Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City is a iPad only app in which a young girl named Yaya explores the city in a variety of interactive scenes. Each scene has a variety of activities from finding coins and matching them up by numbers in the train scene, to earning tickets at a theme park and attending a birthday party! The app uses U.K. English, but many words are similar to American English and it is great for kids of all ages. The app features English, German, Spanish, Korean, or Chinese as languages. There are four apps in the series including Yaya learns German, Yaya learns Spanish, Yaya learns Chinese all of which have a similar story just with different languages tied to them. The app features multi step directions, completing a task, finding coins and matching them up, getting the birthday ready and more.
My son loves anything to do with trains – so he really enjoyed putting together the tracks and matching the first letter of the objects (“r” for rainbow and “t” for tree). He really enjoyed trying to make the tracks correct so he could continue within the app. At the birthday party, it was fun for my son to help Yaya decorate by making juice – he chose orange and loved watching the blender make it. He also enjoyed matching the letters to the words and getting stars for finishing each task. The app has beautiful artwork with animations throughout including floating balloons. As a mom, I also liked my kids could touch the speaker icon to hear the word spoken again. The app features numbers from one to ten and thirty seven other words like apple, roller coaster, bridge, house and other words you use everyday in the English language. The narration in the app is well done by a native English speaker. I would suggest this app for kids aged four through about second grade because of the complexity for some of the mini games. I liked that the app had a comprehension test at the end – although 30 questions seemed a bit high – I would prefer if there were ten or so questions that rotated through. My older son especially enjoyed the birthday room and making the cake, blowing up the balloons and sorting the candy items for the favor jars. The app features a gated parental area which includes a glossary of the words including pronunciation, links to social media. This parental area is accessed by touching a number and holding it for three seconds.
In terms of improvements, seeing a number on a coin versus the roman numeral can be confusing for kids who may not have learned that concept yet. I have a 3 year old who loved finding the coins, but had a hard time matching them to the roman numeral because they were not the same. When you successfully complete the numbers, you are presented with a screen which shows the coins – again with numbers and the spelling of the number which is different than how it is presented within the app. Older kids may understand the concept more clearly and be able to execute There are also a number of items within the various screens it would be nice to see an interaction with when you touch them. In the park, my son got frustrated because when you put the kids on the rides you are timed as you answer questions – it would be nice for younger kids if you didn’t have a timer because when time ends you have to start the level again. I would also like to be able to mute the background music – as it can be a bit distracting but when you turn down the sound you lose the narration.
Overall, this is a cute app designed to help kids learn English in a fun and interactive way. It is designed for children who already speak English as well as non native English speakers. The mini games are fun and have good replay opportunities – but younger kids especially can get frustrated when you try the app because of the inconsistencies in the levels of the games. There are no in-app purchases and no advertising contained within the app. This is a fun educational app that will have kids playing over and over again.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.