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Great Early Learning Apps for iPhone and iPad
If your child has graduated from our list of great apps for toddlers, there's an abundance of educational apps on the market for the pre-k learner. Many offer opportunities to form letters and numbers, practice rudimentary spelling and word recognition and basic arithmetic. The best make building these skills fun. Here's a few that provide hours of hands-on learning.
There are a fistful of handwriting apps out there, but I Write Words is still the gold standard. It uses a smooth, smart interface where little learners follow Mr. Crab along numbered lines to form letters, words and numbers. But the real hook is that the narration and art is done by kids, which makes for an experience that little ones immediately relate to. Adults, meanwhile, will find it adorable and practical. (iPhone/iPad: $2.99)
Here’s a fun app adaptation of the popular DVD series that helps kids learn Spanish with the aid of a friendly Panda. Users learn 54 Spanish words and phrases related to waking up, eating and drinking, and playtime. For each of these three categories, there are three levels of simple games: nouns, verbs and short phrases. Visual, verbal and animated cues, coupled with praise from Pim reinforce the lessons. (iPad: $2.99)
Here’s a fun way to get kids into beginning math skills and concepts: make a monkey the teacher and a beach the classroom. And this chimp delivers on an impressive range of topics such as shapes, number recognition, counting, patterns, addition, subtraction, comparisons, writing numbers, and recognizing sets. Questions are varied in difficulty and adjust automatically depending on player’s skill level. Besides encouragement from the friendly primate, kids get motivation by earning points redeemable for items that fill a virtual aquarium. (iPhone/iPad: $0.99)
This one has been at the top of favorite lists for over a year, but it keeps getting improved and updated. A friendly animated teacher, Mimi Mouse, guides kids through basic addition, subtraction, sight word recognition and basic spelling. Methodical and clear instruction is given at every turn, and parents can select subjects and level of difficulty. Kids get hooked once they find that for every three correct answers they earn a coin to spend on stickers that can be applied to five scenes such as barnyard and undersea. (iPhone/iPad: $0.99)
This super simple app to teach kids to tell time with the help of an animal on the clock face. Users pick lion, tiger, elephant, hippo, or panda. Correct answers prompt a happy sound, while guessing wrong get you a whimper. The app includes elapsed or tell time modes, 12 or 24 hour clock and a “learn” mode with an interactive tutorial on time-telling. For adorable interface, tons of settings and customizability, and solid, hands-on learning there’s no time like now to pick this one up. (iPhone: $0.99/ iPad: $2.99)