Mud + Mess + Math = Educational Fun!

Young children seem naturally attracted to activities that end up messy. Sometimes, though, creating the messy fun with them can be educational, especially if you think of ways to control the mess. Select an outside area that can easily be hosed down, put on old clothes, and you are ready to create your own Messy Mud Pie Café!

 

Select an outside area that can easily be hosed down, put on old clothes, and you are ready to create your own Messy Mud Pie Café!

Materials

  • dirt
  • large basin of water
  • measuring tools – teaspoons, tablespoons, measuring cups, liquid measures, kitchen scale, bathroom scale
  • old pie pans, muffin tins, or small flat containers
  • rolling pin (optional)
  • natural “decorations”, such as flowers or twigs (optional)

 

To create your mud pies, combine approximately 75% mud and 25% sand in a large container. Slowly add the water until it is moist and moldable. Use the rolling pin or just your hands to roll out the mud into pies. Form the “pies” in a muffin tin, old pie pans, or small flat containers. Decorate them with items from your backyard such as flowers, twigs, pine cones, or stones. Put them in the sun to “bake.”

 

Talk about the time it will take for the mud pie to “bake”  (or dry out). (Parents, you might consider creating your own mud pie ahead time and letting it dry to show an example of a baked pie.) Record the guesses. Then check back in at regular intervals, such as 30 minutes, 1 hour, and half a day. Take a picture at different intervals to record how the mud pies are baking.

 

While the pies are “baking”, consider the following activities:

 

  1. Measuring mud. Use the remaining mud to explore different weights and measures. Have your child measure specific amounts of mud. For example, ask your child to measure 1/4 cup of mud and place it in a container. Help your child fully fill the measuring cup and level it to obtain the exact measurement. Then ask your child, “Can you measure ¾ cup of mud?” Place the two containers next to each other and compare the amounts of mud. Which container of mud is more? Which is less?
  2. Weighing mud. Next, try weighing some mud. First have your child estimate the weight of a particular amount of mud. Then use a scale to weigh the mud. Was your child correct? Next select two different amounts of mud and estimate their weight based on your first measurement; then find the actual weights. Was your estimate more or less than the actual amount?
  3. Measuring water. Use the remaining water to find volume with different-sized containers. Pour the water into the containers and estimate which container holds more water. Next pour each container into the liquid measure. Was your estimate correct?

 

Be sure to allow lots of time for free play in addition to your education time with your child. Enjoy the messy fun together!

 

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10 Items from the Dollar Store for the Sandbox

 

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Back to School Math Apps

KinderTown hand-picked these math apps for your students going back to school.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Just because we call them “Back to school,” it doesn’t mean it’s too late to try these fun math apps.

Fun Math Apps for Back to School

#1 Math Games App for Kids in Preschool & Kindergarten – Singapore maths learning method: fun games, interactive worksheets and activities free by Kids Academy (iOS only)

singaporemath

This app practices early childhood math concepts through games and videos. Parents, the app will prompt you to select your child’s age and then will adjust the options available for your child. Each concept is segmented into learning modules situated along a path in the woods. For each module there are 3 educational videos that explain the concept to children. They are short and appropriate for the age level of the child. Then your child can complete the practice games. The practice games focus in on early learning concepts such as tracing and counting numbers, basic geometric shapes, ordinal numbers, patterns, and more. The characters in the videos and games are well developed and appealing to young children. This app is subscription-based with various options for monthly or yearly payments. Additionally, there is a free 7-day trial option. Parents, you are able to set up multiple profiles and have each profile be a unique experience for the child. Another great feature to accompany the app is free printable worksheets available on their website to follow up your child’s digital practice. This app is a worthwhile investment for building early learning math skills and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Todo Math (iOS and Android)

Todo Math

Todo Math is a free app designed to practice early childhood math skills. Todo in Spanish means all, which indicates that this app is designed to inspire play with all the early childhood math concepts. It includes 18 multi-level games and has two different types of play: free choice and mission. In mission mode, the app gives a brief overview of each game and guides your child through each game one at a time. In free choice mode, all games are presented, and your child chooses which one they would like to play. It includes multiple levels of math games and includes adaptive play, which means the games automatically adapt to your child’s skill level. Parents, you can sign up for a parent account, which will provide you with a more detailed look at how your child is progressing through the app. Compared to most apps, Todo Math does contain a worthwhile amount of free content to provide practice in many areas of math for children ages 3-6.

