Tablet pc’s can be brilliant teaching tools, as I have discussed at great length in supplementary internet posts. So, having recognized that, what apps are the best for teaching the basic topics and encouraging literacy and numeracy in small ones?
Available for £1.99 is ‘Herd Absurd’, which is an application that mixes and matches characters and their attributes, of this application, Guardian.co.uk said,
“Herd Absurd! is a characterful take on those children’s books where you flip sections of the page to put different heads, bodies and legs of characters together. Here, it’s animals that your kids will be mixing and matching, with suitably cheeky animations making them smile along the way”.
Herd Absurd is best played along with your youngster, sort of a book or a game (of which it’s a mixture). Also for £1.99, ‘The Land of Me’ is another amusing game that doubles for a learning experience; this one introduces children to ‘Shape, Size and Colour’ (as the subtitle suggests). The Guardian said of this one that,
“British startup Made In Me has been exploring interactive children’s fiction with its The Land of Me apps, scooping a BAFTA nomination in the process. This latest example focuses on, yes, shapes, sizes and colours as kids create monsters, animals and vehicles”.
Somewhat cheaper at £1.49 and perhaps, a small bit more literate is the app ‘Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Seek’. This one is more like a digital book, but with interactive basics. The same guys who designed the Dr. Seuss apps create this one. In line with the Guardian’s Top thirty list,
“It’s a digital version of a book starring five cheeky monkeys trying to get out of bedtime by playing games. Expect rhyming text, lots of chances to practise counting, and a mixture of voice narration and word highlighting to help young readers”.
For our acquaintances across the pond, ‘Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride’ is a kid-friendly application that teaches American history in enjoyable, engaging, bitesize chunks. According to Teach Thought.com, the makers are ones to keep an eye on.
“Cognitive Kid is one of those companies that will go down in history as being one of the first to develop outstanding learning content, where discovery is the model & play is the focus, where students love it as much as the teachers and every school considers it a must have! Let us share some feedback from the students during round one. When kids were asked to respond why they thought it was a good way to learn, the responses were plain and simple. “Because it teaches important history stuff in a fun to play way.” Or, the let me get right to the point comment, “Made boring history fun.””
Teach Thought also highlights ‘Eye Paint Animals’ as being an application which is pleasurable, educational and highly creative. Within ths app, the child’s imagination is to the fore, but there are educational elements as well. Of these developers, Curious Hat, Teach Thought stated that,
“They strive to design tools for children that encourage discovery play and foster creativity, they succeed spectacularly. Curious Hat has taken the iOS user experience to a whole n’other level. Luca states, “Our apps are not games, they are discovery tools aimed at energizing kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters.””