March 17, 2015 9:11 am

Appy learning! 5 fantastic apps to teach your kids new skills.

Oh no, not again! Your kid’s grabbed your smartphone and is flicking through your email, deleting photos, phoning your colleagues, or even worse, duelling with zombies guaranteed to reappear in nightmares. First off, we suggest you set up Kid’s Corner if you haven’t already done so. Then – it gets better – we’ll introduce you to apps that’ll turn your phone into a genuinely fun learning machine. These fabulous five from Microsoft’s App Campus will not just keep any child appily occupied, but also help them develop new skills with every tap of the screen.

Math Puppy Math Activities for Kids by Anlock Single Member Ltd

Math Puppy Windows Phone

Math Puppy claims to be the first educational app, in which children can answer verbally rather than by tapping the screen. The super sweet puppy presents them with mathematical problems and then listen to their answer. When kids answer correctly, they’ll win accessories for dressing up their Math Puppy – a fantastic incentive, and I’m not joking! Another lovely thing about the puppy is the encouraging way it reacts to wrong answers, making sure it doesn’t destroy a little person’s frail mathematical ego. You can play in 10 languages and choose numbers up to 10, 20 and 100.

What the developer says:

“Math Puppy, which capitalises on Windows Phone’s Text-to-Speech and Speech Recognition features, is a unique math app for kids, which is revolutionising the way children learn math. The ability to answer verbally greatly enhances the learning process and teaches children the pronunciation of numbers at the same time. The parents are able to endlessly customise the numbers and operations to further challenge their children as they grow and learn math in all the available languages.”

Fasolya by Beelabs

FaSolya, named after “bean” in Arabic and the musical notes “Fa” and “Sol” is a musical platform game that takes [you] on an epic adventure full of excitement and mystery.” It involves helping a little bean rhythmically jump through five different worlds by collecting musical notes. Kids will enjoy the way you can control the cheerful bean by clapping or shouting, and parents will love how they get introduced to music styles at the same time: the worlds are based on different musical cultures, for example the Middle East (desert world) and Mexico (lava world).

What the developer says:

“What is exciting and unique about FaSolYa is that kids can control the bean hands-free by clapping, shouting or whistling so FaSolYa avoids obstacles and enemies. My 10 and 7-year-old kids took part in the game testing and I was thrilled to see the excitement in their eyes!”

 

fasolya windows phone

 Mash&Co by Crabtoon

Mash&Co is a lovely looking, colourful multimedia app for pre-school kids and their families, featuring animated digital novels, cartoon series and mini games. It tells a story about friendship, family and respect for the environment in a world where water has suddenly disappeared. The aim is to help Mash the Mushroom and Periwinkle the Snail save their village. With the Parental Control panel, parents will be able to monitor their kids’ progress as they learn the skills needed in the game.

What the developer says:

Mash&Co has been designed for small kids from day 1, with the help of psychologists and geek parents. The game respects small kids’ needs in terms of positive stimulation and feedback: timing and game mechanics are simple, smooth and a little delayed, in order to respect kids’ cognitive needs. It is designed as an informal learning tool, very playful and colorful, and through a simple parental control panel, it shows mom and dad how kids 3 cognitive skills: Interaction, Coordination, Recognition. The contents of Mash&Co are suitable for children of all ages, from all over the world. The communication is built on a non-verbal language, understandable to everyone. The app is designed for those wishing to spend quality time with their children, enjoying a rich storytelling and safe entertainment.”

 

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 Tim the Fox by Internet-Expert LLC

Tim the Fox has been designed for children aged 2-4. The friendly and cute fox will teach them how to dress for the weather, distinguish edible and non-edible foods, count from one to ten, and put together pretty puzzles. Besides developing the kids’ memory, logic and counting skills, Tim the Fox will keep them entertained with fun stories in each mini game.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.44.02 AM

What the developer says:

“There are two types of games in the market. The first type is educational games which are often boring and kids only play them for a few days. The second type  is entertaining games, which just waste time and have no educational value. Quality games for children must have beautiful graphics, a fascinating story, and unobtrusive training. The games should be different for various age groups, too. We considered all this when developing Tim the Fox.”

My Cheerful Letters by Taer Alhodhud Liltasweeq

My Cheerful Letters will teach kids English, Arabic and Spanish letters, while introducing them 26 colourful characters and their cute animal friends. To up its attractiveness to little ones, it also includes some free colouring images. This app will also let you track your kids’ performance, so you can see how they pick up the letters in no time.

What the developer says:

“We want to offer attractive content to children in their first years, combining a great idea with cute illustrations and childish voices. In addition to meeting wonderful characters and animals to learn English, Spanish and Arabic alphabets, the child can learn how to write each alphabet and recognise letters by discovering which letter the names of different animals start with. Finally, children can colour wonderful illustrations.”

 

My Cheerful Letters Windows Phone

 

There we go, five great apps for your kids to while away those rainy days or long car journeys, and for some high quality family fun and frolics anytime. We tested the games with our six and three year old reviewers and they gave them a unanimous, very enthusiastic thumbs up. How about your thumb-sized app lovers? Did FaSolYa strike a cord or did Math Puppy bark his way into the family living room? Please write your Cheerful Letters in the comments below.

 

Updated September 30, 2015 7:27 pm