 

Park Math by Duck Duck Moose (iOS only)

Park Math App Icon

Park Math by Duck Duck Moose provides practice in a variety of math concepts without sacrificing depth of learning or fun. Park Math is an extremely thoughtful app that moves users seamlessly through counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterning, and comparing while being developmentally appropriate and engaging. Cheery music and a child’s voice accompany the game play throughout the app. Unlike many of the math apps in the app store, Park Math does not simply have children answering questions or tapping on objects. Park Math integrates three levels of learning into a park theme to practice and investigate math concepts in a meaningful way. Addition and subtraction are practiced in a story problem format, and counting skills are developed in the context of one-to-one correspondence. Thank you, Duck Duck Moose, for creating this engaging and educational environment. Park Math is appropriate for children ages 3-5.

 

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Back to School Learning Activities

Back to school time is upon us and KinderTown has some fun educational activities for your 3-8 year old to complete at home. Most of the activities can be completed in 10 minutes with little to no preparation.

 

KinderTown would like to provide you with educational activities for your 3-8 year old to complete at home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bingo Board #1

To use the Learning Bingo Board, simply complete any activity and have your child mark it off in some way. Color the square or use anything else that you have around the house to mark the squares, such as stamps or stickers. Decide on an incentive or reward for completing the board that works for your family or child. Check back soon for more activities!

 

KinderTown would like to provide you with educational activities for your 3-8 year old to complete at home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bingo Board #2

Have a preschooler at home? Or a child between the ages of 3-6? Try this Back To School Bingo board with your child. The activities are perfect for at-home learning and designed to use very few materials. Mark the activities off as you go and reward your child for their work. The Bingo boards are easy to print and use and can be hung on your fridge or bulletin board.

 

KinderTown would like to provide you with educational activities for your 3-8 year old to complete at home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bingo Board #3

Draw shapes together, talk about a family photo, or make popcorn. Check out the latest Bingo Board to find these educational activities and more. Also included on the Bingo board are 3 recommended educational apps for your preschooler including a free app.

 

KinderTown would like to provide you with educational activities for your 3-8 year old to complete at home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Be sure to download KinderTown, the Educational App for Engaged Parents, to find additional educational apps to support your child’s learning. KinderTown is dedicated to improving early childhood education by empowering parents with the tools to support their child’s learning. KinderTown only includes apps that have substantial educational value as determined by an objective review process conducted by childhood educators. Search by age, device, or subject area.

 

Happy Learning!

 

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3 Math Apps to Help Prevent the Summer Slide

Summer is here, but the learning shouldn’t stop. We have gathered 3 great apps that will help prevent the summer slide for your children in the area of math. These apps track your child’s progress and can be purchased on a monthly basis to supplement any curriculum your child has completed during the past school year.

 

We have gathered 3 great apps that will help prevent the summer slide for your children in the area of math.

 

Prevent the Summer Slide with These Math Apps

Todo Math

Todo in Spanish means “all” and is designed to inspire play with all the early childhood math concepts. Read the KinderTown review.

Todo Math is a free app designed to practice early childhood math skills. Todo in Spanish means “all” and is designed to inspire play with all the early childhood math concepts. It includes 20+ multi-level games. It has two different types of play: free choice and mission. In mission mode, the app gives a brief overview of each game and guides your child through each game one at a time. In free choice mode, all games are presented and your child chooses which one they would like to play. It includes multiple levels of math games and adaptive play, where the games automatically adapt to your child’s skill level. Other options for children are the Mathematical Missions, designed to motivate children to engage longer with the mathematical concepts. Parents, you can sign up for a parent account which will provide you with a more detailed look at how your child is progressing through the app. Compared to most apps, Todo Math does contain a worthwhile amount of free content practicing many different areas of math for children ages 3-6, or levels PreK-2nd grade. There are additional in-app purchases to access more content. The additional content would be beneficial to support your child’s math practice over the summer months and help prevent the summer slide.

 

myBlee Math

myblee

My Blee Math offers a wide variety of elementary math lessons on topics such as measuring line segments, working with money, mental math and multi-digit addition for students ages 5-8. KinderTown likes how the app gives initial instruction on a particular concept before the child is asked to practice or apply it. The instruction is given with a unique robotic-like voice. Another great feature is the use of “MyScript” technology that can identify a child’s handwriting as she writes her answer directly on the screen. Children will also find the use of the digital manipulatives which include movable rulers, blocks, protractors, etc. both interesting and helpful for solving problems. My Blee is an app that would benefit students who need additional practice with math concepts. The app offers communication to parents about their student’s progress through frequent emails. The app is free for 10 minutes each week. Subscriptions can be purchased for students who need more time per week for $9.99 a month or for $74.99 for a year.

