Emantras

measurementhd

Teach Your Kids Measurement With the iPad

Just last month my Twins went to their first day of kindergarten. For the last two years they went to preschool 3 days a week (which they loved) but I don't think they were quite prepared for school "every day". My daughter (who is quite opinionated to say it kindly) announced after her second day that she was tired of going every day and that she was just going to go three days a week like last year. I chuckled and told her that she should probably get used to it because she has about 16 more years of school before she's done.  Since my first day with my iPad I have tried to find Apps that not only keep my children's attention, but also help prepare them for school. Anything that can give them an advantage, or edge in the learning department, I downloaded. Not too long ago I was presented with Measurement HD for the iPad. Like any App to help my kids, I ran through all of the features myself to see if it was a good quality App or something that was going to just confuse them in the long run. I was delighted with what I found. This App not only teaches measurement in the form of length, but also volume, time, months, and scale! And it does it in a way that really keeps their attention. If you have a child in the Kindergarten or 1st grade range, this is a must have App.

Five Sections

As you can see, there are five sections to chose from with really good graphics to entice the kids. Crazy Clock, Scale Tale, Fill Me Up, Long and Short, and Action Month. Each has it's own set of graphics, and lesson to learn, and each is just as good as all of the others at teaching that lesson.

Long & Short

I'm going to start with this section because it's right where my twins went to first. I'm not sure what drew them to this section first, but there was no doubt which one they wanted to play.  Long and Short the child is given a choice of two pictures. The pictures are of items that they are familiar with; Fish, trains, pencils, etc.  They are asked to chose which is the longest or shortest. This question comes not only in text form but audibly as well. When the child chooses correctly the pictures is sprinkled with what I would describe as golden sparkles indicating that they chose correctly. A new set of pictures is then placed on the screen and the process starts over again.

 

Crazy Clock

Crazy Clock, is a pretty fun game, and a really good way for children to learn their time on a "traditional" analog clock. The children are presented with a statement such as the one shown. "I go to playschool at 8 in the morning" They are then asked to move the minute hand until the time is correct. As you can see the "8" is circled to help the children figure out which number they should be on. The clock works just like a real analog clock. As you move the minute hands the hour hand moves. They don't move independently of themselves. This means that the child has to spin the minute hand around past the 12, 2 times to get the correct time. When they do, a loud bell and a congratulations message are heard. This particular game has helped my twins learn their time on an analog clock in about 2 months.

Scale Tale

Scale Tale incorporates a really hungry alien holding two food items in his/her hand. The children are presented with a question as in the other games. In this case, which item is heavier? If the child chooses correctly, the alien eats the food and makes a "yum" sound. It's a great way to help children understand scale with visual support.

Fill Me Up

What I really like about Fill Me Up is that it's a little more interactive than the other games. First the child has to drag the liquid to the containers to "fill them up". In the example above it allowed me to drag three glasses of water to the large jug, and two to the smaller jug. Once that was completed, it then asked me which jug held more water. This game is a really, really good exercise for children to grasp volume. I really think that is has helped my children with the concept.

Action Month

Last but not least is Action Month. This particular game asks the child to drag the letters to their correct place in the name of the month. There is an outline of the month to help the child place the letters correctly. Once all of the letters are placed correctly the name of the month is said, and a little helpful saying about the month is said aloud to help the child remember.

 

Great Learning Tool

As with all of the Apps that have come from PunFlay, this App is a wonderful learning tool that really helps your toddler/young child's developmental skills. I have seen the effect that it has had on my two 5 year old's in just the short amount of time that they have been using it and it's remarkable.

 

You can get Measurement HD for the iPad from the iTunes store for $1.99 here:  iTunes

Odd1Out

Teach Kids Shapes, Fruit, and Colors on the iPad

 

I'm starting to sound like a broken record I'm sure, but it bears repeating; my twins are my world. As their father it is my responsibility to give them every opportunity to excel that I can. With that in mind, Apps like Odd1Out grab my attention first. There are tons of Apps out there that have pretty graphics and sounds to keep my young kids occupied or entertained but this App not only has those qualities but it also teaches them decision making skills. 

