New Year, New Apps
Whether you have had an iPad for a while or you are just starting out with a brand new iPad, check out these apps for some educational enjoyment!
Sago Mini Puppy Preschool is an engaging app that balances play and educational value for the youngest learners. The app is very easy to use and is appropriate for children ages 2-3. The app has friendly, happy characters who appeal to boys and girls alike. The characters invite your child to learn about numbers one through 10, matching, shape recognition, and musical play. Pile all the different types of dogs into the bathtub as the app counts up to 10, or take them out of the bathtub and see and hear the number decrease. Match shapes and colors to make the animals happy with their toys and food. Sago Mini Puppy Preschool costs $2.99.
Easy Music is an easy introduction to the theory of music that is educational while still being playful. I appreciate that the app gives children direction in learning the concepts of rhythm and beat while still providing opportunities for open-ended creation of musical sounds. Other musical concepts that are covered through playful interaction are recognizing notes, pitch, and melody. This app does rely on the sound of the iPad, so you may want to have your child enjoy it with headphones or be prepared to enjoy the added noise. Easy Music provides a unique approach to music development that I haven’t seen in other apps– a delightful experience! The app costs $3.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-6.
If your child has ever spent time with a grandfather in a garage or working with tools, they are sure to love Grandpa’s Workshop. The characters developed in the Fairlady Media apps are welcoming and certainly do feel like you are interacting with your own grandparents. In this app, the focus is on working with tools, but the app creatively weaves in educational elements such as cutting a board into quarters, putting puzzle pieces back together, and watching educational videos about a specific tool (such as a chisel) and how it is used in woodworking. The app costs $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-5.
Tags: matching, music, numbers, preschool, puzzle, rhythm, shape recognition, tools
Engaging Math Apps
Engaging Math Apps
Jump! (iOS only)
Jump! 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 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.
Tags: addition, counting, math, numbers, skip counting
Early Math Learning Apps
As most parents are thinking about back-to-school season, consider the valuable early math learning apps.
Children begin to understand numbers and number concepts early, so try these apps to engage your child in math thinking. Additionally, for anyone who is using the Math-U-See curriculum, these apps would coordinate with the Primer Level.
TallyTots makes counting fun! 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. Download KinderTown to read the full review.
Little Writer is a well-crafted app for writing practice. This app adds shapes and numbers to the usual letter and word practice. Tracing is supported in the app with enough leeway to not frustrate young children. Download KinderTown to read the full review.
Park Math by Duck Duck Moose works on a variety of math concepts without sacrificing depth of learning or fun. This is an extremely thoughtful app that moves users seamlessly through counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterning and comparing while being developmentally appropriate and fun. Download KinderTown to read the full review.
Motion Math: Hungry Guppy unlocks addition for young children. A prequel to Motion Math: Hungry Fish, Hungry Guppy just works on the 5 first numbers in a young child’s life: 1,2,3,4,5. Practice subitizing (instantly recognize “how many”) dots and recognizing written numerals to match given quantities your fish wants to eat. Download KinderTown to read the full review.
Follow KinderTown’s board Math Activities on Pinterest.
Tags: addition, comparing, counting, math, numbers, patterning, subitizing, subtraction
Quick Math Jr. Loved by KinderTown!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tags: addition, counting, games, math, numbers, ordering, subtraction, writing
Creepy Crawly Apps
Kids are fascinated with bugs, some love them, some hate them, but all kids seem to be curious in some way about these little creatures. Check out the best creepy crawly apps.
The Little Bug
The Little Bug offers a pleasing story about a caterpillar who is fascinated with all of her bug friends. The story has calming background music and would be ideal before bedtime. The story offers many facts about bugs and has interactive pages to hold the youngest child’s interest. Children can make the grasshopper move, highlight the segments on a bug or make the bee buzz. The art on each page is well done and communicates the story in an effective way. In the story, key words are in bold that children can tap on a have repeated to them. KinderTown likes the parent section that includes questions to ask your child before, during and after reading the story. In addition, visit their website for printable activity sheets. The Little Bug is $3.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-6.
Meet the Insects Pack
Meet the Insect apps are packed with information, videos, pictures and an observation journal. The app includes an Insect Story section which provides diagrams and narration in a storybook format with interactive areas for kids to learn about insects. The See Insects section provides detailed information regarding each type of bug. The scientific name is used and real pictures and facts are read aloud to children. The quiz section offers two different types of interactive quizzes. KinderTown’s favorite section is the observation journal. This would be a great tool to study insects around your home environment, at the park or over a period of time. Children can add their own photos of the insect and record the location, weather and notes about the insect. There are three different editions of Meet the Insects; Forest Edition, Village Edition and Water and Grass Edition. These apps would be an excellent addition to a study on insects or a resource for writing a report on insects. Each individual Meet the Insects App is $4.99 or you can purchase the app bundle for $9.99. Meet the Insects apps are appropriate for children ages 5-8.
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 is $2.49 and appropriate for children ages 3-5.
