A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn and practice basic early math skills such as counting, numbers, measuring, fractions, and observation. Kids don't get penalized for wrong answers; instead they simply keep trying until they make the right choice. The games also introduce a good number of tool and building vocabulary words (level, wrench, and so on) and show some building techniques (for example, cutting a board with a jigsaw). Even though the activities feel disjointed and unrelated to each other, kids will get practice and exposure to building vocabulary and working with numbers.
Ease of Play
Interaction is easy and straightforward. Instructions are presented visually on the screen and said out loud. Kids need to tap, swipe, and drag.
Products & Purchases
Additional apps from the same developer are available for purchase behind a parents-only lock.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids enter Grandpa's Workshop to help Grandpa build things. Kids measure, paint, divide boards, hand over the right tool or number of screws, and more, all while practicing some basic math skills. Kids also can see a few live-action videos of some building techniques. In the settings area, parents can choose which activity type to include or exclude. There are a limited number of games, though, so kids will repeat the same activities over and over again. The games continue to cycle with no natural break points.
Is It Any Good?
Kids naturally love helping grown-ups do grown-up things, and the relationship kids have with grandparents is often something special. So getting kids working with (virtual and pretend) grandparents is a great idea. The simple games and clean graphics and design make play easily accessible. Grandpa is sweet and gives lots of gentle encouragement; kids will enjoy giving him high-fives. The games focus on a few important early math themes, but randomly cycling through them, without any coherent connection from one task to the next, makes the whole experience feel frantic and disjointed. Tying all the activities together in a sensible way and having kids build, say, a bookcase would add some coherence. A few more features would also really improve usability, such as natural endings to play cycles or the ability to save a finished clubhouse or see its progress as it's being built. Overall, GRANDPA'S WORKSHOP is a fun game with a really sweet theme that could use some tweaking to make it really over the top.
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