Sunday, July 31, 2011

New apps for preschoolers


   I recently received an email from to check out their new educational apps for preschoolers. The company has a number of apps which are worth taking a look at. 

     I downloaded Abby Toys for Kids and ABC Magnetic Toys to test them out. Both apps are designed for preschoolers but would also be useful for second language learners as well as children with special needs since each focuses on clicking objects to name them.  

Abby Toys for Kids: (free for basic and $1.99 for full version) 

     This app is  narrated by Abby the Monkey and introduces children to toys for Emma and Tom. When you click on either character, you are taken to a bedroom and given a choice of four activities to do. Game 1 is called Find Me and asks you to touch the correct object. Game 2 is called Magic toys. Objects move across the screen and children need to put them in the correct place. Game 3 is called Hidden Toys and children need to choose from a variety of objects to put the correct one on the shelf. The final activity is called Learning. Children tap of an object and hear sound effects. 


     The app is interactive and will help children learn basic vocabulary and sorting skills. I did, however, find that the narrator's voice does not match the characters. The same voice is used for all characters and not highly engaging. The app would be better if children's voices were used instead and had different voices for each character. The basic version of the app is free and worth downloading. If you do find the app to be useful, then you may wish to get the full version for $1.99. 

ABC Magnetic Toys:  (free for basic and $1.99 for full version)

     This is a good app to teach basic vocabulary, the alphabet and colors. It is easy to navigate and children can choose a category (girls toys, boys toys, nature, letters, shapes/colors). Each category contains a number of objects which children can drag to hear the word and sound effect. 


     Overall, the apps are good for teaching preschoolers basic words and skills. They could also be useful for children learning English as a second language or older children with a learning disorder. The free versions are worth downloading to trial the apps.