The best apps for kids are those that make learning fun. Most math apps for younger kids are flash card based and those apps are fantastic, helping kids to get their basic math skills mastered while enjoying the process.
Visual Math Level 1 is a different kind of math app for kids. This math app teaches a variety of skills in such a fun and innovative way that kids will not be able to guess this is an educational app!
The app is geared towards four to six year olds (though I found older kids benefited from this app as well) and features six different games for the child to play. After a child successfully completes a round of one game, a round of another game appears.
The game teaches shapes by asking the child to drag all of a certain type of shape into a box. The child needs to pay close attention because each time the game appears, he is asked to drag a different shape into the box. If the child tries to rush through the game, he will get tripped up trying to put circles in the box when the game is asking for squares.
Although words appear on the screen, a child does not have to read to play the game. If a word is in CAPITAL letters, the child can touch the word and the app will speak the word. So this app will help teach reading as well as math. Bonus!
Other exercises include comparisons of which objects are bigger, heavier, more, less, lighter, etc. The app also teaches a child to tell time on both a digital and analog clock. Other games include counting shapes and solving patterns. The variety of games is not only challenging but entertaining as well!
Further incentives for a child to love the app are plentiful. Each time a child answers correctly, the app gives both visual and sound cues rewarding the child for her achievement. If the child answers incorrectly, the message is gentle. If a child is stumped, there is a hint button that will help her solve the problem.
Longer term incentives have been cleverly added to the game as well. Your child earns badges for each round of a game he successfully completes. He can choose the images for the badges and make them into collages. Wait a minute, it this an art app too?
Another key feature of the app is your ability to monitor your child’s achievements with each game. The app includes a progress page which shows you the percentage of questions the child has answered correctly.
The app also adapts to a child’s progress in each category so the questions are appropriately challenging for the child.
If you’re feeling especially proud of your child, you can share her achievements with the world via Twitter and Facebook (no Google+ link yet).
As impressed as I was with Visual Math Level 1, I decided to enlist a panel of testers to try this app and see whether my impressions were correct. I asked six children to try the app, the youngest of whom was eight. The app allows each child to enter his name and keeps track of the progress for each child.
All the kids really enjoyed the app, but the eight year old was completely engaged by the app. The app was challenging for him at first because he tried to rush through the app, not reading the questions completely (he is a good reader so doesn’t need the voice cues). Answering the questions correctly was important to him, so he slowed down and focused on reading the questions.
Teaching a child to read questions carefully may very well be the most important lesson this app teaches.
The app is very intuitive. I didn’t give any instructions to the children and they immediately were able to play the app, easily figuring out how to get started.
All of the testers gave the app a big thumbs up!
The app has many other amazing and innovative features, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you. Let’s just say you will be delighted as you discover the many features this app has to offer for both parents and children.
This app was released last month and the app developer, Weil Apps, kindly provided me with a promo code to test the app for review. The app is iPad only and is $3.99 in the iTunes App Store.
The app developers are educators and it shows in the quality of the app. The app is educational, entertaining, creative and engaging. If you have an iPad and a child in the four to six year old (or older) age range, grab this app today!
Do your children play with educational apps? Do you find them to be effective in teaching your children? Let us know in the Comments section below!