Apps for Developing Number Sense

Learning how to count is part of what young children need to begin laying a foundation for early math skills. However, learning to count is really just one of several concepts that develop in early childhood. Beyond counting, children need to develop an understanding of numbers. For example, children need to be able to look at a set of objects and know without counting that there are 4 and begin to understand that 9 objects are more than 5 objects. Developing these concepts in early childhood will lay the foundation for later mathematics.

 

Apps for Developing Number Sense

Quick Math Jr.

quick math jr.

KinderTown loves the app Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. It’s uniquely made to capture kids’ attention and help them learn about counting, ordering numbers, adding, subtracting, and writing numbers. The app is centered on colorful and playful monsters. One of five different game areas is randomly selected when the game play begins. The areas 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 and progress through the app.

 

These games are combined together to create Hustle Bustle Island. The app has 3 different islands available for purchase, each of which provides 3 new games for children. Parents can also elect to receive report card notifications on their child’s progress via email.

 

Throughout the game, children can earn different facial features for the monsters, which then appear within the app. Our child testers liked this feature and the ability to personalize their own monsters. 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 age 4, although the ability to add and subtract numbers and memorize the facts usually occurs later. Parents, also read the parent section to find different examples of age-appropriate number games that can be played offline to support your child’s learning and development of numbers. The app is free, but additional content costs $4.99 for each island.

 

Motion Math: Hungry Guppy

hungryguppy

Motion Math: Hungry Guppy provides a delightful aquarium environment for children to work on developing number sense. The app provides easy explanations of how to drag bubbles with dots together to make a new bubble with the combined dots. Then, children match the dots on the bubbles to the dots on the fish. Your hungry guppy is designed to eat only the correct number, but there is no losing in this app. Learning is reinforced every time your fish gobbles up the correct number. Numbers that are greater than requested quietly disappear off the screen. The app moves from dots to written numerals quickly. The app practices subitizing (instantly recognize “how many”) dots and recognizing written numerals to match given quantities your fish wants to eat. The app works to build number sense and pre-addition understanding by dragging smaller quantities together to build a larger amount. Hungry Guppy is a prequel to the app Motion Math: Hungry Fish.

 

Other apps that incorporate number sense along with other early childhood math skills include Bugs and Numbers, Monkey Math School Sunshine, and Bedtime Math. Enjoy working with your child as they develop number sense.

 

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From Doodles, to Drawing, to Writing!

Foster your young author and illustrator with the activities in this week’s Power Pack.

 

In this week’s Power Pack you’ll find activities and apps that support your inventive author and illustrator.

Drawing PowerPack

At this beginning level of storytelling, children can begin to combine their drawing and writing skills to show meaning. Apps included in this Power Pack are:

Sago Mini Doodlecast for Kids

Read KinderTown's review of Sago Mini Doodlecast

Drawing Together!

Read KinderTown's review of Drawing Together!

Handwriting without Tears

Read KinderTown's review of Handwriting without Tears

To find the Power Pack, download KinderTown onto your iOS device.

 

Then:
-Select the Power Pack icon from the menu at the bottom

-At the top left, select the level PreK

-Choose “Experiencing Language” from the list of skills.

-Login and View the Power Pack

 

We think this is a great opportunity for the world to see the power of the iPad for early childhood learning. Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in),  and select the Power Packs icon from the bottom menu to check them out!



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Power Pack: Storytelling

This week’s Power Pack focuses on Storytelling for children ages 5-6.

 

In this Power Pack, you’ll find activities and app recommendations that support your child by translating all their creative stories into print.

Children of this age frequently tell stories aloud that you probably wish were in print. Their creations are often humorous and fantastic. In this Power Pack, you’ll find activities and app recommendations that support your child by translating all their creative stories into print. As you spend the next weeks and months focused in this area, your child will develop stronger oral storytelling abilities with more experiences seeing how stories can be communicated with text and images.

 

Apps featured in this Power Pack include:

 

Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure

Read KinderTown's review of Pirate Scribblebeard's Treasure

Story Wheel

Read KinderTown's review of Story Wheel

 

Toontastic 

Read KinderTown's review of Toontastic

 

Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in)!

 


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Back to School: Spelling Apps

Now that school is back in full swing, you may find yourself practicing spelling words at home as part of your child’s weekly homework. Check out these spelling apps to spice up that time.

 

These spelling apps can help your child practice spelling at home.

If you are looking for a spelling curriculum to use in your home school environment, or supplement another educational experience, check out our Spelling You See

Spelling Apps

Mystery Word Town

mystery word town

Enter a real cowboy town set up with a sheriff, school, general store, post office, and bank. Each area of the app, has letters hidden like gold around the scene. Children tap the letters to add letters to their bank. Then to progress through the scene children are prompted to practice a spelling word, and when completed correctly, they advance to the next part of the scene. The app has very interesting graphics and makes practicing the spelling words feel like a game. Children will forget they are practicing spelling. Download KinderTown to read the full review.

