bright interactive app that encourages children to learn a variety of words in English ranging from numbers, colors, shapes, and everyday words.
What we’d love to see…
use of matching numbers to roman numerals for the counting, no timer for some of the games, shorter “test” at the end of the app
Fun interactive kids app that teaches children numbers and a variety of words in a interactive birthday adventure for Yaya. There is no IAP or advertising.
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.
Fun easy to use leveled math app that encouraged my son to practice his math skills
What we’d love to see…
ability to test out of content your child may already be familiar with, ability to turn off the sound affects within the app
I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills.
Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal app for iOS that focuses on #commoncore math skills. The free app with gated in-app purchases (IAP) includes content for children from kindergarten through sixth grade to learn, master and be quizzed on math materials using games. The app itself contains over 150 games and over 180 math subtopics and is common core aligned to the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics. For purposes of the review, I was given a full user ID and tested using second grade material since that is the grade my older son is in. The premium subscription is $9.99 USD and is charged on an annual basis. For those that purchase the full subscription there is also a web-based dashboard so you can check on your child’s progress.
Skills practiced within the app include: Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Ratios, Multiplication, Geometry, Coordinates, Measurements, Angles, Time. Each “year” within the app is a full school year’s worth of content which is fantastic for home practice during homework time, for homeschooling families or simply to prevent the “summer slide”.
Within the app, there are four different skill areas to use: training, accuracy, speed, mission. There is no spoken language contained within the app, but there are written directions as well as video tutorials to show you what to do for each of the mini games. After completing problems correctly, the words “good job” or stars are flashed on the screen. After taking the quiz, you are shown the results of your work as well as given a time bonus (if completed faster than allowed) to give you a total score.
Training – this is the area where your child learns the skill and gets a tutorial about how to do it.
Accuracy – your child uses the skill to answer questions faster and more accurately
Speed Building – the skill itself is learned and now the focus is on completing the task in a faster manner
Mission – this brings all the pieces together when you rocket into outer space with a fun mini game
One of the things we liked was that there was a tutorial for each type of game. This made sure we understood how to play it because it included step by step directions and a sample problem for you to complete. My son in particular enjoyed the hive game as he had to connect different equations together to complete the problem. At the end of each mission, you see your accuracy and score as well as a number of “Z” coins which are in app currency to purchase items. We also liked the wide variety of games and frankly the huge amount of free content available to users without purchasing a subscription. This app really allowed you to “try before you buy”.
In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if there were a way to “test” out of content. My son was familiar in some cases with the content and kept telling me how “boring” it was to have to relearn a skill that he already knew. I also would like to be able to turn off the background sound within the app, my son found the ticking and various noises distracting so we ended up muting our device, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to do it. I’d also like a collaboration space, my son’s math curriculum is very visually based and several times he actually wanted to use the number line or draw out the math problem. You can see the number line in the training mode, but you can’t manipulate it which was something he requested. I would also like to see a parent gated area that contains the rating as well as a way to see the dashboard from my device in a future release.
Above is a screenshot of a sample dashboard that shows what skills each student is practicing along with accuracy, amount of time played, number of attempts. You can also click through to get a more detailed report.
I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills. This is a great app to try and see if it works for your family, the $9.99 in app purchase/annually seems affordable for the amount of content contained within the app. There are external links, however, they are parental gated.
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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.
fun multi-player math game that covers a wide variety of topics and encourages kids to complete mini-games to learn more concepts using a multi-faceted approach to learning. I also really liked the dashboard so I could see areas my son was struggling. My son also liked the coins within the app which he earned for answering questions correctly.
What we’d love to see…
a “redo” button if your child knows the answer is wrong, showing the correct answer if you answer incorrectly in the training module.
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Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games iOS Universal Education by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal space themed app for iOS which is free via iTunes and features a $9.99 annual subscription fee to access the full content of the app. The app includes math topics including: addition, subtraction, fractions, ratio’s, multiplication, geometry, coordinates, time, angles, and pre-school math. It is also aligned with #commoncore math standards and materials are delivered in a module type manner meaning the types of math are not intermixed within a teaching topic. The app allows for multiple profiles, meaning that you can use it with multiple children or users who can then practice specific types of content. Also included is a web dashboard where parents and teachers can login to see specific types of skills practiced, accuracy as well as areas that their child may have struggled with. The app does not require internet access to use it, however, in order for it to “sync” with the dashboard internet access is required.
The app opens with some test content for non subscribed users, for purposes of the review I used grade 1 content in a premium membership. The app features a four pronged approach to teaching content. Each of the modules is presented as a game which encourages kids to engage and seems to be a better way for my son to learn versus traditional worksheets. There are five “levels” to complete for each of the modules below before you move on to the next skill.
– Training: First you “train” which can include a tutorial on how to do a specific type of content. The tutorial provides instruction on how to move within the module using arrows and then a shovel to answer the question. Questions are poised which requires you to “jump” to the right answer using a number line, represented by boxes. When you get to the correct answer, another math problem is presented. Once you answer the problem correctly you are presented with a second problem and after every so many problems you are given a treasure chest to dig for. If you answer incorrectly, the flag does not drop most of the time. Your accuracy is tracked and given to you after you complete five problems successfully. After completing the problems you earn “z” coins which can be used to “purchase” content within the app. The coins are in-app currency and are earned by completing levels rather than something you purchase from the iTunes store.
