Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Apr8_iPOD

For my birthday my husband surprised me with the latest iPod Touch. I am embarrassed to admit that it took me 3 months to install anything on it beyond our music library. But eventually I got around to evaluating some fun apps for kids out there. It helped that my friend from work has a very technology-savvy son who is going to be 5 soon. She gave me some initial ideas, and I am still going to follow up on some of her recommendations. While grandparents were visiting, we went to more dinners out than we usually do, and iPod was very handy during those wait times. Anna was begging to “play with iPod” every day. What I like about those games is that they are very short and can be good for a short activity. So here are our three picks so far:

Teach Me: Kindergarten is genius because of its reward mechanism. Every 3 correct answers (the number can be configured) will earn a player a coin. The coin can be used to buy stickers for virtual scenes. It has 4 components – sight words, spelling, addition and subtraction. It has an annoying bug when sometimes the correct answer disappears from the screen when dragged incorrectly, and I am not letting Anna to play it for longer than “3 coins”, because she gets tired and cranky – math part is a stretch for her current abilities while spelling and sight words are a bit too easy.

iWriteWords is really ingeniously done, and I didn’t find annoying bugs so far. This is my favorite out of the three. Essentially it allows you to trace letters in the same way the writing is taught in schools, and it also allows you to make short words in iWords part. It’s very intuitive. The only complaint that I have is that I didn’t find any way to pick a character or go back to the beginning to the alphabet – it keeps going until it reaches the end and then starts at A again.

123 Color is sort of interesting and relaxing for me, but not so much for Anna. The premise is coloring by numbers or by letters, but the color picking palette is too small for chubby little fingers – she just doesn’t have precision in picking colors or in placing her picks on the coloring pad. She didn’t want to play with this one after the first couple times.

If you have iPhone or iPod Touch, have you installed any games or educational apps for your kids? If so, what are your favorite picks and what are your own picks?

10 comments:

Christy said...

I am probably the last person on earth who does not have anything like this. I have a cell phone that makes phone calls and takes bad pictures; it doesn't even have a cute little keyboard. I have an ipod, but it's just an ipod. I am so out of touch.

Pathfinder Mom said...

Ditto what Christy said - I just have a standard iPod. I have a Windows-based phone and I haven't let Tornado Boy play with it. He does have a Leapster, though - so that's what he has for educational games.

Eva said...

My husband has an iPhone, and his friend showed him some kid games that he could put on his phone. I'm not sure what they're called but there's one that if you click on an animal it tells you the sound it makes ie: a cow says mooo, haha Aye likes that one because there are different animals she's not familiar with. There's also this memory card game one she likes. And she loves the voice changing one, it's actually pretty funny to hear what you'd sound like as a robot or mouse, etc. Teach Me Kindergarten sounds neat I wonder if it's available to iPhone too?

Debbie said...

I am with the two above. I probably would struggle just to get music on it. My friend gave me an ipod, but it is loaded with all her music. I still haven't figured out how to get her music off there let alone prepare to load mine on, so I guess you know it is sitting in a drawer!

Dianna Jo said...

We got the iPad when it came out 2 Saturday's ago, and my daughter is upset every morning that daddy leaves with it to go to work, and is now waiting up for him so he can bring home HER iPad. Last night he transfered some of the aps to his iPhone so some sharing could happen. Again, needing her small ipad. Thanks for posting the aps, I have been searching and not really finding much :)

Joyful Learner said...

We have iWriteWords and we love it! Animatch is fun matching game. JC also like iZoo to listen to the sounds they make. My favorite is Feed Me! which is a Korean game but if you turn down the sound, any child can play it too. JC learned fractions and telling time from it. Most of it is intuitive. There's also Dr. Suess stories and Louie. They are lifesavers when we are at a restaurant and the children are done eating and we're waiting for the check.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I never thought about an iphone as restaurant entertainment for kids - I'll remember that, if we ever join civilization again :)

Our Country Road said...

Thanks for the links! Mustang loves o play on the iPod, I'm sure she would enjoy these, too.

vanessa said...

I love the sound of the second one you mentioned! Juliet loves playing with my husband's iphone--I don't have one, so I don't know much about it, but I'll have to see what games he has on for her. I know he has one that is an etch-a-sketch--and Juliet likes to draw on it, write letters, etc.

Adriana said...

I can't help much. I don't even have an IPod. I still like my CD's. :)