Saturday, October 24, 2015

Two apps you and your 2-5 year old will love!

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Once upon a time, I wrote an entry about apps my toddler loved and I saw some educational value in using. I thought this is great! I'll do this every 6 months, as she grows! And then she got a LeapPad and my iPad died and I stopped blogging for a while. 

Well, here is the next review. It is just a little late. 

Cost: $3.99

This app has won the 2015 Apple Design Award for a great reason. It is all-around gorgeous. It is a simple app based on the alphabet. When a user taps a letter, it gets larger, becomes a 3D object, and then becomes a variety of animated objects that start with that letter. Users interact with the item to get it to morph into another item. The audio track is gentle, and the graphics are dynamic. I test every app before I let my kids at them. I played this the whole way through, it was so entrancing. Think of it as a kiddie primer to Monument Valley. Oh, and it teaches your kid letter-sound-word correlation. That, too. 

Endless Reader for Apple and Google
Cost: The first few words are free. Then you need to purchase levels at $6 a piece or in bundles, for more.

Both my girls love this one, and both learn from it. Based on popular K-2 sight words, this breaks words apart by letter, then sentences by word. I chose the word "train" to give you an example. 

When you select a word, the monsters run by and break apart the word. As the user drags a letter into place, it makes its phonetic sound in a silly, animated way. 

Once the user gets all the letters in order, there is a little celebration before the sentence appears. Again, the creatures run by and three words, one being the featured word, scatter. 

Once the words are safely back in the sentence, the user is rewarded with a short animation while the sentence is read aloud.

My girls started playing with this by taking turns. J. would do the letters, V. would do the words, they'd watch the video together and repeat. They loved it so much I shelled out the $6 for this app. And it is worth every penny. Even J., who is nearly 2.5 years old and is recognizing the sight words she plays. This isn't because she is playing this all day, every day. We save phone apps for unfair wait times or places I don't want her hands on everything, like post offices or public restrooms.  Occasionally I'll bust it out while waiting for PreK pick-up if we get there early. (Like I'm ever early for pick-up.)

Here's a bonus app: Starbucks

Even if you don't go to Starbucks, get this app. It is free, and you get the featured app or song of the week free regardless of your coffee habits. I received Metamorphabets as a free download using the Starbucks app. I purchased Endless Reader, so naturally it was featured as a free app a few weeks later.

All of these reviews are my honest opinions. I received nothing in return for my reviews. I'm not that cool. Yet.

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