KinderTown loves the app Quick Math Jr. by Shiny Things. It’s uniquely made to capture kids’ attention and help them learn about counting, ordering numbers, adding, subtracting, and writing numbers. The app is centered on colorful and playful monsters. One of five different game areas is randomly selected when the gameplay begins. The areas are represented by a bus, a light bulb, a pair of eyes, a house, and a train. One of the greatest features of the games is that they automatically adjust to your child’s learning level so they are appropriately challenged as they learn and progress through the app.
These games are combined together to create Hustle Bustle Island. The app has 3 different islands available for purchase, each of which provides 3 new games for children. Parents can also elect to receive report card notifications on their child’s progress via email.
Throughout the game, children can earn different facial features for the monsters, which then appear within the app. Our child testers liked this feature and the ability to personalize their own monsters. The app allows for multiple students to have profiles, so if you have a classroom or multiple children at this level, the app will support each child’s individual development. The app is appropriate for children who can recognize numbers and number concepts, starting around age 4, although the ability to add and subtract numbers and memorize the facts usually occurs later. Make sure you read the parent section to find different examples of age-appropriate number games that can be played offline to support your child’s learning and development of numbers. The app is free, but additional content costs $4.99 for each island.
Most children associate paper crafts with making something decorative or
ornamental, but it can also be used as a structural material. Introduce your
child to the basic principles of engineering by making simple paper building
blocks. This activity demonstrates how you can take a material that is weak in
and of itself and convert it into a durable shape, a triangle, to make it
capable of sustaining weight.
What You’ll Do
Make triangular paper blocks
Test the strength of different structures
Tools You’ll Need
4 ½ x 6 ½ inch card stock
Various items to test the structure’s strength such as a spoon, cup, crackers, small toy, etc.
Activity Blue Print
Measure and mark 1 ½ inch increments along the
shorter side of a card.
Draw 2 vertical lines from each mark down the card.
Cut along each line carefully.
You should have 3 strips of paper.
Fold each strip in half.
Open the fold.
Fold the ends of each strip toward the center to
Form into a triangle and secure with tape.
Repeat to form as many blocks as desired.
Cut several 4 ½ x 6 ½ inch papers in half. These
will serve as “shelves” between the rows.
Place one block on its base and the next on a
vertex. Continue this alternating pattern to form a row.
Lay a “shelf” between rows for stability.
Begin to stack a row of triangles.
Continue to build and experiment with the
Test the structure to see if it can hold a cup,
spoon, small toy, or several crackers, etc.
If the structure does collapse, how could it be
changed to hold the item? Discuss with your child and experiment with different
If the structure holds, identify features of it
that make it sturdy.
Increase the size of the blocks proportionally
to create more robust and versatile structures.
Try combining different size blocks within a
Science experimentation without the mess! Thank you, Piiig Labs, for this inquisitive app that brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. The budding scientist in your house will love making a volcano erupt, building a light bulb, and tinkering with a radio. The app touches on themes such as electricity, chemical reactions, and cause and effect relationships with age-appropriate activities that are designed for children ages 3-6. In addition, each experiment is accompanied by a short science fact for kids. The app is $2.99 and is available for iPad only.
This app provides an ingeniously designed virtual chemistry lab where emerging young scientists can explore how different materials interact. The incredible part is that children do not have to be able to read or understand all there is to know about chemistry to engage in tinkering in the lab. As children dabble with the “elements,” they create new “elements” for their own periodic table. Please note that the “elements” and periodic table are not based on the actual scientific reactions occurring but rather give children the understanding that when elements are placed under certain conditions, a new element can be created. The app does not provide narration, so parents can support their child by providing lots of vocabulary and asking questions that prompt curiosity while using the app. For example: What do you think is happening? Encourage your child to ask questions too. This app will make your child feel like they have all the tools of a mad scientist! The app is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and is $2.99.
Nico & Nor Coconut Star is an app that focuses on force and motion for early learners. The app does an excellent job of making the scientific concept approachable for children and parents. The goal of the app is to develop an understanding of force by using the lever in different positions to complete a specific challenge such as using force to knock over a stack of blocks, aiming the coconut at a bridge, or using a series of ramps to hit a target. The challenges become progressively harder as the challenges are solved. There is a complimentary app called Nico & Nor Ramps Journal which acts as a repository for children to explore and experiment with ramps. This would be an awesome tool for hands-on learning at home, in a school setting, or summer camp. Best of all both of the apps are free!