Apps with Virtual Play: Plants, Jello, and Dots!

These creative apps all feature virtual play and cover a broad range of subjects from plants to math.

One of the advantages of the iPad is the ability to virtually play with a variety of colors, shapes, and spaces. These creative apps all feature virtual play and cover a broad range of subjects from plants to math.

 

Plants

Plants by Tinybop is a fabulous app to explore, play and learn about plants. Read KinderTown's review.

Plants by Tinybop is a fabulous app to explore, play and learn about plants. The app is based on three biomes, the grasslands, tundra and desert. Once inside the Deciduous forest, the seasons change, the weather changes and children can interact with the plants and animals. The app allows for multiple logins so children can explore at their own pace. The learning within the app is based on what your child explores within the biomes. While the app does provide labels in the various biomes for plants and animals it does provide facts about each one within the app. Be sure to explore their wonderfully created handbook about Plants for parents. It provides a purposeful way to explore the app and facts about the different biomes as well as further websites to explore. Plants is a truly unique educational app!

 

Cursive Writing Wizard – Trace Letters and Words

Cursive Writing Wizard includes three different cursive fonts, Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian and French. Read KinderTown's review.

Cursive Writing Wizard includes three different cursive fonts, Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian and French. Once you choose your font, there are five different areas for practicing cursive. The areas include practicing cursive lines, capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and words. Cursive Writing Wizard also includes an area to create your own words such as your child’s name, spelling words or favorite words. KinderTown likes how the letter name is said and the coordinating sound is given when practicing the formation of the cursive letters. The beginning area develops fine motor skills and works to prepare children for cursive writing. KinderTown recommends using a stylus to mimic the movement and feeling of cursive writing that would be completed on paper. The app does a really nice job of varying the style that the pen completes the writing in. For example, you child can write with rainbows, beads, hearts, or cupcakes. After correctly forming the letter, the style that your pen is using, for example hearts, come alive and children can play and move the hearts around the screen. This is an excellent brain break and keeps the child’s interest. Children can even shake the iPad to make the objects dance! Parents check out the reports section to view the letters and activities your child has completed. Also, the app has the ability to add different users so multiple children in a household or classroom can use the app with individual reports collected. This app is packed with content and well worth the price of 3.99 and is appropriate for children ages 5-8.

 

Dexteria Dots 2

KinderTown loves the creative approach to numbers that Dexteria Dots provides. Read KinderTown's review.

KinderTown loves the creative approach to numbers that Dexteria Dots provides. Dexteria Dots designed a game in which players are developing visual tracking, visual memory and visual motor planning skills through manipulating different size dots within the app. While playing with the dots, children are learning math concepts such as comparing numbers, counting, addition and subtraction. In addition, fine motor skills are used to slice and connect the dots on the screen. The unique design relates the size of the dots to the numeric value. For example, a 4 dot has twice the diameter of a 2-dot. There are two different games inside Dexteria Dots 2, Make Equal Dots and Compare Dots. In the Make Equal Dots Game, children are challenged to use all the dots to make two equal dots. In the Compare Dots game children combine dots to see which side of the screen is larger. As the games advance the numeric representation on the dots disappears developing visual memory and discrepancy. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for children learning addition and subtraction concepts who are approximately 4-8.

 

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Lola’s ABC Party

Read KinderTown's review of Lola's ABC Party

Lola’s ABC Party is an app to practice letter sounds, letter formation, memory skills and beginning word recognition. The app starts with the short vowel sounds which are foundational to learning to read. Lola, a friendly panda, asks “Can you find all the letters that sound like “A?” Your child must select the letters from the screen that make that sound. This activity is developing phonemic awareness skills that are critical to the success of beginning readers. When your child answers the question correctly a paw is earned at the bottom of the screen. After ten paws are earned, your child can play with Lola and fill balloons, or decorate hats in order to prepare for a party. Parents can subscribe to receive a parent progress report to their email address.This app is well constructed for the child learning their letter sounds or reviewing them in order to prepare to learn to read. Lola’s ABC Party is appropriate for children ages 4-6 and is $4.99

 

Stories Alive

Read KinderTown's review of Stories Alive

Stories Alive is a digital library of children’s books contained in one app. Stories Alive provides well crafted digital books for enjoying with your child, on the go or at home. Each story has beautiful graphics and provides interactivity for your child to enjoy. There is a dictionary included in the app as well to reference as needed. In addition, your child can read and record their own voice as part of the story. The app is free to download and many story samples are available to preview. A subscription fee of .99 per week is available as an in-app purchase for access to the Stories Alive collection of books. Stories Alive is appropriate for children ages 3-8.

 

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Artistic Apps by Avokiddo

These apps are so artistically created that you will wonder whether you child is playing and learning with art or an iPad, really it’s both.

I love the artistic quality of the Avokiddo apps so much that I would like to highlight both Avokiddo ABC Ride and Avokiddo Emotions. These apps are so beautifully created that you will wonder whether your child is playing and learning with art or an iPad. (Really it’s both!)

