Bottom Line: An app with a seemingly endless amount of content for your preschooler. Ebooks, songs, videos, puzzles and games will keep little ones occupied and learning for hours. Some content is free; the rest can be unlocked for an in-app purchase of $2.99. Try before you buy â some of the activities are a little advanced for toddlers and preschoolers.
If youâd like to download Preschool Learning: Activities, Books and Puzzles (iPad/iPhone, FREE with in-app purchases), please use our handy link so theyâll know who sent you:
No ads, external link to App Store in protected parent section. In-app purchase of $2.99 to unlock full content
Whatâs free: A dozen games, books, puzzles and other activities
Whatâs not: The remaining 60+ activities
Can you excuse me for a minute? I need to sit down and rest. Preschool Learning: Activities, Books and Puzzles has worn me out. Thereâs SO MUCH STUFF here. The folks at Playrific have combined videos, songs, puzzles, games, coloring pages, ebooks and more to create an app that will keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained for DAYS.
The app seems to be a collection of content from a variety of sources, including animated characters called Bumblz (which are adorable) and sing-along songs from a YouTube channel called Play Along with Us. Kids learn about shapes, colors, counting, money, letters, animal names . . . Iâm out of breath just thinking about it. There are more than 40 ebooks, all of which include narration for a read-to-me experience. And although this wonât be true of most preschoolers, if your kid is reading independently, the narration can be muted.
Which brings me to one point I need to make: although this is billed as a preschool app, some of the activities are decidedly beyond preschool level, and parents need to know that before they buy. Thereâs one game thatâs even labeled 7+, although itâs not even the one that falls the furthest outside the advertised age range. For example, thereâs a Candy Crush-type game that would be beyond most preschoolers (heck, it was beyond me until I figured out what I was supposed to do. Iâm not a Candy Crush player). Thereâs also a game where kids have to catch coins in a piggy bank and try to match the amount shown on the screen. One of the game functions asks kids to look at whatâs in their bank, compare it to the total theyâre supposed to match, and type in the difference. Um, what? My second grader is just now learning about counting money and SHE couldnât do that. A preschooler most certainly canât. Thereâs still a ton of content here for the littlest users, but parents need to be aware that some of the activities will require their kid to grow into them.
Thereâs plenty here to merit the $2.99 in-app purchase price, and although Iâm not a fan of in-app purchases in general, in this case I like that parents can try out the app first. Of course, itâs certainly worth a download even if all you want is the free content.
There are a few things I wish the developers would fix or change, all of which are minor but important for a preschool audience. First, the puzzle pieces and the names in the animal name game do not âsnapâ into place. This can get frustrating for little ones who donât have the fine motor skills to get a puzzle piece into precisely the right position. Adding that âsnapâ feature would help a lot. Second, the songs seem a bit repetitive. Why are there two versions of the Old McDonald song? Why do we have the same ABC song twice from the folks at Play Along With Us? Even preschoolers will understand that thatâs uncool.
A couple of technical fixes that would make the app prettier to look at: in one of the ebooks, the âmuteâ icon, which is rather large, covers up the text. And for some reason, many of the games are not full screen. The play area is in the top left of the iPad screen, and the rest of the screen is just white, like somebody did a bad job of scanning a photo. What the heck? Thereâs no reason for bad graphics. One more thing: my inner Grammar Queen found a misspelled word and a misplaced apostrophe.
Thereâs nothing here thatâs new or different or revolutionary. The ABCs are still the ABCs, and colors and animals and shapes are still colors and animals and shapes. But if youâre looking for a solid educational app that will entertain your youngest iPad users, this app, especially the free version, is a good place to start.