It’s always a fine line trying to get your kids to play “educational” games on the iPad/iPhone. They pretty much just want to play Angry Birds all day and I have to give it to them – who wouldn’t want to? I don’t want to have to nag my kids to play educational games – why can’t there just be cool games that my kids WANT to play that just happen to be educational.
I found it in the TeachMe series of apps. Now, the app screams educational so you’re probably thinking my kid is going to hate it. For some reason though my kids love it! I think it has something to do with Mimi the Mouse who verbally guides the kids through the app and gives them praise and encouragement. The other thing the kids love is when you get a question right you get a gold coin. You save up the gold coins and you can buy things to create a virtual aquarium. Can you see a theme with my children? They like earning money even if it’s fake computer money. Big motivator in my house.
Here’s the deets on the TeachMe series. There are four levels to these suites of apps and my kids have used 3 out of the 4. As you can already tell, my kids give these apps a 5 out of 5 stars and two thumbs up.
TeachMe: Toddler is for pre-schoolers and this is the only one we haven’t used only because my kids weren’t preschoolers anymore when I found out about the app. The Toddler version teaches pre-schoolers colours, numbers, shapes, letters, letter sounds and introduces them to basic counting. Parents can choose which topics you want your kids to focus on and even choose which questions the game asks.
In the Toddler version children are rewarded with virtual stickers when they answer the questions correctly. They can take these stickers and use them on different backgrounds within the app. The Toddler version is the only one that doesn’t give out gold coins and you don’t get access to the virtual aquarium.
All along they are guided verbally through the app by an animated teacher Mimi Mouse. Mimi Mouse gives encouragement and helps with each question.
The next level up is TeachMe: Kindergarten. In this level kids are taught sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling. Parents can pick which subjects you want your kids to focus on and even change the difficulty settings and again you can even pick specific questions that the app will ask your child. Or you can be lazy like me and change nothing and just give it to your kid to figure it out on their own.
TeachMe: 1st Grade turns it up a notch by interpreting a child’s written answers which helps their writing while teaching math and spelling. It’s pretty cool! If the app or the child is having trouble writing out the answer the app will show them how to write the correct answer. This keeps your kids from having to always ask you for help which is awesome when you’re trying to get dinner on the table.
The last in the series is TeachMe: 2nd Grade. In this level there are six subjects to help your 2nd grader out: spelling, sight words, long addition, long subtraction, fast addition and fast subtraction. Again with this app it can interpret your child’s written answers.
As a parent here are the things I love about these apps.
- My kids love them.
- The home screen shows me my child’s progress in all subjects so if they are not doing well in one area I can adjust the settings.
- The subjects get rotated randomly so my kids don’t get bored.
- How can you not love Mimi the Mouse?
- I find my kids playing on these apps without me having to ask them to play them.
- I can set up multiple profiles on each of the apps so it’s easy for my kids to go to the next level.
- Did I say my kids love them yet?
The only thing negative about these apps is that it stops at 2nd Grade. I think it would be beneficial to continue in this series at least a few more grade levels.
What educational apps have you found that your kids love?