 

Word Wizard

Word Wizard

Word Wizard – Talking Movable Alphabet, uses app technology to enhance traditional writing and spelling activities. Children write sentences and spelling words while Word Wizard helps by saying the sounds of each letter as they are dragged onto the page. After each word is built, Word Wizard speaks the word as it is spelled and highlights it in red if it is spelled in a non-traditional way, or in white if it has the correct spelling. Download KinderTown to read the full review.

 

Spelling City

SpellingCity

SpellingCity has created one app for parents and teachers to access spelling practice activities for multiple kids in kindergarten through grade 12. Seven spelling activities support kids learning new words, in playfully practicing spelling lists and working through spelling tests all right in the app. Download KinderTown to read the full review.

 

Follow KinderTown’s board Spelling Activities on Pinterest.

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5 Must-Have Apps for 6- and 7-year-olds

Six- and seven-year-old children are a sponge for learning. Their academic growth is exciting to watch. Use these apps to encourage and challenge them!

Six- and seven-year-old children are a sponge for learning. Their academic growth is exciting to watch. Use these apps to encourage and challenge them!

 

Rocket Speller

Rocket Speller offers children an engaging space scene in which to practice spelling. Read Kindertown's review.

Spelling skills are emerging as children are learning to read and write more complex words and sentences at this age. Rocket Speller offers children an engaging space scene in which to practice spelling. The app presents words to students and they must reconstruct the word. In addition, each word is presented with a picture to reinforce vocabulary development. Rocket Speller has the option to have the word displayed (visual hints), so students are reconstructing the word in order to build visual memory of the letters. Children like how getting a few correct answers leads to different choices for designing their own rocket ship and eventually blasting it off into space. From an educational perspective, Rocket Speller combines naturally occurring letter sounds together such as ck, ee, ea, and or. Rocket Speller offers some nice options for parents. There are several different categories of words to choose from, or you can mix them all together. Parents can choose to have the narrator say the letter name or sound. KinderTown recommends choosing the “sound” option when working on spelling words. Parents can choose between capital or lowercase letters to form the words. KinderTown recommends choosing lowercase for activities involving common words that mostly appear in lowercase print. Rocket Speller has five different levels that provide options for visual and audible hints, and smart technology that can determine when a child is having difficulty and provide assistance called Adaptive Assistance. Rocket Speller is $2.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

 

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. There are additional in-app purchases to access more content.

 

Endless Wordplay

As children begin to learn to read they begin to notice patterns in words and how words relate to one another. Read the KinderTown review!

As children learn to read, they begin to notice patterns in words and how words relate to one another. Endless Wordplay practices this skill in a fun way! The lovable monsters are back! This time, with a focus on reading rhyming words. The monsters travel around a map with stops along the way. Once the monster stops, his mouth opens with a rhyming word. The word is sneezed out and the letters are scattered. Your child must reconstruct the word. The letter sounds are made when the letters are touched, and the word is read when the word is reconstructed. The app does require the child to reconstruct the word in letter order. The words continue to be presented and all relate to a rhyming family: ran, can, pan, tan. Once a series is complete, a sentence is presented with the rhyming words in context and the monsters act it out. The app is free and does have in-app purchases ($4.99) to buy more rhyming families once you complete the 3 free rhyme families. A great app for the beginning reader in your family.

 

Scribble Press

Scribble Press is a must-have app for the family who loves to read, story-tell and create books together. Read the KinderTown review!

Scribble Press is a must-have app for the family who loves to read, story-tell, and create books together. Like other book creation apps, you can easily add your own photos, your child’s picture, a title and text to create a book. Scribble Press walks you through creating a story by providing lots of ideas from the start, and supports your child until you are ready to add your finished book to an eBook reader, or my favorite–printing your very own book! Choose from book templates, or create your own book from scratch. Your child is sure to love the rainbow pen, stamps and stickers included in Scribble Press. If your child needs inspiration, there are over 50 story templates. The app encourages younger learners by providing complete stories where they only need to fill in the important details. Endless possibilities – endless fun! For the parents of young children, you will need to work with your child while using this app, since reading and typing skills are needed. Scribble Press is $3.99, and if you would like to have your child’s book published and mailed to you, there is a fee for that service. Scribble Press is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

 

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 the KinderTown 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. 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. Thinkrolls is a truly unique app priced at $2.99, available for iPhone and iPad, and is recommended for children ages 3-7.

 

 

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New iPad? Get Started With Free Apps!

If you are new to the iPad world, starting with a few free apps is a good way to get your feet wet.

 

Read KinderTown's reviews of free educational iPad apps.