 

Splash Math

splash math full

Splash Math is an interactive workbook style app where you’ll find all the math practice your child needs to reinforce what they have learned throughout the school year. There is a nice mix of multiple choice, fill in the missing pieces and choose an answer problems. Kids will find some questions that require reading, so parents will want to stick close when starting the app. Parents get complete customization of what math concepts and skills are presented to multiple children in the app. Splash Math comes in a variety of levels from PreK-5th Grade and reinforces math concepts learned during the corresponding grade level. You must purchase each level as an individual app for $9.99 and it includes the entire year’s worth of skill review.

 

Related Blog Post:
Summer Learning Apps for Your Preschooler

 

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Summer-Themed Apps

Anticipating summer? Get in the mood with these summer-themed apps.

 

Anticipating summer? Get in the mood with these summer-themed apps.

 

Summer-Themed Apps

Camping with Grandpa iOS only

Camping with Grandpa app review.

This app features a theme of camping and has nature and adventure lovers in mind. KinderTown loves the Grandma and Grandpa characters created by Fairlady media; this app focuses particularly on lovable Grandpa. Grandpa invites your children on a hike through the woods where they choose a trail and identify plant and tree species with his help. In the app, children have to drag forest animals to the food they eat and identify coordinating shapes of common tools used when camping, such a pocket knife or hatchet. Another feature of the app is a word find, which may be more challenging for beginning readers interested in the app and who may need the assistance of a parent. Kids love going on a hike with Grandpa, picking special stuffed animals to sleep with, and roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the virtual campfire. As with other Grandpa apps, when children get the answers correct, Grandpa offers a high five that children get to slap (gently). Camping with Grandpa is a great way to get in the mood for summer camping. Camping with Grandpa costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Related Blog Post:
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Bug Art iOS only

Bug Art app review.

Bug Art provides an informal environment for children to learn and play with bugs. The free paint area allows children to paint and use stickers to depict a bug scene. The bug designer area allows children to choose a basic stencil and then design a unique bug around the stencil. Pictures can be saved in the app and shared with friends. The app also has free play areas where children can race bugs or use the iPad to make them fly through pathways. This app is a fun creative experience with bugs. Bug Art costs $2.49 and is appropriate for children ages 3-5.

 

Related Blog Post:
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Park Math HD iOS only

Park Math HD app review.

Park Math HD by Duck Duck Moose works on a variety of math concepts. Park Math HD is a thoughtful app that moves users seamlessly through counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterning, and comparing while being developmentally appropriate for early learners. Unlike many of the math apps in the app store, Park Math HD does not simply have children answering questions or tapping on objects; Park Math HD integrates three levels of learning into a park concept to practice and investigate math concepts in a meaningful way. Addition and subtraction are practiced in a story problem format. Park Math HD costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

Related Blog Post:
Spring Math Activities & Apps (Demme Learning)

 

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Top 10 Must-Have Math Apps

This week we present an array of math apps to help students learn essential concepts, from preschool to high school.

Must-Have Math Apps

 

Motion Math Pizza

Motion Math: Pizza! (iOS only) teaches children beginning economics by simulating a pizza shop. While using the app, children are learning about economics, setting prices, and serving customers through simulation. Parents, follow up the use of this app with conversations about why certain things cost more money than others and how your family makes purchasing decisions.

 

Bugs and Bubbles

Bugs and Bubbles (iOS only) is an engaging app for younger children. The randomized practice offers multiple ways to practice beginning math skills in a visually rich environment. Counting, upper- and lowercase letters, and sorting are all presented with a fun garden theme.

 

Pet Bingo

Pet Bingo – by Duck Duck Moose (iOS only) is a math fact practice app that includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, anddivision. This app can be replayed for a long time and could be used with multiple children in your house. Children earn rewards for completing math facts correctly in order to care for their virtual pet.

 

Quick Math

Quick Math – Multiplication Table & Arithmetic Game (iOS only) offers basic math fact practice with a simple, clean interface. KinderTown’s favorite feature about Quick Math is that you can write on the screen with your finger and it will recognize the answer. Quick Math has also developed the apps Quick Fractions and QuickClocks that provide similar practice of the concepts.

 

Dragon Box Algebra

Dragon Box Algebra 5+ (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone) is an app that develops algebra skills with approachable problems for children starting at age 5. (There is a second Dragon Box app for more advanced students, called Dragon Box Algebra 12+.) Both apps create problems that must be solved visually in order to make the quantities on both sides of the screen equal. This app is excellent for preparing students for algebraic thinking.