ABC Bugs brings learning through research and discovery to the youngest learners. Traditional encyclopedia-style presentations combined with videos, interactive activities and quality images makes the ABC apps from Peapod Labs truly special. The pictures are extremely captivating and appropriate for young learners. The app is organized with pictures of bugs in ABC order. Your child will be learning letters and words along with interesting facts about bugs. ABC Bugs is appropriate for children ages 3-6 and is $2.99.
Bug Mazing – Adventures in Learning
Bug Mazing – Adventures in Learning covers four important preschool skills; Letter, Numbers, Colors and Tracing. All of the games are designed with bugs as the central characters in the game play. For the letters and numbers activities, children must guide the bug through mazes choosing the correct letter or number that comes next. For the color activity, children must guide the bugs through the maze while only using certain colors. The tracing activity allows the children to trace a path and the bug will follow the path. Children earn gems for completing activities correctly and can play with the bugs in the adventure section. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-5.
Tags: art, bugs, colors, interactive, language arts, letters, math, numbers, painting, preschool, tracing
Super Why’s ABC Adventures and Base Ten Bingo
Base Ten Bingo
Base Ten Bingo is appropriate for students developing number sense, counting skills and place value understanding from approximately kindergarten through second grade or ages 5-8. Base Ten Bingo begins with child creating a personalized avatar. Then your child may choose from Bingo, Practice, My Bugs or Home. In the Bingo section, children can choose to play with ones, ones and tens, or ones, tens and hundreds. Next children choose how large of a grid they would like to play on. Then a split screen appears with the numbers on the bingo board on the left and the ones, tens and hundreds counters on the left. In the practice section, students must read and make the number that appears with the ones, tens and hundreds blocks. For each section your child completes correctly a playful bug is added to their “My Bugs” section. Parents please be aware that this app only focuses on the concept of creating and counting numbers using the ones, tens and hundreds counters. Base Ten Bingo is appropriate for students developing number sense, counting skills and place value understanding from approximately kindergarten through second grade or ages 5-8. The app is $1.99 and is available for iPad.
Super Why ABC Adventures: Alphabet App
Super Why ABC Adventures is hosted by the characters on the show Super Why! on PBS. The app does a nice job of providing multiple different ways to practice letters and their sounds. KinderTown likes how the letter sounds are repeated often to reinforce your child’s learning. Each of the five characters has a unique game to play with your child to practice the letters. Each time your child may choose upper case, lowercase or a mix of upper and lowercase letters. The games offer a high level of engagement for children. For example Alpha Pig helps your child take pictures of the correct letter, K, and then children get to see what the camera turns the letter into; a koala picture! Your child can help Princess Presto swim to the correct letter bubble underwater, or help Super Why! construct his treasure map to find the missing treasure. Students can earn souvenirs for completing activities correctly and decorate their map of the world. The app also includes 4 videos from the show Super Why! The app is appropriate for children learning to identify all of their letters both upper and lower case, approximately ages 4-6. This skill is most often introduced in preschool and mastered in kindergarten and first grade. The app is $3.99 and available for iPad.
Tags: counting, Kindergarten, language arts, letters, math, number sense, numbers, place value, sounds
Top 4 Childhood Adventure Apps
Does your child like adventures? All children seem to have a natural sense of curiosity instilled in them. These apps provide a sense of adventure through your iPad without leaving home. Enjoy an adventure with your child by downloading one of our favorite adventure apps.
One Globe Kids
One Globe Kids is an app designed to bring kids in other countries and cultures into your child’s world. The app allows children to learn about kids from around the world. KinderTown loves the pictures and voices of the children included in the app as they share different aspects of their everyday life. The app opens by allowing your child to personalize their experience by choosing their language and adding a photo of themselves. Then children can explore different cultures by spinning the globe and tapping hot spots that indicate a child is featured from that part of the world. Each child featured includes facts about that child’s native country, language and even a tutorial on speaking a few words in that language. Pictures of the child in their home country are included and show what a typical day in the life of the child might include. The app is appropriate for children ages 3-8 and provides an easy way for children to learn about other cultures without ever leaving home. One Globe Kids is completely kid safe with no advertisements, or information being shared with others. There is a section where children from other countries ask your child questions and they can record their responses as if they were talking to that child, but the information is not shared outside of the app. The app is free, and includes a profile of one child in Haiti. The rest of the content can be purchased as in-app purchases. One Globe Kids has an education version available as well called Globe Smart Education which provides all of the content for one purchase price.
Monkey Preschool Explorers
The Monkeys provide an all new entertaining app with exploration as the center theme. The Monkey PreSchool Explorers app provides a mixed review of early childhood concepts such as colors, numbers, shapes, letters and association skills. One game includes Milo the Monkey driving a jeep through the jungle and children have to tap on the lower case and upper case letter indicated. At the end, there is a fun race game for children to complete and they are rewarded with a choice of a hat for Milo the Monkey. The developers of Monkey PreSchool have a “Thups Knack” system which changes the difficulty of the game as your child plays. This app is a simple one for children to navigate and includes interesting graphics. The app is 2.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-5.
