Carissa's app picks for kids - March 29, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

These are Carissa's app picks from the past month. You can see all of her picks on the Library's website and, if you want to learn even more, come to The Supper Club at the Alicia Ashman Library on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00. Bring your family, bring your dinner and discover new apps... together!

Mystery Math Town

Mystery Math Town

Reviewed on 03/23/16

Fireflies have been scattered throughout Mystery Math Town. You help a chipper little floating ghost search through funky abandoned houses in town to gather them back up. To get through doorways and passages you must build equations to solve math problems. As you play you will discover hanging portraits that speak to you and offer bits of background information about what is actually happening in this town. Once you find all of the fireflies, you gain bonus play in which you can find coins so you can collect the portraits in your own gallery. Unlimited user accounts means that you can set up different games for different children and customize the level of math for each player. This game is scalable through a child’s elementary education as you can begin with addition 1-10 and slowly add levels all the way through division by 10s making it a good investment. (guest post written by Jane Kelly)

Age group: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5
Platform: iOS
Keyword tags: Family Play, Math, Puzzles, STEM, Stories

Monster Mingle

Monster Mingle

Reviewed on 03/11/16

Explore your monster’s world, re-designing your monster as you go. Enter a wacky world with cartoonish plants, bugs and fish and let your monster be your guide.  As your monster explores the land, sea and sky you will encounter bubbles filled with different monster parts.  If you tap on a bubble with a monster nose, that nose will become a part of your monster.  Want to explore the sky? Find a bubble with wings in it.  Want to swim more quickly underwater?  Seek out some fins! There’s also a few magic potions scattered about that will have a temporary and surprising effect and there are other fun little surprises to discover when you tap on some of the plants and animals your monster encounters. A great, wordless and open-ended world for your child to explore to their heart’s content.

Age group: Preschool
Platform: Android, iOS
Keyword tags: Amazon, Creativity, Google Play, Stories

Sworkit Kids

Sworkit Kids

Reviewed on 03/07/16

A workout app designed for kids! Choose whether you want to focus on strength, agility or flexibility and balance, then decide how long you want to workout (between 5 and 60 minutes) and the app will design a series of exercises for your workout.  Each exercise is first modeled by a short video clip of a kid doing the exercise (with a very nice variety of age, gender and race represented) and then users repeat the exercise along with the model for the amount of time designated.  It’s like working out with a group of virtual friends!  When you’re done with your workout, the app tracks your progress and shows you how many calories you burned.  Sworkit also has an adult version if you want to do a whole family workout challenge.  Parents should be aware that the app does allow you to “share this workout” on social media with no parent permissions required.

Age group: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5
Platform: Android, iOS
Keyword tags: Google Play, Growing Up, Spanish

Fiete Math

Fiete Math

Reviewed on 03/04/16

Developing a deep understanding of the connection between numerals and quantity is an important foundation for all mathematical work. Fiete Math breaks this skill down into very manageable steps and adds a dash of humor to make it more engaging for kids. On an ocean dock, users will find a collection of blocks.  If they are single blocks, they are marked with the number 1.  If there are two attached blocks, those are marked with a 2 and so on. A boat pulls up to the dock and (with a numeral in the sky above the boat) asks for a certain number of blocks.  Players must stick that many blocks together (or slice off enough blocks from a larger group to make the smaller number requested) before they can load the blocks onto the boat. As players progress through the levels, they are sometimes rewarded with new block shapes, still based on a squarish shape, but designed to look like different animals instead of just a square. Keep an eye out for some silly visitors to the dock who are carrying some crazy cargo as they walk by your loading zone!

Age group: Preschool, Grades K-2
Platform: iOS
Keyword tags: Concepts, Engineering, Games, Math, STEM, Things that Go