reading years. Auryn HD- Teddy’s Day, Cinderella by Nosy Crow, and Goodnight Moon are some of my family’s favorites.

 

3. Workbooks/Worksheet

These apps usually generate a question and ask the child to choose between three or four choices. I wouldn’t encourage this kind of app for play time, but why not use them for homework and extra practice? Especially if you are replacing the time your child is spending with sheets of paper and pencils, the use of these apps can have many more benefits. They’re great for fluency, test prep, and direct one-step content practice. Be present when your child uses this type of app because often they can choose the wrong answer several times, which creates a less beneficial learning experience. Try out Todo Math and Bluster! Deluxe as examples of workbook/worksheet types of educational apps.

 

4. Puzzles and Traditional Games

There are now many puzzle, memory, matching, and other classic early learning games available in app form. These apps have the potential to support cognitive development in the same way as traditional games, such as encouraging reasoning skills through a game of Go Fish or developing spatial skills through a classic puzzle. I still believe it is beneficial to dust off the traditional puzzles once in a while, but these apps are really fun for kids, too. There are extra benefits of developing social skills when they include multiple children. Try these apps made for more than one child.

 

5. Theme Experiences

These apps let your child delve into themes that really interest them. If your child can’t get enough of dinosaurs, why not grab a few dinosaur apps and let them explore? This is similar to going to the library and grabbing a few books. Your child is absorbing so much of their passion that it is hard to keep up, so include iPad apps in their quest for new knowledge. Check out the Science and Social Studies categories in KinderTown to find apps that correlate to your child’s current interests. Barefoot World Atlas, appropriate for ages 4-8, and Geography Drive USA, ages 6-8, are favorites in my house.

 

6. Interactive Encyclopedias

This one is easy – you get to see videos and images and even play games right in the app. Do I need to say more? These are beneficial because your child is exploring topics of interest. For example, if your child is struggling with understanding the life cycle of plants, an app like this might be the way to make the connections to the content they need. ABC Aquarium is an excellent example of this type of app, appropriate for the youngest learners.

 

7. BYOC for Kids – Build Your Own Content

These apps are less game-like in structure and have more of an open design that allow kids to create their own unique activities from scratch. The benefit of these apps is building what you want instead of only using pre-made offerings. Create your own machine, design your own work of art, or build a virtual world. These apps are beneficial for parents who want to create a special experience for their child above and beyond traditional learning. Try out Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe, Faces iMake – Premium!, and Toca Builders for engaging experiences that are sure to tempt you to jump in and create alongside your child.

A variety of app options provide an opportunity to search for what is going to suit each child best. There is much more out there than the “gold standard” that gives a valuable learning experience for your child. KinderTown can help you discover the latest and best educational apps for your child.

 

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Buy This, Not That: Word Games

KinderTown reviews lots of apps for kids that never make it to the KinderTown store. This week I thought that I would share an app I didn’t choose, and why, and recommend a better replacement that exists, but may not be on a banner ad in the iTunes store right now. This will be the first in a series of posts called “Buy This, Not That App.”

 

Futaba Classroom Games for Kids comes highly recommended as a multifaceted game to use with your family or in your classroom.

This week: Word Games

Buy This…Futaba: Word Games for Kids

Futaba Classroom Games for Kids comes highly recommended as a multifaceted game to use with your family or in your classroom. Read KinderTown's review.

Futaba Classroom Games for Kids comes highly recommended as a multifaceted game to use with your family or in your classroom. The app is completely customizable for what you want kids to learn and play. This is one of the few apps designed completely for social play. Either play with the provided content or create your own. Up to four players can sit around the iPad. Tap “start” and the game begins. One game might have the center showing a picture of a pig. The first player to tap the word “pig”  on their panel scores a point. After winning three rounds, the child is awarded a Futaba which is a small seedling. Futaba comes with several learning sets, but what makes this app exceptional is the fact that you have complete control of the content. Design your games by using the camera on your device or add your own text. The latest update provides an option to use Dropbox to upload images. The amount of customization allows both parents and teachers to get creative. The options seem limitless. Futaba is free, but KinderTown recommends the in-app purchase for $2.99 to unlock all the features.