 

Splash Math

Splash Math (iOS, Kindle, Android) is a series of apps that are made for each grade level. The Splash Math apps cover an entire year’s worth of math skills. Through the app, randomized practice is presented to your child. The app also offers parent features such as progress reports and the ability to customize the skills your child is practicing. This app serves as a great reinforcement of concepts your child has already learned in math.

 

Math Doodles

Math Doodles (iOS only) is a puzzle app that brings a visual perspective to math thinking. This app contains many complex concepts and spans a wide range of skills. Your six-year-old child could use this app as well as a high school student because of the ability to change the type of puzzle pieces presented from simple dice to Roman numerals.

 

Operation Math

Operation Math (iOS, Android) has created two apps, Operation Math and Operation Math Code Squad. Operation Math simulates high-tech, intense math missions for children to undertake. Operation Math Code Squad follows the same ideas, but up to 4 players can play at the same time. There is a timer feature in this app, and if your child does not like the feeling of being rushed or timed, this would not be a good match. Operation Math Code Squad is an example of how apps can involve multiple players in order to practice math facts.

 

Motion Math Zoom

Motion Math: Zoom (iOS only) moves your child along the path of learning numbers, place value, and number relationships with this thoughtful app. By the use of analytics, the app guides your child at his own pace through a variety of number quantities with the goal of helping him manipulate a number line and make connections between 1’s, 10’s, 100’s, and eventually decimals. The game appears simple as numbered balloons float on the screen, but the swiping, pinching, and tapping will keep your kids on their toes.

 

Cash Cow Deluxe

Cash Cow Deluxe (iOS only) uses gameplay to help kids become proficient at manipulating money. Tap small coins to make quantities of 5, 10, 25, or 100 cents. The more coins you make, the more the cash cow earns to save the duck’s farm. The app offers several modes of play including arcade, relaxed, endless, practice, or story modes.

 

Related Blog Post:
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myBlee Math

We’re coming at you with a review of myBlee Math, an app that provides instruction, practice, and parent feedback...at a monthly cost. But it might be just to banish math anxiety in your young student!

myBlee Math

 

myBlee Math

myBlee Math app review.

myBlee Math offers a wide variety of elementary math lessons on topics such as measuring line segments, working with money, mental math and multi-digit addition for students ages 5-8. KinderTown likes how the app gives initial instruction on a particular concept before the child is asked to practice or apply it. The instruction is given with a female robotic-like voice. Another great feature is the use of “MyScript” technology that can identify a child’s handwriting as she writes her answer directly on the screen. Children will also find the use of the digital manipulatives which include movable rulers, blocks, protractors, etc. both interesting and helpful for solving problems. myBlee is an app that would benefit students who need additional practice with math concepts. The app offers communication to parents about their student’s progress through frequent emails. The app is free for 10 minutes each week. Subscriptions can be purchased for students who need more time per week for $9.99 a month or for $74.99 for a year.

 

Read about other math apps here.

 

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Engaging Math Apps

This week we recommend two math apps that will grow along with your preschooler's math skills.

Engaging Math Apps

 

Jump Numbers (iOS only)

Jump

Jump Numbers is a truly unique game experience based on numbers. The app takes children through challenges involving counting, skip counting, and addition. The player must lead  their character from one shore to another by jumping on the correct number. Players can combine numbers to make numbers needed if they are missing. There is a hint button which is helpful to players who are just learning to play the game. The app uses adaptive technology to quickly adjust to your child’s learning level. There is a rewarding play area where children can play with the characters they have saved. The game has additional obstacles called “Stompers” and “Fuses” that will add a challenge to your child’s strategy as they navigate their way through the game. This app is appropriate for children who are becoming confident with recognizing numbers and counting approximately ages 4-8 and is $2.99.

 

Motion Math Match (iOS only)

Motion math match

Motion Math Match presents children with a series of cards and challenges them to match cards that equal the same value.  For example, a student might choose the following cards, 2+2=4, 4, and 3+1=4. The students can use both hands to match multiple cards.  Once a match has been made the cards disappear and more cards fall into place. The app adjusts to your child’s level and can be played with addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, or division facts. This iPad app is appropriate for children ages 5-12 and is $3.99. Motion Math Match is available for iPad and iPad mini.

 

Read about other math apps here.

 

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Multiplication Apps for 5-8 Year Olds

If you have a child learning their multiplication facts, then these apps will be an engaging alternative to flashcards.

