Friday, June 20, 2014

5 on Friday - Favorite Kindle Learning Apps for Toddlers

It has been quite awhile that I have participated in a link up with the ladies at The Good LifeA. Liz Adventures.  Hello! Happiness. Carolina Charm but that is because I love a good theme for my 5 on Fridays and lately I have just been lacking the creativity for a good theme.  No worries, today I am back with a post that I have been meaning to share for quite some time!

As a SAHM, these Kindle apps have been a godsend for us.  Unfortunately for all of us, Natalie has shown some serious push back on being taught various things (letter learning, phonics, etc) from me.  Lord help us when she is a teenager.  Not to mention that I am not an elementary teacher and need all the help I can get to keep Natalie on track with her learning. 

We have visited local teacher supply stores and picked up lots of fun tools / activities to work on together but sometimes learning is just more fun with bright colors and a cute mascot.  :)  Most of these apps have been supplemental to other projects we work on and help teach her in a different way than I can with traditional books and flash cards.  Not to mention the app allows you to repeat activities over and over which I think help instills the principles we are trying to teach.

Plus it is always fun to trick the kids into learning while playing! #justkidding #butnotreally 

All of these apps offer a LITE version for free.  Which is awesome so you can test it out and see if it is something that would truly benefit or engage your little one without having to purchase the full version.    The "22L" apps featured are $1.99 for the full version and the Tracing app is only $.99.  Not bad if you want to unlock the whole alphabet (and extras) instead of just the first 12 letters!  ;)

First up, a pretty simple introduction into letters, numbers, colors, and shapes.  The full title is Preschool All-in-One Learning - Bubble School Adventure - Basic Skills A to Z.  Whew!

The main gist of the app is to pop the bubbles to match the item indicated.  In this example, we are matching the number 2 (from the cloud).  There are varying levels of difficulty and learning tools versus games. 
This was one of the first apps Natalie played but she has pretty much graduated well past the simplicity at this point.  However, I loved it for a starting place.
Next we introduced an app with more advanced letter and number recognition along with some other basic skills. Hence the name, I guess!  :)  Anyway, the full title is Preschool All-In-One Basic Skills: Learning Adventure A to Z.
The main menu.  A perfect way to change up what Natalie is doing and seeing.  Plus I loved that we could introduce counting, same and different, sizes and matching.  All bundled up in fun and not overwhelming games.

I have no idea why but she LOVES the train aspect of this game.

This app, Tracing ABC, was awesome for Natalie getting the basics of how to write her letters.  Now it is in no way a replacement for getting out a piece of paper and pencil to write but it did help her learn the basic shapes of letters as well as the line to follow when making each letter.  I really feel like it helped her learn how to write her name and it did translate easily to holding a crayon and writing her name on a piece of paper.
 You can learn capital or lower case letters, numbers and shapes.
The outline is shown and you follow the stars when tracing.  Like I said a great way to understand the HOW of writing each letter.  After you complete the letter they offer a word that begins with the letter you just completed.
There are also 2 levels of difficulty to the tracing.  The first shows the letter perfectly traced/straight/in the lines even if your child was a little wobbly.  Though it does correct them if they traced it incorrectly.  The next level really has the child working more on keeping the lines straight and getting the letters as close to 'correct' as possible. 

One of my favorite sections of the app, allows you to start writing and spelling basic words based on skill or grade level.  Or even better?  Enter your own word to help them learn to spell and write their own name!
Totally worth $.99!

Since we have long mastered our letters and numbers, we are currently working on phonics. 
They didn't have a lot of screen shots online but one of the main games shows words and letters.  The child has to but the item in the train that starts with the letter that corresponds with the letter sound given.  If you touch the item, it will speak the name so they can hear the word and start to associate the sounds and letters.
Plus the train is back....and Natalie loves that!

Lastly, 22L offers a great sight words app.  It offers flash cards as well as a few games.  Natalie's favorite is the gears game.  You click on a button and it says a word.  From there you identify the word from the list at the bottom and move the corresponding word/gear to the button. 

I also like the option to grow within the app.  As you master each section of words, you can graduate to more difficult words.  However, if your child already is comfortable with the Pre-K words you can choose to start with Grade K or 1st Grade or wherever is appropriate.  I am pretty sure you can jump around the levels too.

So there you have it, my favorite learning apps for Kindle.  I have been very impressed with most of the 22L apps we have found and I would expect them to have variations for other tablets.
What are your favorite learning apps for your toddlers? 
Happy Friday!! 

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