Come have an adventure with all the circus entertainers! Shiny Circus teaches young children beginning concepts about measurement and relationships between objects. Shiny Circus has two different options for engaging with the app; Story Mode and Game Mode. In Story Mode, the children read a story and interact with the characters along the way and participate in learning games. In game mode, children choose which game they would like to play. The app features 4 games that work on early childhood math concepts such as biggest and smallest, near and far, shortest and tallest, and balancing objects. After answering questions correctly children can collect stickers of the characters for their sticker book. Shiny Circus is appropriate for children ages 3-5 and is $2.99.
NASA Earth as Art
KinderTown loves this unique app as your children can explore pictures of the world as seen from space for free! Made by NASA, the app encourages children to see the art in the images. The app does not read aloud to children, so parents you may want to read aloud some of the captions. This app would be an excellent addition to a study on geography or inspiration for art. NASA Earth as Art also includes technical information that can grow with your child as they get older and learn about different parts of the world. The app also includes time lapse pictures that show how different parts of the earth have changed over time. Thank you NASA for sharing your work and allowing children to explore the earth from a unique perspective.
Tags: adventure, association, colors, culture, curiosity, geography, language arts, letters, math, numbers, preschool, science, Shapes, space
Back-To-School Apps for Young Girls
These apps are sure to tickle your youngest girls fancy!
Fancy Nancy Dress Up
Does your daughter like to dress up? Fancy Nancy Dress Up is the app for her! Fancy Nancy is a beloved character in children’s books for young girls. The app Fancy Nancy Dress Up is a well designed app in which your child is creating Nancy’s “look” on each page of the story. Your child can dress Nancy in a number of lovely outfits for each page in the story. Open Fancy Nancy’s dresser and choose from a variety of options from skirts to outerwear to jewelry, your daughter can completely dress Nancy from head to toe. Add a background or use a picture that you have taken for a personalized background. If your daughter needs inspiration choose the random button to see what appears. When your child is finished, enjoy reading the personalized story together. If you haven’t enjoyed a Fancy Nancy story with your daughter be sure to check out a few of her great books at your local library.
Solve it! with Jim Henson’s Doozer’s
If you aren’t familiar with the Doozer’s, they are a creation by Jim Henson in which three-inch characters live just beyond the world. They live in a self contained community that is focused on technology, cooperation, teamwork, inventing and eco-consciousness. This app involves the use of cooperation, technology and eco-consiousness. In this app, simple problems are presented to your child. Kids must attempt to solve the problems in the physics based challenges. Some challenges include adding pieces to the puzzle to allow the ball to complete a maze. There are 50 levels with increasing challenge and once three stars are earned on each level, a sticker is awarded for the sticker book. This app develops problem-solving skills as well as beginning engineering skills in a fun and friendly environment. KinderTown thinks this is a perfect engineering game for Pre-Schoolers! The app is $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-7.
Dora ABCs Vol 3: Ready to Read!
Dora needs help hopping across the Lilly pads in order to get to the other side of the river. The app invites children to respond to questions like “Which picture goes with this word? Which letter will change Cat into Bat?”Children are invited to manipulate the beginning, middle or ending sounds in the word to make a new word. The ability to manipulate these sounds is an important skills to become a proficient reader. Parents please note that your child should be a beginning reader to be successful with this app. Many three syllable words are presented that children must read aloud. The app does include a nice tracking system in which parents can view their child’s progress and which type of words their child is working with. Also, multiple players can be added to this app easily so several children in one household can easily use the app. The app is appropriate for children ages 4-6 and is $2.99.
Tags: art, back to school, drawing, ebook, feelings, games, interactive, math, numbers, singing, vocabulary
It’s all About Numbers!
Numbers Here, Numbers Everywhere…10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Numbers are viewed by children everywhere in our environment. Check out the best number apps!
Drive About: Number Neighborhood
Drive About Numbers incorporates many different types of games that practice number concepts. When the app opens a child friendly map is shown and includes 9 different mini-games that practice different math concepts such as shapes, writing numbers, counting groups of objects, matching and collecting numbers in order. Our child tester favorite was using the slingshot to put the correct number of balls into the monster’s mouth. The app is $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6. This app would be a perfect fit for a child entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten this school year. Throughout the year as the math concepts are presented in school, your child could return again and again to the app to practice them.
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 18 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 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 practicing many different areas of math for children ages 3-6.
Counting Caterpillar is appropriate for children ages 3-6. The app has three levels: easy, medium and hard. In easy mode, the child counts by ones to add segments to the caterpillar. In medium mode, the child practices in the same way by counting by 2’s, 5’s or 10’s. In hard mode, children are presented with a random number to begin counting from. In the app, your child must feed the aphids to the hungry caterpillar. After the correct number is fed to the caterpillar it is added as a segment to the caterpillar.The app rewards children with a butterfly after an exercise is completed correctly. This is a simple app designed to practice basic number concepts.
Tags: counting, early, games, matching, math, numbers, Shapes, writing