 

Not That…Mad Libs

madlibs

At first glance, Mad Libs appears to be an educational app for kids. I remember playing Mad Libs as a kid, so I assumed that today’s digital version would be even better. I assumed the app would read aloud directions to children, give them feedback on the words inputted, make suggestions for nouns, and detect whether the words inputted fit the grammatical category. These are all the things my mother did for me as a child to create a learning experience. I was disappointed to learn that it did not include these features, and appeared as sadly lacking in interaction as it was when I was a kid. When the app opens, the words and graphics appeared fuzzy on the iPad.  To get started, children choose a theme for their story, for example, bowling. The app assumes children know what to do, and can easily begin adding nouns, adjectives, etc. in the appropriate blanks. The app also accepted non-words typed in by children (tlsdjgs), and the app does not evaluate if the word is actually a noun or not. The app does provide a sliding bar at the top to define what a plural noun is, and give examples. This was the best feature I encountered.

 

Once the story was finished, the children had to read the story themselves, and most of the time the story didn’t make any sense based on the words that children picked. The app congratulated the child for their work with the words, “Word, Playa!” regardless of the quality of words inputted. This is not how I think children should be given feedback. The bottom line is that Mad Libs does not aid in a child’s comprehension and understanding of language skills, so why not spend your money on an app that does? Don’t fall for the nostalgia you associate with the name Mad Libs.

 

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“Cards” Gets a Digital Spin!

Duckie Deck Card Wars is one you will certainly want to have in your bag of tricks!

Duckie Deck Card Wars is one you will certainly want to have in your bag of tricks! Card Wars is simply a deck of cards on your iPhone or iPad. As you start the game within the app, the screen is divided so that each player can sit on one side of the device. Tap to play your card and swipe to collect your cards. As in the game of “war,” the app prompts you to lay additional cards to see who is the winner of “war.” The app is simple, yet engaging enough to keep kids’ attention. KinderTown likes how the app can be played with another person. Have your child play it with a grandparent, cousin or friend! In the game children are comparing the values of the numbers that appear on the played cards.

 

Duckie Deck Card Wars

The app could improve by including an automatic or a “versus” the computer option for those moments when two people are not available. KinderTown would also suggest a home button to exit the game at any time, and fun options such as choosing the type of cards you use, different music options or changing the color of the background, the little things that kids love! There are no in-app advertisements or in-app purchases, which makes this a great choice for children. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-8. Overall, this is a great addition to your iPhone or iPad.

 

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Quick Math Jr. Loved by KinderTown!

KinderTown loves the new app, Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things.

 

KinderTown loves the new app, Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things.

Quick Math Jr. is uniquely made to capture kids’ attention and teaches about counting, ordering numbers, addition, subtraction, and handwriting numbers.

 

KinderTown loves the new app, Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. Read KinderTown's review.

The app is centered around colorful and playful monsters. Three of five different game areas are randomly selected from when the game play begins. They are represented by a bus, a light bulb, a pair of eyes, a house, and a train. One of the greatest features of the games is that they automatically adjust to your child’s learning level so they are appropriately challenged as they learn.

 

In the bus game, children must put the same number of monsters onto the bus as the number shown. KinderTown likes how the monsters occasionally “pair up” to assist children in skip counting by two’s to reach the desired number and that the bus coordinates to a ten frame used to gain a visual understanding of the number ten.

 

In the train game, children have to place the numbers in the correct order on the train. As the levels progress, the train shows skip counting number patterns such as 2’s, 3’s, 5’s, and 10’s counting forward and backwards.

 

KinderTown loves the new app, Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. Read KinderTown's review.

In the light bulb game, children are shown a certain number of monsters underneath the light for a few seconds, then the child must select that number from the dice shown below after the light goes off.

 

In the game represented by the pair of eyes, children are given the opportunity to practice writing their numbers. The app aims to detect your child’s handwriting to adapt to their style. This feature can also be turned off.

 

In the game represented by the house,  Number Memory Mansion, children must remember how many monsters go in the house and exit the house, arriving at the final number of monsters hidden within the house.

 

KinderTown loves the new app, Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. Read KinderTown's review.

Throughout the game, children can earn different facial features for the monsters, that then appear within the app. Our child testers loved this feature and the ability to personalize their own monster. The app allows for multiple students to have profiles, so if you have a classroom or multiple children at this level, the app will support each child’s individual development. The app is appropriate for children who can recognize numbers and number concepts starting around 4, through the ability to add and subtract numbers and memorize the facts usually around second grade or age 7/8. Parents, also read the parent section to read different examples of age-appropriate number games that can be played offline to support your child’s learning and development of numbers.

 

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Math+iPad=Fun!

Add some fun to your math learning time on the iPad with these math apps!

Add some fun to your math learning time on the iPad with these math apps!

