So when I was asked if I'd be interested in reviewing three different children's apps, I was ALL for it. Our little girl is a huge fan of the family's iPad, so the idea of getting to put something educational on it and tailored to her was exciting.
We'll dive right in and start with Froggy Phonics, which was Pearyn's (and my) absolute favorite. This app is designed for 4-to-8-year-old kids and focuses on teaching them new words and different letter group sounds. In the bottom corner the app will tell froggy to find a word beginning with a certain letter or letter group. Then the child must guide froggy from lily pad to lily pad in search of the correct match. With over 900 words and different levels and froggy friends to reveal, this game was challenging enough to help Pear learn, but not so over her head that she lost interest. Two weeks later, Pear is still conquering this game all on her own!
The next one we tried out was Tic Tac Bananas! This game is designed for kids ages 4-8 and guides children through identifying letters to words by showing them a comical monkey illustration and then having them pick from a bubble which letter goes with the picture and word. They can do practice mode or two-player mode, which allows them to play a game of tic-tac-toe against a friend, parent or sibling, earning a mark each time they correctly identify the letter that goes with a picture. Pearyn is still in the process of learning different words and what they start with, so we had to do this one with her. Once we helped her identify what the particular word was, she usually had an easy time figuring out the letter. While Pear could play Froggy Phonics on her own, it was kind of nice to have this one to work through her with because we were able to see areas where she needed help. Froggy Phonics also helped her identify some of the letter groups in this game, so I highly recommend downloading these two together if that's the type of area you're working on with your children!
And the last app we had the chance to play was Champs of Numeria. This game was the most advanced for kids (in our opinion). It's recommended for children ages 4+ and had multiple different modes to appeal to different ages and abilities. We stuck primarily with the "Count the dots and identify the correct numbers" game, which was essentially a large rectangle of numbers, ranging from 1-12, with little bubbles underneath that contained two dice. The child has to count the dots on the dice and then find the number in the game board above. The goal is to get a certain number of blocks in a row. The child can compete against other kids, parents or siblings, or the computer. This game still takes a decent amount of strategy, which Pear Bear wasn't quite ready for on her own, but with the help of a parent she enjoyed correctly searching for the numbers. The only hang up she had was counting on the dice. If each one had five dots, she'd want to count five twice, rather than 10. So it was a great opportunity to work with her about continuing to count up.
The also have games in Champs of Numeria that work on multiplication and division, but these were far ahead of Pear's skills so we didn't test those out!
All and all these were excellent apps. I waited a few weeks to blog about them because I wanted to see how they fared compared to her Barbie Fashionista and Dr. Panda games. I'm happy to say two weeks in she is still (all on her own accord) playing with these games and asking for our help on them. It's been a great way to use the family iPad and an even better way to further her interest in letters and numbers!
I highly recommend downloading the three apps we recommended, as our almost four-year-old has really been learning and enjoying them. And at only a few dollars a piece, it's really worth giving them a shot, even if you were on the fence about how much your child will be able to use them!
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