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 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 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.
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.