 

Dragon Shapes

Dragon Shapes is an app based on the traditional tangram shapes. Read KinderTown's review.

Dragon Shapes is an app based on the traditional tangram shapes. The puzzles are presented in a sequential order in order to introduce the shapes and teach children how to rotate each shape to create a match in the puzzle. It also develops relationships between the shapes: for example, how two triangles can be made into a square. KinderTown also likes the light bulb feature in the corner that children can tap when they are stuck to get a hint. The puzzles progressively get harder and the shape outlines are dropped as children advance through the four levels. Use the hint button to see the outlines as needed. This app is developing visual-spatial skills, as well as concepts about shapes. There are 50 puzzles to play, so the app is sure to grow with your child. This app is appropriate for children ages 6-9, is free to download, and includes the level 1 puzzles for free. The additional content of 50 puzzles is available as an in-app purchase for $2.99.

 

Shape Arts

Puzzles are presented, and children must match the shapes to solve the puzzles using the tangram pieces. Read KinderTown's review.

Shape Arts comes from the same developer as Dragon Shapes, and has many of the same characteristics, though its age range is somewhat broader: 5-10. Puzzles are presented, and children must match the shapes to solve the puzzles using the tangram pieces. KinderTown likes how Shape Arts is different from other tangram apps because it requires the children to rotate the pieces to correctly place them in the puzzles. This challenges children and develops their visualization skills more than if the shapes do not have to be rotated, and more closely matches the traditional tangram puzzle play with the hands on blocks. When the hands on blocks are used, they are not aligned for children to complete the puzzle, and they must use problem solving skills to complete the puzzles, rotating the pieces . This app also includes a free play area, a popular activity for younger children. After children create a picture in the free play area, they can submit their picture to the library for others to solve. As children progress through the app they are able to collect marbles as prizes. The app is $2.99 and does not include any in-app purchases.

 

Todo Telling Time

Todo Telling Time is an app that includes six games that develop time-telling skills. Read KinderTown's review.

Todo Telling Time is an app that includes six games that develop time-telling skills. There are three levels of game play included in each of the games. KinderTown likes how the concepts about the clock are developed in several of the games, such as counting by 5’s and arranging the numbers on the clock. Todo Telling Time also includes games about time that include understanding the days of the week, months of the year and understanding the calendar. The app also includes a fun quiz section that parents could use to inform them of their child’s progress. The app is priced at $4.99, and contains three levels of content that should last from approximately Kindergarten through second grade. This is the best telling time app KinderTown has reviewed!

 

 

Teachley: Addimal Adventure

Addimal Adventure is an app that teaches addition strategies to children and provides practice using the strategies. Read KinderTown's reviews.

Addimal Adventure is an app that teaches addition strategies to children and provides practice using the strategies. The app introduces the strategies through character interactions and clever animations. The animals teach the addition strategies to children, then allow time to practice the strategy through a hands-on numberline and blocks. The addition strategies introduced are: Count All, Count On, Near Doubles, Tens, Memory, Memory with Hint. This app focuses on one very specific math skill usually learned between the ages of 4-5. The app is free to download and available for iPad only.

 

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Apps That Promote Problem Solving

Problem Solving apps are perfect for your children to explore on a rainy day, a long car ride, or a day off from school.

Problem Solving apps are perfect for your children to explore on a rainy day, a long car ride, or a day off from school. Check our KinderTown’s top picks for developing problem solving skills.

 

Thinkrolls

In Thinkrolls, rolling character balls take the stage as your child solves increasingly complex problems to allow their character to progress through the maze. Read KinderTown's review.

In Thinkrolls, rolling character balls take the stage as your child solves increasingly complex problems to allow their character to progress through the maze. There are two levels of game play, easy and hard. Easy is recommended for children 3-5, and hard for children ages 5-8. KinderTown recommends that all children begin at the easy level to understand the goals of the puzzles. Your child does not have to spend a long time at this level to be ready to move to the harder levels, but this will set them up for success. A blinking “redo” symbol flashes in the corner to assist your child when they are stuck and unable to complete the challenge. The challenge is then reset with the maze.

