A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Brainzy is an interactive platform that gives kids practice with pre-K, K, and 1st grade math and reading skills. Each subtopic offers a collection of games, songs, videos, and read-along storybooks. There's no inappropriate content, but there is some mild cartoonish aggression in some videos. Once kids finish an activity set, they can try another or play again to improve their performance. There's a lot of audio support and reading out loud, so pre-readers should be able to play without problems, although kids do need to be able to handle a mouse. A free version offers access to a limited number of individual games, whereas the pay version allows kids to follow a learning sequence with games and extra material. Parents can create up to three profiles and see detailed progress reports on how far along kids are in any particular topic.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
BRAINZY attempts to teach math and English concepts in a new way. Users create a profile, choose an avatar, and watch a short how-to video. Then, they choose pre-K, K, or 1st grade math or reading to enter the activity world. Once there, they pick one of the topics (sight words, silent E, counting, addition) to begin a topic set. Each set includes an introductory video and/or song, has several interactive games, and wraps things up with a read-along storybook. Reading sets also have comprehension quizzes. When done, kids can continue to a different set or play again to improve their performance.
Is it any good?
Brainzy is a nice collection of activities that address very typical early-learning themes. The learning content isn't unique, but the presentation, quality, and range of topics are good (albeit better for the K and 1st grade than for pre-K). The games, songs, videos, and stories are creative and have a high production value that's bound to capture and hold kids' attention. Kids also get a nice package of different ways to interact with the learning material, which makes it accessible to kids with a range of learning styles and strengths. Activities are best for practice, and kids get feedback through trial and error.
In the free version, kids can browse through learning topics and choose single games to play. Without the extras or the assessment feedback, kids can still get simple but fun practice with common early learning topics -- as well as ads encouraging a purchase of the premium version. It would be nice to be able to suggest games or give kids more guidance on the topics they explore. Overall, Brainzy is an engaging way to introduce kids to math and English, because while they play, they're learning key concepts that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's fun -- and important -- to learn letters and numbers. Can you think of ways to make these topics exciting to or engaging for people who don't like math or English?
Point out math concepts in everyday life, such as patterns, counting, numbers, shapes, and more. Do you look at math concepts differently when you can see them in everyday life?
incorporate language, reading, and writing in multiple forms: Read lots of books together, sing songs, and point out the letters all around us.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, reading
Math: addition, counting, shapes, subtraction
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Free, Free to Try, Paid (Limited content available for free, premium membership offers more content, progress reports, and up to three user profiles. Parents can sign up for a free trial.)
For kids who love learning
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.