– Accuracy: You are presented with problems to answer and after answering two problems correctly you can “fly” the space taxi. You earn an accuracy score as well as a regular score and earn more “z” coins. This level is meant to continue practicing the skill and improve your accuracy within the problems presented to mastery.
– Speed: you are presented with “how fast” can you make the number, accuracy (answering correctly) and speed are key components of this level. Typically you had to add two or more numbers to successfully complete the math problem.
– Mission: you are presented with a game to demonstrate mastery of a skill. For purposes of the review, I used the “orb” where you not only have to answer a math problem you also have to correctly pattern the color. This means that the problem may add up to 10 and there may be multiple colored orbs and you have to pick the right color pattern in order to answer the problem correctly. If you get too many problems incorrect, you earn a lower rank and don’t demonstrate “mastery” to move on to the next level.
I really liked the overall flexibility of the app as well as being able to see the areas that my son worked on while he was within the app. I used the dashboard to understand what areas he might have struggled with as well as looking to see improvement from the “training” to the “mission” modules. I also liked that the content was in modules rather than mixing it together with a variety of different skills being taught in one portion of the game. This is similar to how my son’s math is taught in school and a method we are familiar with. The graphics and games were interactive and encouraged my son. I also liked that by completing specific tasks my son could “spin” the wheel using his earned “Z” coins to gain additional items within the app.
In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the right “answer” shown if my child gets the answer wrong in training mode. For me, training mode is an opportunity to test and learn new concepts rather than master them. By putting a red “x” on the wrong answer from a field of 2 he knew he had it wrong but didn’t always understand why. For some of the games, my son had trouble differentiating “day” versus “night” in the clock to understand why he got the answer wrong. We did figure out the app was using military time versus what we traditionally used at home which is x time and AM/PM which then helped him get the answer correct. My son really struggled in the time telling section and got frustrated. I would also like a “redo” button just in case you select the wrong item by chance because there were times my son knew he had the answer wrong but had to continue with the “wrong” answer because we couldn’t figure out how to redo it.
Overall, I liked Zap Zap math because it aligned with common core learning standards and was much more fun for my son compared to written math sheets and he was still able to demonstrate that he knew a skill. I also liked that it was multiplayer and could be used with multiple children which will make the cost of the subscription less if you divide it out. The app could be a great supplement to classroom or even something you use with kids to prevent a summertime slide. You can download the app here or below using our iTunes widget. There are in-app purchases for the “premium” version and the app can be used across multiple devices using the correct student ID. There is a parental gate which requires a math problem to give feedback.
A variety of skill building games to help students learn and practise a range of Maths concepts.
What we’d love to see…
Ability to repeat the audio of instructions for all games.
A well designed app that introduces Maths concepts progressively to young players while challenging them to think and learn beyond memorisation.
There are altogether 8 games, each with several game levels, targeting a range of important mathematical concepts and skills:-
* Cosmic Counting – counting to 20, more or less, number patterns, number order, number sets, odd one out
* Meadow Maths – counting on and back, adding up and taking away up to 10
* Shape Sort – shapes, colours, colouring shapes, odd one out, pattern puzzles
* Fishing Fun – size, weight, comparing quantities, high and low, far and near, big and small
* Space Solver – matching, doubling, halving, sharing out items
* Captain Clock – minute hand, hour hand, setting the analogue clock to the hour
* Money Pig – UK coins – 1 pence to 2 pounds, putting coins in order of value, coin values
* Match Up – shape identification, counting to 15
From the home screen, kids can choose to play any of the games and they have to complete each game level in order to unlock the next. You can set up the game levels to be partially or even all unlocked if you find the lower levels to be too basic for your child. This level control however, applies to all the user accounts (up to 6 accounts).
What I like about this app is the gradual incremental level of difficulty in the games where a new skill is added one level at a time while building upon the skills that were practiced in earlier levels. For example in the Meadow Maths game, children are at first given the exact number of farm animals to put into the pen, then they are given more than the required number of animals to add into the pen. After that, kids practise taking away the extra animals out of the pen before they are tasked to find out how many animals to add or take away from the pen to match the number requested. A number sentence is displayed at the top and the app will show if the answer submitted by the child is correct or not, visually.
If kids find the progress to be too fast, repeated play of the earlier game levels (different questions each time) will help them build confidence. Each game level is short in duration and kids can switch to another game before they get bored or frustrated. Or they can turn to the nursery rhymes on the home screen for entertainment.
There are many Maths skills that are being introduced here. Some of the more advanced concepts are even appropriate for the early elementary level. However, there is no direct teaching in most of the game levels. Instead, the app equips you with the game descriptions and objectives. While kids will learn as they play the games in sequence, more challenging concepts like doubling and halving (early multiplication and division) will need your guidance.
You can see how well your child is progressing by looking at the number of stars and the type of medal (bronze, silver and gold) he/she has achieved for each game – straightforward progress tracking and simple rewards that will appeal to younger children.
This app is the first in the EduGuru series of educational apps for the 3-5 age group, the other three being English, Science & Technology and Art & Music. Based on the high quality shown in this Maths app, I anticipate more creative skill building EduGuru games that will make children think. Meanwhile, download the free lite version of the app and try some of the games. It’s worth the time and effort!
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