Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tech Tips Tuesday

iPad for Preschoolers #1 Mathematics Concepts

We went on a trip to the USA this year. It was the first time we had really done the west coast and we had a great time. We flew into San Francisco and then drove up the coast seeing Napa/Sonoma, the Redwoods, Portland and Seattle. Needless to say, the trip involved a lot of travel - both in the plane and on the road.

In preparation for this journey, we bought an iPad and loaded it up with games for our almost two year old. There were many times that we were VERY grateful for having done so. Had it not been for this trip, I doubt I would have seen the value in buying and 'sharing' an iPad with a toddler. He would have missed out on a huge range of learning experiences that are available and easily accessible. We continue to use the iPad when going on a long drive, and also at home. I use AppShopper to watch the price drops of apps and to watch items on my wish list. this way I don't have to pay the full price unless I want an app immediately. While I still look for quality free apps, I've learnt the value in paying for good apps. I am not a fan of in-app advertisements or lite versions when it comes to apps for kids. I would rather pay for the whole service up-front than have to buy additions to make it enjoyable.

So, over the next few weeks I thought I would share some of our favorite apps. This week we start with apps to build early Maths concepts including number and shape.

Bugs and Bubbles
I love the beautiful graphics in this game. It is great for building vocabulary (more/less, size, colour, etc) for practicing counting and number recognition, and for identifying simple patterns. It's not free, but I waited until it came on sale, and will do the same for the partner app - Bugs and Buttons.

Bugsy K Math
My little guy keeps coming back to this one. I'm not sure what the appeal is for him, but he seems to like the hamster! This app has counting, adding and number tracing as well as subitising ( seeing a number of items as they flash by - like knowing the amount shown on dice.) If I got my act together I could set up an account and track his progress with this and other Peabody apps, but at this stage, he seems to be taking delight in showing me how wrong he can be! That or he likes the way the hamster says huh-uh when he gets the answer wrong!

Team Umizoomi Math
This one appealed to us because we had previously watched the television program. We haven't got past the first two levels yet, which consist of touching objects to 'count' them and matching numerals 1-6. This one is more costly as it is part of the Nickelodeon family, but it has more appeal as such. I like that this is one that will grow with us over the years.

Tally Tots
This app has not been the huge success I'd hoped for yet, but I'm still waiting to see if it becomes more enjoyable for the little guy. I like that it works with numbers 1-20 and that it has an activity for each number.

I'm sure there are many that I have missed. Please let me know the great ones you have found.

Update 17/12/2012
After not playing with it for a while, my little guy returned to Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar yesterday. It held his interest and he busied himself following the instructions on level 5. While not his favourite, it was great to see him trying it out and being successful.

We also came across Hickory Dickory Dock which both my husband and I struggled to figure out, but sure enough my son was on top of within 10 minutes! This is a clock game that also reinforces number recognition and familiarity with an analogue clock face. Just be warned, the first time you play, you are hit with an ad straight away - ugh! I hate the ads!

Other posts that might interest you:
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #2 Alphabet Apps 

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered that Bugs and Bubbles is on sale for 99c (from $2.99) in Australia at the moment.


I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions. Please don't be shy...