FREE for a limited time (and for the first time) – Toca Builders, another wonderfully creative app from Toca Boca. Kids (ages 5+) create things with the help of 6 builder friends: Blox, Cooper, Vex, Stretch, Connie, and Jum-Jum. Each builder has unique skills which kids can control with simple gestures. The builders help move, stack, drop, spray, smash, paint, & lift blocks as kids create/construct new objects.The educational app also has a snapshot feature and an autosave feature to share & save the world that your child has created. If your child can imagine it, he/she can build it with the help of the Toca Builders – creative fun for your budding engineer/builder!
Discovery Channel’s Shark Week starts tomorrow. It’s a week of TV programs dedicated to sharks that began in 1988 and is now broadcast in over 70 countries.
Here are some educational apps about these creatures who capture the interest of so many people – young and old!
FREE – SeaWorld: Ruckus Reader presents – Shark Goes to the Doctor, an engaging story that follows a sand tiger shark as it is checked by vets. Kids learn interesting facts about sharks’ lives.
Download link for SeaWorld: Ruckus Reader: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seaworld-ruckus-reader/id515220048?mt=8&uo=4
FREE – Global Shark Tracker lets you follow the navigational pattern of sharks that have been tagged with satellite tracking technology. The purpose of this tracking is for shark conservation and the collection of data on the health of sharks. Very cool!
Download link for Global Shark Tracker:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/global-shark-tracker/id570772231?mt=8&uo=4
Currently, $3.99, Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island is an adventure story of a 10-year-old treasure hunter named Kai. Kai is always dreaming about treasure and looking for it in his parents’ store: The Treasure Shop. Kai’s dreams magically transport him to Shark Island where he finds a treasure chest. And so the adventure begins…. Kids help in the hunt for gold by choosing from 8 different treasure chests. Each chest reveals another clue – leading Kai through more adventures. Along the way, there are animations to discover, great sound effects, and an original score. This digital story is similar to the “choose your own adventure” books with an “Indiana Jones” feel to it. It is different every time it is read with thousands of ways to find the treasure. This app would be great for kids who are a bit older and becoming independent readers. Very cool 🙂
Visit the website for a preview http://treasurekai.com/. After reading the story, your child can go back to the website for a variety of extras: watch fun fact videos, go behind the scenes, play a video game, work some puzzles and more.
Currently $1.99 – Ocean – Animal Adventures for Kids, an educational app for preschoolers. Kids will become sea life experts as they explore 3 ocean scenes – a coral reef, a shark reef, and the deep-sea. The app has two modes – one for tapping/interacting with the creatures and the other for listening to/learning facts about them. Kids will learn fun facts about more than 30 animals and be delighted with the 60+ animations. The app is narrated in 12 languages – English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Turkish, Dutch and Italian. Check out this cute interactive book for your 1 – 5-year-old today. 🙂
FREE for a limited time – Synonym Match, Antonym Match and Homophone Match. These three educational apps each feature a classic card matching game that helps kids with vocabulary development. Each matching game can be played by one to four people. Players can choose to match twelve, sixteen, twenty, or twenty-four cards. There are three levels of difficulty – easy, medium and difficult. When a match is made, fireworks appear. These apps would be great in a shared iPad classroom setting because they support multiple players and multiple student levels. Check them out while they are FREE!!
On sale for only $.99 – Slice Fractions was recently listed as one of Apple’s Best of 2014: Apps. Kids learn about fractions as they slice through ice and lava to clear a path for a cute mammoth. Along the way they collect silly hats for the mammoth to wear. As they solve the app’s 90+ physics puzzles, they are exposed to key concepts of fractions – partitioning, equivalent fraction, numerator/denominator notation, ordering, subtracting from a whole, etc. Kids will enjoy learning about fractions in this wordless environment that seems more like a game than math lessons. I love that the app encourages kids to be problem solvers. Its replay button permits them to try each puzzle again and again until they figure it out. Hints are only given when support is needed. The end result is that kids are learning through discovery! It’s no wonder that this app has received so many accolades: Apple Editor’s Choice, Editor’s Choice for Excellence in Design: Children’s Technology Review, Winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award 2014, Gold Medal Winner 2014: International Serious Play Awards, and Best Family Friendly Game 2014: Indie Prize Showcase Awards.
