Friday, September 10, 2010

I-pod apps for kids

A few months ago, during homeschool convention season, I was introduced to the i-phone and was amazed at all the neat apps you can get for them.  Not only were we able to take credit card payments safely and securely over the i-phone, but my boss’s 2-year-old daughter was also able to play age-appropriate games.

When Ashley and I got our i-pods, I thought I’d be selfish with mine.  However, there is so much available for the little ones, that it didn’t seem quite fair to hog this fun resource all to myself.  As we get ready to head out on a road trip (to the Historic Triangle in VA) tomorrow, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share about some of the fun apps I’ve acquired.  I know Ian will be having a ball with these in the car tomorrow!

ipadspeedshowcase The first app I’d like to talk about is the iLiveMath app(s).  I received the iLiveMath Speed version  from Tristan over at Our Busy Homeschool (she was offering it as a contest prize).  In addition to the Speed version, there are other various versions of these apps available – such as oceans, Asian animals, etc.  These are for K-6th  grade, so they are a bit advanced for Ian, but Gracie (6th grade and a major math lover) enjoys playing this one.  Level 1 covers addition and subtraction; Level 2 contains addition, subtraction, and multiplication (with focuses on speed, rate, distance, and time); while Level 3 contains advanced versions of the same.  You can learn more about these apps and how to get them for yourself by visiting the iHome Educator website.  For us, I can foresee lots of use with these apps in the years to come!

512X512 Moving along from math to language arts . . . I was provided some book apps from PicPocket Books to use and review.  PicPocket Books has taken quality children’s book and converted them into ipod apps.  From PicPocket Books - “PicPocket Books places a priority on fidelity to the original picture book. The beauty of many classic and contemporary picture books lies in their simplicity. Reading a book on a screen has the same educational, mind-opening benefits as reading a traditional print book: it increases vocabulary, improves concentration and focus, and expands horizons.”  I was  given 3 of their book apps to review – Lucky Escape, Huggybird, and The Crystal Mountain.  Ian enjoys being able to follow along as the books are read aloud to him; and it’s nice for me during those times when I’m too busy to sit down and read a book with him.  Huggybird is my favorite for the younger set.  I would not recommend replacing print books with book apps, and neither would PicPocket Books – but they certainly are a nice alternative and will come in very handy for long car rides!

The last app I want to talk about is First Words Deluxe.  This is another app that I won, but would certainly spend the $4.99 to download this one as it’s been great fun for Ian.  He has no idea he’s learning when he plays this one!  Here’s what iTunes has to say about this one:

*** Finalist for the BestAppEver Award: Toddler category ***

The best-selling reading game for kids is now available with more words than ever before! First Words: Deluxe provides endless fun for the toddlers in your life, all while giving your child a head start on learning their letters and learning to spell words.

First Words: Deluxe is toddler-tested and approved, with a user-interface designed specifically for the littlest of fingers. The game includes 147 words, including:
== 44 animals
== 35 vehicles
== 14 colors
== 22 shapes
== 32 words from around the house

A wide range of options let you tune the game to match your child's current skills and abilities.

If your child is old enough to ask for your phone, they're old enough for First Words: Deluxe!


With this app, kids take the letters from the letter bank, and drag them to the appropriate boxes at the top of the screen, to create a word that matches the image on the screen.  Each letter name is spoken as they touch and drag it.  Then, when the word is completed, the letter names are repeated and the word is said.  Ian absolutely loves this one and I love that he’s actually learning to put words together and read when he’s “playing” it. 

I’d encourage you to check out any of these apps.  I’m often resistant to new technology, especially for little ones, but these apps make learning fun! 

What apps to you have on your iPod or iPhone for the little ones?  Please share!  (My personal favorite for me – and one I paid for – is Shanghai Mahjong!  It’s addicting!)


Gina said...

We have not graduated to iphone (shoot, I'm lucky I have a laptop, not notebook, and a cell phone...) What a cool mom you are! Your blog is too cute too, just had to say that! I so miss customizing!

oneblessedmamma said...

We have First Words:Animals for my iPhone, and Sari adores it! She played it most of our trip to NY and back, LOL.

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