 

The challenges in the mazes come in the form of obstacles. Some unique obstacles include fire blocks, ice blocks, balloons, and KinderTown’s favorite, the jelly block. The jelly block allows your character to jump up from one area to another. Another child tester favorite was the fire block. Watch out! If your character rolls into the fire block, it will turn black and burnt, which our child testers loved! However, the goal is to not become burnt. Children eventually solved the puzzles after experiencing the burnt characters. As the levels progress, children have to use visualization skills to predict the cause and effect of several “moves” in the puzzle. Concepts about physics and chemistry are sprinkled along the way when children must make decisions about the moving gear box, figure out how to make the balloon pop and move the ice to squelch the fire. The app offers an amazing amount of content in the 90 levels of easy game play and 90 levels of hard game play. Many different players’ games are stored within the app by the labels “Player 1″ ,”Player 2.” Change the “Player 1” to your own child’s name by double tapping to store different games for multiple children within the app. Be sure to read the Chapter descriptions in the settings section for parents in order to have a complete understanding of all the challenges presented in each level or chapter. There are nine levels of game play included so the app is long lasting! Thinkrolls is a truly unique app priced at $2.99, available for iPhone and iPad, and is recommended for children ages 3-7.

 

Twelve a Dozen

Twelve a Dozen is a game based in the town of Dozenopolis in which the number 12 must solve puzzles in order to save the town. Read KinderTown's review.

Twelve a Dozen is a game based in the town of Dozenopolis in which the number 12 must solve puzzles in order to save the town. The fictitious town is buried beneath a broken pixel on a calculator. Twelve, the main character, must progress through the world in order to save Dozenopolis by solving problems and math number sentences. Twelve is accompanied by her friend “Dot,” a helpful decimal point. The app does have a creative story line and dark graphics. Your child should have a solid understanding of addition and subtraction to use the app effectively.

 

As the levels progress, concepts about multiplication and division are presented and must be solved. Twelve a Dozen uses creative numblings, which are number characters that you use to solve problems. Twelve is the main character but her number screen changes when other numblings are added or subtracted from her. KinderTown likes how the app allows you to rewind or use hints, and includes checkpoints along the way. This app would be well-suited for children who are typically at the end of first grade, or at a second grade level, or ages 6-8.

 

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Developing Social Skills with Apps

Check out these apps to assist you in working with your child on social skill development.

All children develop their social skills at different times and at different rates. Some children need extra support or direct instruction in the area of social skills in order to aide in the development of age-appropriate behaviors. Check out these apps to assist you in working with your child on social skill development.

 

A Little Book About Feelings

A Little Book About Feelings is an eBook to help your child understand and learn to express the emotions they are feeling. Read KinderTown's review.

A Little Book About Feelings is an eBook to help your child understand and learn to express the emotions they are feeling. The book is a great introduction to the concept of feelings or a study on different types of feelings. This app was created with the popular “Ruby Studio” that has a line of children books and activities that encourage development of emotional literacy. The story is filled with cute, fuzzy characters that express and share their emotions. The story book pages are created with intriguing artwork and colorful pictures. Ruby narrates a story that helps children understand that emotions change often and how important it is to talk about the emotions we are feeling. There are some interactive elements in the app but mostly it is a story that children will benefit from hearing over and over again. The book is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is $.99.

 

Avokiddo Emotions

Avokiddo Emotions opens with Avokiddo’s artistically created characters. Read KinderTown's review.

Avokiddo Emotions opens with Avokiddo’s artistically created characters. Tap on the zebra, sheep or giraffe to play with the character. Next, objects fall onto the screen, and your child gets to choose which ones to attach to the character. For example, a big straw hat turns the character into a beach loving animal. With each object and scene, the characters display emotions associated with the scene and objects. Decide which foods to feed the characters to see how they will react and if they will like pumpkin, watermelon, or a sandwich. You can save your picture to your camera roll while playing or pull the lever to have all new objects come into the scene. Through this type of play, young children are learning about emotions, cause and effect, and body language. Sit with your child and discuss the emotions portrayed. Enjoy the artistic characters and play with their emotions and fun props. Avokiddo Emotions is appropriate for ages 3-5, and is $2.99.

 

Feel Electric!

Feel Electric supports children by helping them to learn about emotions. Read KinderTown's review.

Feel Electric supports children by helping them to learn about emotions. Games encourage children to describe how they are feeling, read facial expressions and provides vocabulary to help express themselves. There are three main areas for students to choose from; My Life, My Games and My Stuff. In the My Life section, children can make their own Mood Dude, Mood Tale or Moodosphere based on their own experiences. The My Games area allows for game play based on emotions with three different games. The My Stuff area is a personalized center for pictures, videos and music within the app. The app is based on the PBS show The Electric Company and uses the characters from the show within the app. Spoken text supports this text rich environment. Real, energetic people narrate the app with lots of expression. This app is excellent for children who struggle with their emotions or need help understanding the emotions of others. The app is free and appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

First Words Feelings

First Words: Feelings supports readers to build feeling words by letter and sound. Read KinderTown's review.