If you have a child learning their multiplication facts, then these multiplication apps will be an engaging alternative to flashcards. Check out the money app for students at this level who are learning how to count more complex money amounts.

 

Multiplication Apps for 5-8 Year Olds

 

Pet Bingo (iOS only)

Read KinderTown's reviews of top math apps.

Pet Bingo provides practice for students who are learning to master their basic facts. The app can be used by several different students by setting up multiple profiles. Math problems are answered by identifying the correct answers on the bingo board. Students have the option to access a hint to help solve each problem. Play continues until the student earns five in a row on the bingo board. Once the student correctly answers five in a row, they earn a prize in order to care for their pretend pet. Instructors can check the report card section for each user to monitor progress in learning different types of facts, such as adding 0 to a number or adding doubles.

 

Quick Math Multiplication Table and Arithmetic Game (iOS only)

Read KinderTown's review of QuickMath.

QuickMath works to improve basic math fact fluency by offering the additional challenges of speed and accuracy. Students can select the operation they want to practice or choose the mixed operation mode. When math facts are presented, students write their answer anywhere on the screen with a finger or stylus. The app automatically adjusts to students’ levels and increases the difficulty of the facts as they progress. Students are encouraged to beat their scores from past sessions. Quick Math allows for multiple users, so siblings, friends, or classmates can use the app together. Instructors can track student progress and see how much time has been spent using it. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for students ages 6-12.

 

Motion Math: Wings (iOS only)

motionmath

Motion Math: Wings integrates 6 ways of seeing quantities to reinforce multiplication. The app shows multiplication in six different visual forms: rows of dots, clusters of dots, “groups” of dots, a grid, a labeled grid, and symbols. Game play is simple; students simply tilt their devices to move their birds from side to side, lining them up with the amount of blocks or numbers that equal the greatest number. Levels range from beginner to advanced (which will challenge adults). There is an option to purchase additional levels.

 

Freefall Money (iOS, Android)

Freefall Money

Freefall Money tackles the concept of counting money. This app does not include instruction on how to count coins, so your child should have a basic understanding of this concept before they use this app.  Activities include sorting coins, matching groups of coins to a total amount, and adding coin values to find the total amount. Instructors can set the number of coins that are presented to students in each activity, ranging from 3 coins to 10. The coins can be moved around in order from least to greatest to assist students in counting the total value of the coins.

 

Related Blog Post:
Make Memorizing Math Facts Fun With These 10 Activities (Demme Learning)

 

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Best Math Apps for 6 Year-Olds

Check out these math apps.

If you have a 5- to 7-year-old at home who is working approximately at the first grade math level, or who is working through Math-U-See’s Alpha level, your child would benefit from these math apps.

 

Best Math Apps for 6 Year-Olds

 

Base Ten Bingo (iOS only)

BaseTenbingo

This app also exists as a website. Base Ten Bingo is appropriate for students developing number sense, counting skills, and place value understanding of units, tens, and hundreds. Each student can create a personalized avatar and then choose from options such as Bingo, Practice, My Bugs, or Home. In the Bingo section, a student can choose to play with units; units and tens; or units, tens, and hundreds. In the practice section, students must read and make the number that appears with the units, tens, and hundreds blocks. For each section completed correctly, a playful bug is added to the My Bugs section.

 

Todo Telling Time (iOS, Android)

todo

Todo Telling Time includes six games that develop skill in telling time. Three levels of play are included in each of the games. The concepts about the clock, such as counting by 5′s and arranging the numbers correctly on the clock face, are developed in several of the games. Additional games related to the concept of time include understanding the days of the week, months of the year, and the calendar. The app includes a fun quiz section that can be used to assess a student’s development of these skills.

 

Motion Math – Hungry Fish (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone)

motion math hungry fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish helps students learn how to build quantities. Children discover how to create different quantities through free play. Successful combination of numbers to equal a given quantity results in the fish growing and earning rewards within the game. Addition practice is provided in this version, with options to buy activities related to subtraction and negatives. As always, Motion Math does a great job of introducing how to play the game through thoughtfully scaffolding strategies on familiar counting techniques. Multiple children can use this app to save their progress and easily navigate between easier and harder levels. Overall this app provides a beautiful environment to learn and practice the different ways quantities can be created.

 

Measurement HD (iPad only)

measurement hd

Measurement HD consists of five engaging measurement games. Students learn to move the hands of a clock, compare objects that are heavy and light, explore the concepts of more and less and long and short, and learn the months of the year.

 

Read about other math apps here.

 

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