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Customizable learning app encourages parental involvement.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn pretty much whatever you want them to with TableTots. Parents and educators can create virtually any type of lesson -- from math to reading to shapes to sorting -- with the extensive tool set. The app encourages parents to make their own lessons, but there are nearly a dozen quick-start "tables" to get you going. Its sandbox-style actually encourages more creativity for adults than kids, as they imagine new ways to create learning scenarios. TableTots offers a bounty of tools to help parents teach their kids a wide range of lessons. 

Ease of play

The game is a bit intimidating at its start-up screen, as it relies on the user to make several decisions (What do you want to teach? How do you want to do so?) without any hand-holding or explanation of which buttons do what. Once you stumble your way around the interface for a while, though, it's pretty simple to get the hang of. 

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that TableTots is an educational app that offers parents a wealth of tools to create lessons for children. The app provides the building blocks to learn the alphabet, spelling, object recognition, and basic math. And because it's a sandbox-style app, you can create any sort of learning scenario you can imagine. Because of the setup requirements, parents will need to be actively involved when this app is used. 

Parents say

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What's it about?

Parents and teachers can set up educational lessons that fit their lesson plans, using a variety of themes and layouts -- as well as multimedia bonuses like sounds, rewards, and transition curtains. From there, it's really up to the creator where to go. They can create counting lessons, focus on arithmetic, teach shapes, and more. The app has a diverse set of tools that let you create the lessons you want, mostly by dragging and dropping. The lack of a tutorial, though, is frustrating.

Is it any good?


Spinlight Studios has created some of the best educational apps mobile devices. AlphaTots and TallyTots let kids work by themselves, but TABLETOTS brings parents more into the mix. This extraordinarily versatile app lets parents put together hundreds, if not thousands, of lessons in everything from letter and number recognition to spelling and math. The only real hiccup is there's no tutorial for putting those lessons together, which generally means some hunting and pecking before you know what to do. There are some good pre-set lessons, which are good starters, but some parents may get frustrated before finding them. There's also no way to save scenarios you've created -- a minor annoyance, but something that's worth correcting. 

The app won't know when a child gets an answer right or wrong, either, but there's no getting around that -- and it encourages parents to be actively involved with their children as they learn, something that's hard to complain about. 

Families can talk about...

  • Before diving in to create custom lessons, check out some of the pre-set lessons in TableTots to get a better feel for what you can do with the app.

  • Help kids take some of the skills they practice in the app into their everyday lives. For example, when kids see a group of objects (blocks, socks, O-shaped cereal), help them count. 

App details

Devices:iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Subjects:Math: arithmetic, multiplication, shapes
Language & Reading: letter or word recognition
Skills:Self-Direction: academic development
Release date:March 24, 2012
Size:21.10 MB
Publisher:Spinlight Studio
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySanjay407 November 10, 2011


What other families should know
Educational value