First Words: Feelings supports readers to build feeling words by letter and sound. A lot of support is provided for children starting on the journey to becoming a reader and ultimately will help with writing through increasing vocabulary and providing spelling practice. Each feeling word is shown with a corresponding picture to describe the feeling. Parents can set up the appropriate environment for their child by adjusting the variety of settings. 38 feeling words paired with vibrant faces and options for parent customization is what makes this app a success. The app is $1.99 and is appropriate for children 4-7.

 

Moody Monster Manor

Moody Monster Manor addresses different feelings in a fun, less direct way. Read KinderTown's review.

Moody Monster Manor addresses different feelings in a fun, less direct way. This app would lead a discussion on feelings and includes fun games and characters around the theme of feelings. Some of the delightful characters include Wonda Worried, Confused Carl, Hungry Hand and Scared Sam. The app is filled with bright colors and different areas within the manor for kids to enter. For example, Wanda Worried is worried about finishing her homework. Children have to identify the monsters who are displaying a particular emotion during the game. There is also a “Meet the Monsters” area where you can see the emotion associated with each monster. Parents, this app would open a conversation about emotions with your youngest learner. The app is free and is appropriate for children ages 3-4.

 

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KinderTown Flips Over Osmo!

Osmo comes with a stand and a mirror that attached to the iPad and allows for the integration of real objects into the play associated with the iPad.

My Osmo product arrived this week, and KinderTown was giddy with excitement! Osmo is a unique game system for iPad. Osmo comes with a stand and a mirror that attaches to the iPad and allows for the integration of real objects into the play associated with the iPad. There are 3 apps that can be used with the Osmo system. When you open your Osmo system, assemble the red mirror device onto the iPad, and the iPad on to the stand. Download the free apps and you are ready to begin.

 

Osmo Tangram

The Osmo Tangram kit comes with tangram pieces that interact with the iPad. Read KinderTown's review.

The Osmo Tangram kit comes with tangram pieces that interact with the iPad. Download the free Osmo Tangram app to get started. Osmo offers a nice “getting started” section to familiarize your child with the use of the pieces and their interaction with the screen. The child must arrange the tangram pieces to match the on screen arrangement. While constructing the pictures, your child is developing important visual spatial skills. After your child completes the “getting started” section, the app offers different pictures for your child to choose from to construct with the tangram pieces. The app also indicates the level of the pictures from easiest to hardest by color coding them yellow, orange and red. The yellow puzzles offer color clues and the orange puzzles offer black and white shapes. The app does offer a hint button if needed to complete the puzzles. The hardest level offers just one solid black outside line. Arranging the tangram pieces was challenging, engaging and also fun to complete with a friend.

 

Osmo Words

Osmo Words is played with the letter tiles. Read KinderTown's review.

Osmo Words is played with the letter tiles. One set of letter tiles is blue and the other is red. To play, you can either play alone or with a friend.  To compete with a friend was challenging and loads of fun! Osmo Words shows you a picture and the number of coordinating letter tiles. For example, a picture of a tree and 4 blank tiles. You must race your competitor to see who can throw the correct word tiles out first. The letters can be tossed into the playing space in any order. KinderTown really likes how more than one child can play with the tiles and the iPad to develop cooperative play skills. One suggestion KinderTown has is that the letter tiles are all in capital letters. Most words when written in text are lowercase. It would be great to see both upper and lowercase forms of a letter on a tile, maybe one on the front and one on the back. Children need exposure to both forms of the letters, especially when learning to read.

 

Osmo Newton

Osmo Newton uses the Osmo system to reflect the space. Read KinderTown's review.

Osmo Newton uses the Osmo system to reflect the space, and the players choose which objects they use from around the house to affect the space. Osmo Newton drops balls from the top and supplies targeted areas that the balls should reach. KinderTown used blocks, paper clips, pencils and drawing lines on the paper in the space to change the movement of the balls to reach the targeted areas. Osmo Newton was challenging and does require persistence on the part of the player to solve the puzzles. As you continue to play, the number of targets increases and objects around the targets are added to increase the challenge. KinderTown recommends using 3D objects to affect the space. The drawing of lines was helpful but more difficult to change (erasing) when we wanted to change the direction of the moving balls. This app uses your child’s thinking and problem solving skills to interact with the screen in a challenging way!

 

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