Common Core State Standards met:
- 2.G.2. Partition a rectangle into rows and columns of same-size squares and count to find the total number of them.
- 2.G.3. Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.
- 3.NF.1. Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
- 3.NF.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions and compare fractions by reasoning about their size. Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size. Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3).
- 4.NF.2. Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2.
- 4.NF.3b. Decompose a fraction into a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way, recording each decomposition by an equation.
FREE again – Toddler Tap!, an educational app for your youngest iPad user. The app is very simple to use. Kids tap an object and the object is named. There are 8 categories of words – colors, numbers, shapes, letters, vegetables, fruits, pets, vehicles, instruments, and home. The app is visually appealing – uncluttered pages of simple and colorful drawings. The voice can be turned on/off and the language can be switched from English to Spanish. There is also the option to print the pictures. Parents/teachers can create magnets or stickers for sorting and classifying activities. Check it out while it is FREE. 🙂
FREE for a limited time – Sago Mini Road Trip, a darling app for preschoolers. Kids go on a road trip with Jinja the cat. Each adventure begins by answering three questions: where are we going, what do we need to take, and what vehicle will we drive. There are six destinations: a big city, a beach, the mountains, and more. Once kids decide where to go, it’s time to pack their suitcases with the appropriate clothing and items for their chosen destination. Then they get to choose a fun vehicle to drive – a bus, a hot dog, a sporty car, a pickle, etc. I love the conversations that this app would inspire as kids prepare for their trips, especially when they go to pack their bags. Once the car is loaded, off they go. They can stop to wash their vehicle, gas it up, or just to enjoy the sites along the way. This educational app is cute and great for language development!
FREE for a limited time – The Lonely Beast 123, an educational app based on Chris Judge’s well-loved children’s book. Every day, the Beast counts the things in his house. Kids join him on his counting adventure which features 12 fun & interactive scenes. Every number has something to count – 4 eggs to fry, 6 flowers to water, 9 cakes to eat, 11 stars to tap, etc. The app is top-notch with lots of attention to detail. I love how the numbers are drawn – they show kids what to count on that page. The app is visually appealing with great sound effects – really fun for little ones! Highly recommended.
FREE for a limited time – KIds Coin Fun, an educational app that helps kids learn about U.S. money. The app teaches kids how count coins, identify coins, add coins, and make change using coins. In the settings, you can choose total questions (10 – 50) or total minutes (1 – 5). Other settings include a “try again” feature and four levels of difficulty. Scores are tracked for each level and activity. I love that this app includes making change – great for grades K – 3!
FREE for a limited time – Marco Polo Ocean, an adorable educational app for preschoolers. Kids will learn about Earth’s oceans in two ways – through build & explore activities or free play. There are 5 build and explore activities – build a coral reef, build marine animals, build fish, build a boat, and build a submersible. As kids add parts to each puzzle, they learn the appropriate vocabulary. Many vocabulary words are also explained. During free play, kids can do several things: explore from the shore to the sea floor, steer their vehicles through ocean waters, add creatures to the water to see how they interact with each other, and more. Marco Polo Ocean uses self-directed discovery to expose kids to STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in a fun, engaging way. Kids will learn about the ocean structure, the species that live there, characteristics of the fish/marine mammals, etc. It’s no wonder that Marco Polo Ocean was named App Store Editors’ Choice in 15 Countries!! Do not miss this one. It puts the fun back in learning. 🙂
FREE for a limited time – Math Animations (Grades 1-8). This app Includes numbers, decimals, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry (perimeter and area of parallelograms, triangles, trapezoids), measurement, algebra for elementary and middle school students. The title says it all! The purpose of this app is to show kids how math works – visually. The app features 55 animations that explain everything from counting to beginning algebra. There are no words used. Math concepts are visually explained in step-by-step illustrations. If you have kids that need to “see” how things work, you may want to add this app to your list of teaching resources!