Mobile Learning | Viewpoint

6 Early Learning Apps Reviewed

Working with the premise that parents and teachers of young students don't have much time to scour Apple's app store to find the perfect memory match or counting game for kids, education startup KinderTown has taken on much of the heavy burden itself. The company offers a curated, microcosmic app store that lets users search education apps by platform, age, and subject. T.H.E. Journal recently invited Carolina Nugent, KinderTown's education director, to review a few of her favorite apps geared for the K-1 set.

  • i Learn with Poko: Seasons & Weather is a top-notch science app for children ages 3 to 7. Developer Tribal Nova has out done themselves with this interactive, engaging, and authentic app that teaches children about seasons and weather while boosting their vocabulary and comprehension skills. With three levels of different activities that get progressively more challenging based on the user's responses, children will remain absorbed in this complete learning experience.
    Tribal Nova
    $1.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

  • Art Maker by ABC's Play School creates an engaging scrapbook-style environment for children to create, narrate and imagine. Art Maker gives children a variety of backgrounds to choose from with lots of characters and objects that are easy to add, resize, and manipulate. Each picture can be saved in app, assembled into a storybook, or transformed into an interactive video as your child narrates and moves the images around. Art maker created a very informative "for parents" page that gives tips and ideas to help you get started.
    Australian Broadcasting Company
    Free; iPad

  • Sums Stacker is an important educational app that takes number sense beyond simple equations. Encouraging higher order thinking, Sum Stacker provides an interactive experience for children to build quantities in a non-traditional way. Using fingers on hands, dots on dice, or roman numerals, children are asked to drag values from stack to stack with the objective of building the correct sum. With two difficulty levels, two modes of play, and nine different game features, children will have ample opportunity to be challenged and learn how to think about numbers in a meaningful way.
    Carstens Studios
    $0.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

  • Sid’s Science Fair delivers a rich, educative experience that is captivating and meaningful for children ages 3 to 6. The app has a large collection of activities that a scientist would engage in that encourages thinking and discovery. Children will explore small details with a magnifying glass, chart data on graphs, and sequence how objects change over time. Sid’s Science Fair excels in integrating meaningful scientific vocabulary with interesting photography.
    PBS Kids
    $2.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

  • Howie Hungry Monster: Build Words presents children with a colorful learning environment and parents a way to be involved in their child’s progress. Focusing on increasing vocabulary, reading power, and overall phonics growth, Howie Hungry Monster is an app early readers will benefit from. Adult users are able to adjust the difficulty and see how well their child is learning with 5 different levels of word practice.
    PlaySmart Kids
    $2.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

  • Ansel and Clair Adventures in Africa is a complete learning experience that integrates Science, Social Studies, Math and Language learning into one brilliant app. Through questioning, exploring, and completing challenges, primary aged children learn and develop higher order processing skills. Ansel and Clair Adventures in Africa will provide children with hours of engaging education through enchanting game play and authentic learning.
    Cognitive Kid
    $4.99; iPad

About the Author

Carolina Nugent is KinderTown's education director.