Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.
A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!
In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.
There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.
The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.
What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.
Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.
Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.
Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
music, word builder, train builder which can be themed
What we’d love to see…
shapes, train related music, simpler words for the word builder
Fun train themed app perfect for a toddler or preschooler. Practices fine motor, early literacy and critical thinking skills.
Note: This review was originally published in 2011. I’ve updated it slightly, but it is not a new review Zoo Train by Busy Bee Studios features five train-themed games for young children aged 2 and up.It has five different activities for children- puzzles, music, train builder, word builder and track builder. The puzzle portion allows children to complete simple puzzles and move the train along the track. The music mode allows children to select song to be played such as twinkle, twinkle little star. via a variety of colorful train whistles. The train builder allows children to choose their engine, cargo and caboose along with a background of where the train should drive such as the beach or countryside. The word builder allows children to practice simple spelling by matching letters to create a word and provides a visual reward of the item after the word is completed. The final mode, allows children to drag missing track pieces to finish the track. In addition, children are awarded stickers for rewards for finishing various activities. Children learn fine motor, early literacy and critical thinking skills.
This is one of the top five apps in our house. I really appreciate the fact that it does not include in-app purchases, is educational for children, and features so many different choices for children to interact with. I also like how the various elements are tied together, for example there is a star puzzle and in the music section you can play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” I often challenge my son in the train builder function to build a train focused around a specific theme such as aquatic animals.
Shapes would be a great addition to the app, perhaps as part of the train builder section. I would also like to see more train related music in the music section such as “I’ve been working on the railroad” or the like. In the word builder section, since the app is aimed at young children, it might be helpful to have words that children can sound out such as cat, dog, sun versus ones like couch which are more difficult to pronounce.
If you are looking for an engaging app for a toddler or preschooler in your family who loves trains, this is a good fit. Other apps from this developer include Giggle Ghosts and Bug Games. Printable pages to allow for interaction outside the app are also available.
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