Guest Post from Raptor Dad.
Bellamon makes some of Raptor Dad’s favorite kid’s apps for the iPad. Fortunately, they also make some of Raptor’s favorites! Shape-O was the first app we purchased from them, and it is a near perfect kid’s app. Simple to use, generous with the stray touches that kids are likely to do at the edge of the screen, bright and cheery, and just a lovely experience for your little ones. It didn’t hurt that it included dozens of puzzles for our very picky little girl to sort through.
Next came Counting Catepillar, which was still good but a little more mind numbing to the full grown brain. It’s just counting, so it can get old and repetitive quickly, but that’s the sort of reinforcement kids need. Again, the software is well designed when it comes to children, interfacing easily without much instruction at all. Many kid’s apps fail in this way, including advertising or unneccessary screens plugging other apps by the company that just get in the way of your kid doing what they want to do (play games!)
Most recently we purchased the Math Tree, which is again a lovely app with all the design benefits of the others, but targeting a little bit more advanced skill: Addition and Subtraction (note, there may be more advanced math like Multiplication and Division, but Raptor hasn’t gotten there yet and I haven’t sought it out). Hopefully no one gets judgy that we are drilling our little girl on Math skills, this is something Raptor has come to on her own. She started doing simple adding and subtraction without any guidance, which blew our minds a little so we’ve tried to gently encourage it and make sure there are tools available for her to explore at her own pace.
Anyway, on to The Math Tree. The app is beautiful as ever and Raptor loves it. On screen ‘manipulatives’ allow her to see and discover the answer to each math problem and then answer from 1 of 4 multiple choice options. When she gets one wrong it gently suggests that she try another option. Because the options are just there for her to see, I have noticed that she will grow impatient at times and just mash buttons until she gets the right one, but she is just three – I suppose a little impatience is expected.
All in all it’s a great app and I’d encourage anyone with an iPad and little ones to pick up anything Bellamon makes.