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What's it about?
JOYLAND - KIDS LEARNING GAMES is a collection of early elementary educational games that address a variety of skills and concepts. The app requires either a monthly or annual subscription. Upon launching, kids will be able to browse the menu of games illustrated on the colorful train by swiping right. Other than the game categories, the home page displays a sound button on the top left-hand corner, allowing little ones to turn music on or off. Currently, there are sixteen categories to choose from, including Memory Games, Dino Hospital, Pet Care, Jigsaw Puzzles, First Words, and more. Tap to choose a category and then tap to choose a specific theme or game. Some games are designed to be intuitive, while others include written and spoken directions. Some games provide a guiding hand for added support.
The app offers hundreds of puzzle games, memory match games, and spelling games. The categories represent a wide variety of skills. Under each category there are several game options or sequences. For example, under Word Families, kids start off by tapping on words that belong to a particular word family. They then match the written word to a picture and then drag the words to complete sentences. Under Circus, kids can practice completing patterns, puzzles, spelling words, or guessing animals based on their outline. The Coin Learning category offers nine different games that allow kids to learn and practice recognizing coins, spelling, patterns with coins, combining coins to make a particular amount of money, making change, matching coins with their value, and adding money. Some games, such as Coin Learning, Magic Time, and Word Families, have a leveling up feature and present kids with a sequence of games that are progressively more challenging. According to the developer, new games are added monthly.
Is it any good?
Colorful and engaging platform is sure to engage little ones with a wide variety of educational games, but the mix of skills don't always make sense. Joyland - Kids Learning Games offers little ones a variety of topics to choose from, guaranteeing that there is something for all interests and a range of abilities. Some games tap into problem solving and recall, while other games address content specific skills. Kids will be able to explore content-heavy topics such as time and money, and can then switch to Pet Care or Dino Hospital and take a little brain break with open play and creativity. The platform is colorful and designed with simplicity in mind, making it kid friendly. There aren't many buttons or settings to complicate navigation, making easier for little ones to use on their own. Most of the games are quite intuitive or have clear written and spoken prompts that guide kids through playing.
The variety and range of games offered by Joyland - Kids Learning Games allows kids to grow into the app. They can start off with simple letter, number, or puzzles games and grow into spelling, word family, and math games. Although the app casts a wide in order to ensures all kids find something that speaks to them, the leveling up in certain games doesn’t always make developmental sense. For example, in Coin Learning a game may start with kids dragging letters to spell the name of a coin, complete a pattern with coins, or match the face of a coin with its value and then demand that they make change or add coins – all within one game. The sequence moves too quickly and taps into a range of content standards that are not representative of what’s developmentally appropriate for a preschooler or Kindergartner. This may cause frustration or may cause kids to lose interest in the game. Grownups may want to help little ones through the more complex games that require more advanced knowledge. Little ones may not be able to discern which games are age appropriate and may need guidance in choosing a game that is just right for them. The games themselves are opportunities for kids to practice and expand on what they know. The app doesn't offer explicit tutorials or lessons. Some basic skills, like letter sounds, are embedded and easy enough for kids to pick up, but others are not. If kids don't have knowledge of how to add or subtract, Coin Learning isn't teaching them how to do so with money. Rather, it presents opportunities for them to implement and refine what they already know or have started to learn. Although Joyland – Kids Learning Games provides an engaging platform where little ones can practice a variety of skills, it doesn't replace the valuable skills reinforced through real life experiences, including fine motor skills and visual-spatial reasoning.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about different ways to practice the concepts and skills they see in Joyland – Kids Learning Games through real life experiences. Find fun and interesting puzzles to do together. Although kids practice problem solving skills by doing digital puzzles, real life puzzles help build fine motor skills and visual-spatial reasoning. Memory card games could be a fun family activity or part of a game night. Play Dominoes and encourage kids to count the number of dots they see.
Encourage little ones to practice letters and numbers with things they can touch. The app allows kids to use their finger to trace letters and numbers. Allow kids to make them using clay or string. They can also trace letters and numbers in sand or in shaving cream. This allows kids to practice concepts, promotes fine motor skills, and engages them in sensory play.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, phonics, spelling, vocabulary
Math: addition, arithmetic, counting, grouping, money, numbers, patterns, sequences, shapes, subtraction
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, memorization, part-whole relationships, solving puzzles
Tech Skills: coding
- Price: Free to Try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day free trial then 4.99/mo. or $39.99/yr)
- Release date: November 8, 2018
- Category: Education
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Bugs, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Horses and Farm Animals, Numbers and Letters, Ocean Creatures, Wild Animals
- Size: 641.40 MB
- Publisher: JP Game LLC
- Version: 3.9
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: July 11, 2020
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