Starting PreSchool can be overwhelming. The first day of has a lot of challenges and expectations as well as hopes for things to come. By providing some “Playtime” with these popular apps, it may help a preschooler get a jump start on learning.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Shapes and Colors by StoryToys is a gentle, enchanting, and elegant app. Continuing with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the main character, StoryToys has now increased the demands of play and expectations on little learners, while keeping the awe and wonder of discovery as they have with the other apps in the series. The artwork is outstanding, and something that StoryToys excels at producing. It is rich and delicious, but not so busy or cluttered that kids go on visual overload and can’t complete the given task.
Shapes Gurus – teach shapes for my preschooler by Colto is a wildly creative app that teaches little ones about shapes. Bluebee not only boosts a child’s ability and confidence, he also reinforces both qualities of color and shape on each page through labeling. There are over 25 puzzles, many which are linked in theme or variation of context. This app is a sure-fire winner!
Edoki has recently come out with Busy Shapes and Colors that blends the reinforcement of shape recognition with the additional demand for discriminating colors. Its beauty is its open invitation to play. And once kids engage, they instantaneously become absorbed in this incredibly addictive app. Something new in this “Busy” series is the addition of comical penguins and 3 different playgrounds to explore. Teaching can be customized and increases in complexity as kids gain competencies.
Intro to Colors, by Montessorium, is based on the Montessori colored tablets and scaffolds the beautiful world of color over 3 different play areas. Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, Color Shades, and Gradients teach recognition of colors. The “Paint” portion allows for open experimentation for learning color sense. And lastly is “Color Search” where a child can apply his/her newly learned knowledge. This app is clean and elegant in its presentation and uses guided activities to achieve mastery.
Color Alive either App 1 or 2 by Crayola are fabulous. Specific coloring books can be used by either purchasing them through IAPs where the page can be printed or purchased anywhere Crayola products are sold. The magic comes alive when the colored pages are scanned into the app. An Augmented Reality character arises from the pages like magic! It’s truly awesome, and a big hit with kids.
Painting Lulu Coloring App & Coloring Books for Kids by Flycatcher Inc. is a coloring app that can be used interchangeably within the app and within a paper coloring book. What makes Coloring with LULU unique is that coloring pages can be generated from the environment around you. Proper grasp is facilitated through the use of a Stylus in the shape of a crayon when purchasing the coloring books. I would recommend purchasing a few of the coloring books, just for this stylus as it is easily manipulated by little hands.
Dr. Panda Racers is a hands-down favorite, and while it is not a “handwriting” app per say, it is an excellent app to introduce a stylus, as kids mark to a pathway using both predetermined lines and following a track. There is plenty of creativity involved too – with designing your own car.
This list would be remiss without Binary Lab’s Dexteria Jr. This sweet little app truly facilitates fine motor skills in that it involves exercises for visual targeting, pinching, and Trace and Erase” that nicely focuses on pre-writing strokes. It is one of the few apps that truly develops fine motor skills as it focuses on
DragonboxNumbers by WeWantToKnow AS is a comprehensive early learning app to teach 1:1 correspondence through a hands-on experience within the app. There are 4 sections for play that reinforce what numbers are and how they are used to help place order to our everyday lives. The app is populated with “nooms” – animated characters that are proportional to their value. Each activity increases in its complexity and will grow with your child. Bottom line? It’s FUN!
A favorite math app at our school is Drive About – Number Neighborhood by Artgig Apps. Artgig always makes fun and motivating apps for kids and this introduction to math is no exception. Gameplay centers on driving about in a car or sea vehicle through various activities such as basic number recognition, tracing numbers, counting using a 1:1 correspondence and beginning addition. Preschoolers love it and the games are paced with a preschooler’s attention span in mind. And that is what I love about Artgig, is that they consider a child’s developmental level and readiness in mind when creating apps.
Avokiddo Apps are all excellent and help teach kids to think – something that isn’t always encouraged in this day of teaching to predetermined test standards. The Thinkroll series introduces different properties of objects – edible crackers, balloons that pop, fans, fire and ice, and yes even black holes. Their games’ goal is to navigate your Thinkroll through a variety of obstacles. By doing so, you earn the right to not only more complex levels that build on prior learning, but also receive additional characters to play the game. This is a game for the whole family and it’s unstoppable once initiated. You’ll never be able to play just one Thinkroll game.
Rounds: Franklin Frog by Nosy Crow is a wonderful app about pond life as told through Franklin, a very nice and clever frog. His life cycle is displayed in great detail with much humor and warmth. Children witness the coming of the generations of Franklin’s children and grandchildren and thereby begin to experience the circle of life in rounds. One of the greatest parts of Nosy Crow apps is that there is most likely a printed book that can be purchased for reinforcement of the concepts offscreen, and used in a cozy corner for deeper inspection. The illustrations are simply beautiful, and the content inspires all to explore our natural world.
Adapted and expanded from the original posting by Jo Booth: https://www.bluebeepals.com/bluebee-news/bluebee-apps-school/