 

Avokiddo ABC Ride

Screenshot 2014-04-11 11.12.46

Avokiddo ABC Ride blends the great artistic qualities of cut-paper art design with learning letters. The characters, Beck and Bo, appear in the park, and your child can begin to play with them as he chooses a bike to ride through the park. Along the way, activities included in the scenery prompt your child to play a learning game that is associated with a letter. Once the activity is completed, students must reconstruct a word that starts with that letter. Another way to navigate the app is to use the ABC icon in the corner to choose a specific letter. In the parent section, choose uppercase or lowercase letters, whether to have the app state the letter name or the phonics sound, and other options, such as music and narration check boxes. Avokiddo ABC Ride combines artistic characters and scenes with a healthy dose of play while your child learns letter names and sounds. Avokiddo ABC Ride costs $2.99, is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available on iPhone and iPad.

 

Avokiddo Emotions

Screenshot 2014-04-11 11.11.52

Avokiddo Emotions opens with Avokiddo’s signature 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. (Do they 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. Avokiddo Emotions is available for $2.99,is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available for iPhone and iPad. Enjoy the artistic characters and explore their emotions as you add fun props.

 

Show What You Know: Cut Paper Art

The app, Beck and Bo is designed in a cut paper style. Grab all your paper scraps around the house and have fun creating a cut paper masterpiece and incorporate letter-sound associations, too.

 

Supplies:

-scraps of paper or full sized pieces of paper

-glue

-1 larger piece of paper to use as a construction base

-scissors

 

Have your child begin to cut paper to design a picture. For example, cut out a circular shape for a ship, circles and squares for windows, and long rectangles for the mast. Arrange the cut pieces on the larger piece to create a picture. While creating this with your child, attach the beginning letter or word to objects. For example, write the letters “Sh” on the ship, and “M” on the mast. Talk about the beginning sounds with your child. Provide the letters and sounds if your child is at the beginning stages of learning their letters. If your child knows most of their letter sounds, write the word and ask “What else begins like the word sun?” This activity can be tailored to many different levels. Also, allow your child to experiment and explore with different abstract shapes that may not have a direct letter or word correlation.

 

We would love to hear from you…. Does your child love one of our apps? Did you try the “Show What You Know” activity? Let us know what you thought at sayhello@kindertown.com.

 

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3 Engaging Apps for Kids

We have new apps to add to the KinderTown store, and KinderTown has rounded up three engaging apps your children will return to again and again.

We have new apps to add to the KinderTown store, and KinderTown has rounded up three engaging apps your children will return to again and again.

 

Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandma’s Kitchen is sure to delight your youngest chef while practicing a variety of skills. Read KinderTown's review.

Grandma’s Kitchen is sure to delight your youngest chef while they practice a variety of skills including patterns, counting tens and ones, visual discrimination, telling time, and alphabetical order. Grandma’s Kitchen has a nice balance of creative play, skill-based practice, and informational videos to build vocabulary. When the app opens, you are greeted by Grandma cooking in her kitchen. Click on “Play,” and your child is shown a mixture of 8 different types of questions to answer. Grandma will even give your child prompts if they are having difficulty answering the question. After your child answers the question, they are rewarded with an activity with grandma, such as adding ingredients to the mixer to make a cake, watching an informational cooking video, dancing with Grandma, or, our favorite, giving Grandma a kiss! Children can even take pictures of the cakes they decorate with Grandma. Parents, be sure to check out the Settings area, where you can select which skills your child will practice. Check out the Fun Facts section for tidbits about food, nutrition, and cooking. This app is appropriate for kids ages 4-7 and is available for iPod, iPhone and iPad for $1.99. This app is sure to make your child feel like they are learning in Grandma’s Kitchen!


Endless Reader

Endless Reader combines colorful characters and common words for your beginning reader. Read KinderTown's review.

Our child testers kept coming back to Endless Reader to see the quirky monsters, playful animation, and humorous interactions between the monsters. Endless Reader combines colorful characters and common words for your beginning reader. The opening screen has a rolling ABC line inside a monster’s mouth where children can choose a letter. After a letter is chosen, the word that corresponds with the letter comes alive with animation, and the letters are scattered. Your child’s job is to reconstruct the word. When each letter is tapped, it makes the corresponding letter sound, reinforcing the letter-sound association. Next, a definition is presented, and your child must match the words to those in the sentence. Endless Reader then reads the sentence to your child, and the playful animals act it out. This app is perfect for children who are just beginning to read or who have mastered most of their letter sounds. The app is free and includes 6 free words, with in-app purchases to buy additional reader packs. It is appropriate for children ages 3-6. Download Endless Reader and have your child learn to read with these friendly monsters!

 

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Buttons 2 offers 18 new games and includes many of the features we've come to love in other Little Bit Studio apps. Read KinderTown's review.

Bugs and Buttons 2, appropriate for ages 3-6, offers 18 new games and includes many of the features we’ve come to love in other Little Bit Studio apps, such as pleasing music, astounding graphics, and, of course, those playful bugs! From the home screen, click on Start to begin the game play. Skills-based games that work on colors, matching, letter sequencing, and much more begin! It even includes a game to work on fine motor skills for beginning handwriting. The games automatically increase in difficulty according to your child’s skill level. While playing the games, children can earn stickers upon successful completion of parts of the game. In addition, parents, you can easily check the stickers earned in the Explore section of the menu. Also, this app allows for the creation of multiple profiles, which makes it ideal for learning centers, pre-K or kindergarten classrooms, or multiple children in one household. Bugs and Buttons 2 is packed with learning. Our child testers kept returning to this app, so it comes highly recommended from KinderTown.

 

 

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