I’ll have to admit, I was a little hesitant when I received the email from a representative at Kidloland, introducing me to their educational apps and to review their apps for kids. My kids are 1.5 and (almost 3), and they get very limited screen time – and when I say very limited, they get screen time once or twice a week when their grandparents are around, it’s their “thing” together. Our kids do watch tv, we aren’t “those” parents who keep our kids in a bubble and don’t allow them to use technology or anything in the digital age, but the shows they watch are usually programs that are somewhat educational, or engaging. Needless to say, I was a little hesitant at first to review these apps, but I was open to it, as they were introduced to me as educational apps, so I thought I’d let my kids try them out, and see what lay ahead. I also wanted to raise awareness to the fact that there are educational apps out there, which could be a good alternative when you're at your last resort, and your kids just have to have screen time.
For those wondering, the app is available on both Android, as well as Apple devices, so they hit all platforms, and you won't be disappointed.
I installed the apps on a spare iPad, and let my oldest one go at it. My mind was blown. I quickly installed the other app on a different iPad, gave it to my youngest, and it didn’t disappoint either. The apps are filled with tons of games (all which are included in your subscription, so there’s no hidden costs) and each one is so different. From teaching your toddler how to write, tracing letters (upper and lowercase) and numbers, to making them learn about opposites (big vs small, tall vs short, etc), to teaching them colours, this app really has everything you would need to keep a child entertained while learning.
With the younger one, apps played nursery rhymes and songs, such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, If You’re Happy and you Know it, 5 Little Monkeys, and probably a hundred more. My 15 month old son was dancing, doing the actions for Head and Shoulders, and clapping his hands for If You’re Happy and you Know it. There’s also games for infants to teach them about shapes, and colours, hand-eye co-ordination and gross motor skills by having them pop balloons with letters on them, that float on the page for them to learn the alphabet.
There isn't a whole lot to say about these apps, as they speak for themselves, but I think what would be informative in this review, is to offer you some insight as to what kind of "games" lie within each Kidloland app. For each app, I also offer what I think is the best age for the child to use that particular app, but please keep in mind, that a) this is purely my personal opinion, and b) every child will develop at their own pace so the apps may be appropriate for infants/toddlers outside of the ages that I say "recommended ages" for.
Kidloland: Kids nursery rhymes
Has a mix of classic nursery rhymes, and is age appropriate from I'd say about 10months and up. Within the app, there are games for:
Numbers, and counting
Intro to vehicles through songs
Connecting the dots
Manners (or "magic words" as the app categorizes it)
Stories (where it can read to your child, or you can select an option where your child can read on their own)
Baby Puzzles and Toddler Games
Has a mix of puzzles, colouring, counting, working on gross motor skills by having them tap moving animals (also would involve identifying the animals on the page), and is age appropriate for ages maybe 18 months and up. Within the app, there are games for:
Sorting (colour sorting, and odd one out to name a couple)
Comparisons (big from small), colours, etc.
Gross motor skills (having them "wash" vehicles using their finger/stylus, and has things like tapping on moving objects)
Dress up (for creative play and imagination)
Learning about Professions
Tracing (learning to write)
Join the Dots
English Learning for Kids
This starts out with Pre-Kindergarten games, and goes up to Grade 1. In the Pre-K games, there are games that teach phonics, learn to write (upper and lowercase letters), flash cards for animals, foods, professions, shapes, etc, and teaches spelling. In the Kindergarten age group of games, they have all the above, to a higher level, and includes learning to read, (through games where they have to identify words, and pop the balloons that contain those words). In the Grade 1 games, they teach words in singular and plural, word families, opposites, past tense vs present tense, parts of speech, and grammar.
The games in this app include, but are not limited to:
Learn to Spell
Learn to Write (tracing upper and lower case letters)
Learn to read
Learn the alphabet
Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Pronouns, Conjunctions, Prepositions
Phonetics, such as beginning sounds, ending sounds, long and short vowels, etc.
Math Games (this is probably my 3 year old's favourite app)
It starts out with Pre-Kindergarten games, and Kindergarten level games. This app is great because it gets them interactive with counting, learning numbers and letters, learning how to write by tracing (guided letters and numbers), has them sort and categorize shapes, and learning patterns. This app would be great for toddlers aged 2+.
Pre-K Games include (but are not limited to):
Number Sense (learning numbers in a fun and interactive way, such as popping balloons with numbers in them, matching numbers, etc)
Learning to write (tracing numbers, shapes, etc)
Join the Dots
Counting (count the balloons, or the dinosaurs, etc)
Counting through nursery rhymes (One, Two, Buckle my shoe; Ten in the Bed, etc)
Fun with Shapes
Sorting and categorizing (learning differences between land animals and water animals, summer vs winter, sorting colours, etc)
Comparison play (big vs small, tall vs short, heavy vs light, etc)
And the Kindergarten Games include basically all the same as the Pre-K games, but to a more advanced level, such as counting cars by two, or by five, etc. The numbers go higher, rather than just 1-10, they have to find missing numbers, leaning about half shapes, 2D and 3D shapes, and learning about the sides of the shapes.
All in all, the 4 apps provide a ton of knowledge, and engage your child, while also teaching them about technology, and keeping your tables free of colours! We have a set of "crayon" styluses from Amazon, which I'll provide a link to as well. I found that personally, as a "limited screen-time mom", I like that they still are learning to write with a writing tool, rather than just using their fingers to trace letters and numbers. the app saves paper, and lets face it, because we do live in an age where technology is the "in" thing, the kids are naturally drawn to the iPad over a piece of paper. Don't get me wrong, they still love a good old piece of paper and crayons, or some paint, but this is definitely an amazing and educational tool when paper and colours may not be the best option, such as road trips, plane rides, or even visits to a restaurant.
Links to products used in this review:
KidloLand: Kids Nursery Rhymes (link for iTunes Store)
KidloLand: Kids Nursery Rhymes (link for Android)
Toddler ABC Games & Puzzles (link for iTunes Store)
Toddler ABC Games & Puzzles (link for Android)
English Learning for Kids (link for iTunes Store)
English Learning for Kids (Link for Android)
Kindergarten Kids Math Games (link for iTunes Store)
Kindergarten Kids Math Games (link for Android)
Crayon Stylus from Amazon.ca