 

How it works

The basic idea is the player is presented with a shape, fruit, or a color and asked to pick the same item out of groupings of similar items crossing the screen. For example, on the screen above you see that I was playing the "fruit" section. My fruit was peaches. For every peach I successfully selected I was awarded a star. For every fruit that I selected that wasn't a peach a star was taken away. Simple principal but effective. The version I was playing was the practice game. It's easier and gets the child accustomed to the game and how to play. The challenge game starts off just like the practice version but quickly becomes harder as you advance levels.

Design

As you know, we here at Best App Site are big on the UI (user interface) and Odd1Out doesn't disappoint. The buttons, controls and hierarchy are really well thought out and easy to understand. The graphics are good quality and seem to have a lot of thought put into them. Whether it's a beetle, bee, or ant carrying your selected item the movement is fluid with no stuttering or pixelation.

 

That's it!

That's it! There isn't anything else to this App. Even though the App is simplistic at heart, it really keeps my 5 year old's attention and teaches them quality skills at the same time! This is a really good App to help your child learn their Shapes, colors, and fruit in a fun and enjoyable way.

 

You can get Odd1Out from the iTunes store for $.99 here iTunes
 

Word-Wall-HD

Word Wall HD for iPad

 

I'll just throw this out there now. Dollar for dollar, this is the best reading and writing learning App that I've ever tried. I'm constantly looking for Apps to improve my 5 year old twin's reading and writing comprehension so I try out a lot of Apps. Word Wall has the best interface and the widest array of learning tools of any App that I've seen yet. All of that for a great low price.

What You Would Expect

There are certain things that you would expect out of an App designed to teach children to read and write. First you would expect that the App would combine a visual representation of the letter or word, with an audible pronunciation. Second you would expect that the App would give an example of where the kids would see the particular letter. A for example would be seen in apple.  These are the things that you would expect, and Word Wall doesn't disappoint.  It has all of the basics that you would look for in an App of this kind.

 

The Games

I have found (at least with my kids) if there aren't any good "games", they won't pay attention.  There has to be something that entertains them and keeps them interested. Word Wall does games right. There are 4 different games to play. From jigsaw puzzles, to memory games, they have a great selection. Each game keeps a running tally at the top of the screen telling you how many you have left to complete before you "win". They are all very interactive, an very well designed.

 

What I Didn't Expect

Something that I didn't expect that I found in this App lies within the word spelling section. The child selects the word combination "AM" for example. Word Wall spells it, and shows it, but then it uses it in a sentence and shows an image that depicts that sentence. For AM word wall gives you the sentence "I am happy." and shows a smiley face laughing. My twins found this section particularly exciting and it really kept their attention. I was both surprised and impressed with this.

 

Conclusion

Word Wall is a really great interactive App to teach children to read and write. at $.99 it's really a no brainer. If you have children learning to read and write, you should definitely get this App.

 

You can get Word Wall for iPad from the iTunes store for $.99 here: iTunes

babyexplorer

Baby Explorer for iPad

Admittedly it has been many years since I've had to entertain a baby. However, the one thing that i remember was no matter how cool the toy was that you bought for them, they wanted to play with what you were holding instead. If you bought them a toy phone, that wasn't good enough. They wanted to play with your "real" phone. Fast forward to today when now you're holding an iPad. Chances are your baby is going to want some of that iPad action too. However, they're going to be less inclined to check their email or Facebook friend's status at such a young age. 

Enter Baby Explorer

Baby Explorer lets you turn your iPad into a portable electronic entertainment center complete with activities for your child to play. Since the iPad has a touch screen, there are no moving parts to worry about and you get the ability to have multiple activities in one App/device. Baby Explorer is complete with sounds, things your child can push and move as well as different modes that they can interact with. While the App does all that it claims to, I was expecting a little more for $2.99. I guess I wanted a few more activities since it is in fact electronic. I can't remember how quickly babies can get bored, but I can see them not wanting to do this for hours on end and perhaps that's a good thing. After all, you're not going to want to surrender your iPad for an extended period of time anyway. So I guess the feature set is probably good enough for the intended use. It provides a quick distraction when you need one and of course there is some motor skill building opportunity too. I hope the developer continues to follow up with updates even if they're minor one to change things up a bit as time goes on. Lastly I could definitely see having this App on my iPad when traveling if you didn't have a lot of room to bring physical toys. Also who knows, on a long flight you may be the hero for quieting the screaming kid sitting next to you. :)

You can get Baby Explorer here from the App Store Baby