By downloading free apps, you can take a look at the landscape of apps and features without spending a lot of money. Don’t be afraid to delete the free apps that are not a good match for your child. Check out these high-quality free apps. Finding free educational apps can be challenging. Check out these free apps and download the free KinderTown App to search for free apps to find even more recommendations!

MOMA Art Lab

MOMA Art Lab features 9 different activities that explore the use of shapes and lines in unique ways. Read KinderTown's review.

Many museums and educational organizations create apps to accompany their exhibits and collections. It’s a great way to take a virtual field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. MOMA Art Lab features 9 different activities that explore the use of shapes and lines in unique ways. For example, create a virtual mobile and watch it move, or create a collage and shake your iPad to reconstruct the collage. MOMA matches an artist’s work with the activity to educate children about modern art while creating their own masterpieces. KinderTown really likes how the activity directions can all be read aloud to children making the app accessible to children as young as four. In addition, there is a light-bulb icon which provides ideas for creating your own artwork. The app allows children to save their work within the app. MOMA Art Lab is free, and appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Scribble My Story

Scribble My Story encourages children to develop their writing skills. Read KinderTown's review.

Scribble My Story encourages children to develop their writing skills. Open-ended templates of mini-books are provided for your child, and they can fill in the missing parts of the story. The “All About Me” template is especially popular with children. Children can illustrate their story and save it within the app. Fun stickers, different markers and stamps can also be used. The app is great for beginning writers, and offers additional motivation over pencil and paper. This app is great for children who are learning to compose stories, typically Preschoolers, Kindergartners and First Graders. The app reinforces the connection between reading and writing by creating mini-books that can be reread. Children can also create their own stories by using a blank mini-book. The app does have in-app purchases, so be sure to be aware of how your child is using the app. The app is free, and appropriate for children ages 4-7.

 

Sushi Monster

This completely free app made by Scholastic is a fantastic example of how apps can transform somewhat boring academic tasks, like memorizing facts, into learning activities. Read KinderTown's review.

This completely free app made by Scholastic is a fantastic example of how apps can transform somewhat boring academic tasks, like memorizing facts, into learning activities. In Sushi Monster, the monster in the middle of the screen displays a number. Outside of the monster are two rings. Your child must move numbers from the outer ring to the inner ring to “make” the number. For example, Sushi monster might display the number 14, and the plates on the outer ring display 11, 1, 7, and 7. Your child must choose which plates to “feed” to the Sushi Monster in order to make the number 14. The app progresses through 7 addition levels and 5 multiplication levels. There is a wonderful amount of content for free! Kids love to see the Sushi Monster gobble up the numbers and along the way they are developing important number concepts. The app is free, and appropriate for students learning their addition and multiplication math facts, typically ages 5-8.

 

WWF Together

WWF Together is beautifully created with stunning pictures of endangered animals. Read KinderTown's review.

WWF Together is beautifully created with stunning pictures of endangered animals. This app is one that would be valuable to sit with your child and discuss “endangered species” through pictures. Each endangered animal is displayed through origami and includes information on creating your own origami creatures.The app also provides a few interactive activities that coordinate with some of the animals featured in the app. The app includes facts about the animals, but these are not read aloud. There is a 3-D interactive globe which pinpoints exactly where endangered species exist, and children can calculate their distance from the species. Our child testers loved discovering the videos embedded within the app of endangered animals. This app is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and is a wonderful learning experience for the whole family.

 

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Hip Hop Hen Hits the Mark!

If you have a budding pre-schooler at home just learning to write their letters, Hip Hop Hen is for you!

 

If you have a budding pre-schooler at home just learning to write their letters, Hip Hop Hen is for you!

Hip Hop Hen review

If you have a budding pre-schooler at home just learning to write their letters, Hip Hop Hen is for you! Read KinderTown's review.

Hip Hop Hen is a delightful app to practice writing letters and learning their sounds too.The app opens with pleasing, calming music and cute graphics.  When your child hits play an adorable alphabet appears. Click on one of the letters to practice writing the letter. The letter appears on lined paper and children can choose which color crayon to write the letter with. KinderTown really likes how each letter is presented in conjunction with the coordinating sound and shows the letters in lower-case. Lower-case letters are most often seen in print, so children should learn to identify them first in preparation to read. As the children correctly write the letter they earn balloons on a board to pop once the letter is completely written. Our kid testers loved popping the balloons and KinderTown loves that the letter sound is made each time a balloon is popped. KinderTown would like to see the letter name stated as well as the sound when the letter is presented. Both the letter name and letter sound are important early literacy skills. There is also a “free draw” area for kids, when children need to take a break. This app is designed for pre-schoolers (ages 3-5) who are learning their letters and is $2.99. Hip Hip Hooray for Hip Hop Hen!

 

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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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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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Counting Caterpillar

Counting Caterpillar

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.

 

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