Playful Minds: Math (5-8 years old)
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What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Playful Minds: Math (5-8) is an educational app that drills kids' math skills and stretches kids in multiplayer mode as they compete against other kids in math mini-games. The app is meant to grow with the child and provides training from kindergarten to second grade. There are five profiles, so this can be a bargain for multi-child families. Parents also need to know that in multiplayer mode kids cannot exchange information, but parents should use a nickname when they set up the child's profile if they prefer that their real names not be seen at all. The game can be played perfectly well without the Report Card feature, but if you want to continue using the app after a year, a yearly subscription of $6.99 must be bought. The app is not compatible with older devices, so parents will need to check the tech requirements.
What's it about?
At first play, kids customize their avatar and can later earn more clothes or accessories for it. As they travel through the island, kids complete different math tasks to unlock prizes and other islands. Each new skill includes a short instruction on the concept, and kids can tap the light bulb at any time to repeat the lesson. Level options are easy, normal, hard, and very hard. Kids earn points for playing daily and based on their scores. Kids can also play against other kids, each at their own skill level, in the multiplayer mini-games.
Is it any good?
PLAYFUL MINDS: MATH (5-8 YEARS OLD) makes learning math engaging and fun by making it a game with goals to reach for. Kids start by creating an avatar that moves from game to game. They earn trophies and certificates and unlock character clothing and accessories as they complete exercises; they buy the character items with gold they also earn from playing games. The multiplayer mode is a set of competitive mini-games, and is safe as there is no interaction between the kids -- but kids can see how well other kids are doing graphically. Each child also gets questions suited for his or her level, so all kids have a chance to win.
The major downside for the app is that it is incompatible with older devices. Many users report crashes.
Families can talk about...
Offer kids some fun homework time to practice math facts by playing a round every day. Practice makes better, if not perfect, in math.
Challenge your kid in a mini-game. The app has parent-level problems for you, and appropriately leveled problems for your child, too.
|Devices:||iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad|
|Subjects:||Math: addition, algebra, counting, geometry, money, numbers, patterns, subtraction|
|Skills:||Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving |
Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, motivation
|Release date:||January 19, 2012|
|Topics:||Numbers and letters|
|Minimum software requirements:||3.1.3 or later|