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Parents' Guide to

PianoBall - Fun With Learning

By Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 2+

Colorful piano game for little hands is big fun.

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PIANOBALL - FUN WITH LEARNING is a wonderful and engaging music app, especially for toddlers. It stimulates kids aurally and visually and allows them to exercise hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and musical development, making it a great choice for a variety of learning styles. Kids can repeat musical patterns to play songs, make their own music with taps or swipes of the screen, or shake the device to unleash a star-filled experience with sights and sounds. Young kids will need help maneuvering between songs, especially when the app gets stuck on one song (fix the glitch by going to the home button, then select a keyboard again). Older kids with early reading skills may hanker for something more challenging, so try the app's solfege (aka "do-re-mi") feature.

The app has two downsides. First, the stacked keyboard design is at times counterintuitive -- kids sometimes have to descend the keyboard to play an ascending pitch (this is not the case in the other keyboard design). Second, it's surprising to find kid-accessible buttons to share the app via Facebook and email on an app deigned for this age range.

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