fun accessible #stem themed app that teaches colors with a space perfect for toddlers or those learning colors
What we’d love to see…
a sticker type game or perhaps painting with colors on a space themed background, a page where each Wootzy said their color
Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme. Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.
STEM Storiez – Wootzy Col0rs by Zyrobotics is a universal app for iOS which features #stem learning. The app features science, technology, engineering, and math skills and also is usable with the Zumo bluetooth turtle for those with accessibility challenges. The app features a variety Wootzys in different colors each with a different space themed interactive background.The stories feature narration, voice/music, the ability to “type out e-book text” which means text appears as is it read. Each of these can be toggled in the settings, and navigation is at the bottom of each page via arrows. The app can be used via the touchscreen on your iPad/iPhone or via a play stylus as well as the buttons of the touch screen Zumo turtle. Each time you touch the screen an interactive element is triggered like the Wootzy moving, a musical sound, or animation. The app can use a stylus, however, I reviewed it on the iPad as well as with Zumo Turtle.
One of my favorite things about the app was the level of customization that you can do. I loved that you can remove/add sounds as well as change the size of the text on the screen. The story is interactive and engaging for kids with on device learning. Each color is introduced on a different page and the user is encouraged to say the name of the color. My toddler loved the rhythmic sound of the story with “what planet is this? What Wootzy lives here” and was able to repeat the text while we practiced his colors. I also liked that you could turn on and off the voice/music so I could read it to my son and we could then “practice” what color is this? Using the Zumo turtle connected via Bluetooth, my toddler was in control. I loved that he could tap on the turtle to move the pages back and forth because at times the arrows were a bit hard for him to navigate.
In terms of improvements, I would like to see a fun activity at the end of the app after the story is completed to practice colors. It could be painting, or stickers with the items from each page which would engage kids and also allow them to demonstrate that they understood the colors. I’d also like to see a page that featured all of the colors where you could tap on each Wootzy to hear them say their color.
There are no-in app purchases or advertisments, and the parental area is gated with a math problem. The settings area does not have a parental gate, but there are no external links, you can simply turn on and off the various items. Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme. Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.
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.
Remove this text and add your own here.
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.
highly educational, easily digestible information, beautiful graphics, fun and engaging
What we’d love to see…
it is great as is, but perhaps just a brief description of the sun, moon, and planet parts
A fun astronomy app that helps children get a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd is a fantastic app to get children excited about the great outer space. It is based on the book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by Dr. Dominic Walliman (quantum physicist) and Ben Newman (illustrator). It teaches astronomy in an a way that is interesting and easy to understand. The graphics in the app stays true to Ben Newman’s illustrations and has a beautiful retro look and feel.
Before playing the game, players must first create their user profile by choosing a cat avatar and entering their name. They will then get a short introduction and tutorial on how to play and navigate the app. While there is no narration or verbal audio in this app, you can play it in eight different written languages: US English, UK English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System explores the sun, planets, moon, and space travel. There are four areas of learning. First, on the left side of the screen are what I like to call fast facts. These are bits of trivia that are explained further when you click on the (+) icon beside each fact. Both trivia and detailed explanations contain only a sentence or two, making them easy to learn and remember, never overwhelming. Second, the planet/sun/moon unzips to reveal what it looks like inside For example, the earth unzips to reveal the core, mantle, and crust. This also contains some information about its physical features, such as whether it has atmosphere or not. Third, there is a fun “special featurette” on the right side of the screen. This is an area where one specific feature is highlighted and explored just a bit further. On Earth, for example it explains and illustrates why we have seasons, and on Mercury, it has a computer that allows you to calculate your Mercurian age. Some of these are just illustrations with a little more reading, and some are interactive. Fourth and finally, is the Jetpack Challenge. The Jetpack Challenge is a true or false quiz on the fast facts, unzipping, and special feature sections. It contains 10 questions that change each time it is played. If players get at least 9 out 10 right, they get awarded 3 stars, a medal, and parts to build a rocket. They then get to build the rocket from the bottom up. Once the rocket is complete, players get to ride it and blast off into space!
In addition to these great learning activities, it also has a feature where players can view a model of the solar system. The model shows the rotation and revolution of the planets around the sun, and can be viewed closer or further away. There is also a feature that helps children grasp the differing sizes of the sun, moon, and planets by comparing them to the size they would be if they were fruits and vegetables.
I love this app and my children absolutely enjoy it. My son, in particular, went through it in just two days, and I have been truly impressed at how much information he has retained after playing this app. I watched him take a Jetpack Challenge and pass it with flying colors. At this point there is nothing I can think of that I would like to see in future updates, except perhaps for a brief explanation of what the parts of the planet/sun/moon are when it is unzipped. I believe this app is best suited for children ages 7 and up, and I highly recommend it.
Astro Cat’s Solar System
by Minilab Ltd
Price: $3.99 USD
Apple TV Best of 2016
\\ 2016 Webby Award Winner - Best App, Family & Kids ///
*** Pay once & play forever! No in-app purchases! No third party Advertising! ***
Kids can suit up and learn great facts about being an astronaut, rockets, shuttles, space stations, the solar system, the universe and get involved using the many interactive points through each learning section.
In the rocket section, they can experience a rocket propulsion, a lunar module taking off, put parts of rockets together or create their own countdown! I know I’ve always wanted to do that!
In the shuttle section, kids can learn about satellites, be a shuttle pilot and play with rockets. In the space station section, they can have fun finding out about how astronauts live on space stations, eat, sleep, cut their hair and deal with zero gravity. This part was one of my daughter’s favourite section by far. She loved playing with her little astronaut friend in space.
In the solar system section, children can learn about the planets, their distance to the sun, their size, how long they spin around themselves and how many years the planets take to orbit the sun. They can understand where earth and the moon fit in the solar system and learn about the sun too.
Last but not least, the universe section is interesting as it goes through the history of scientists, astronauts, animals in space and how old the universe it.
We cannot fault the app really, you can tell that the creators of this app spent a great deal of time thinking about an easy way to navigate, some great graphics and fun facts about science. The only tiny thing is that some parts of the app have a lot of text some of which isn’t narrated!
Overall, we love this beautifully illustrated, nicely narrated, fun and educational app! Mums and dads can learn a thing or two about space and the universe using this app. The app is very easy to use and kids can go click happy through each section all while learning a great deal about science.
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