Disclaimer: I received a copy of these iPhone apps in exchange for an honest review.
This has been a math kind of summer for both of our girls; it is one of the two subjects they are working on during summer school. Earlier, we were invited to review a few apps from the Reading Eggs folks. We have downloaded several of their apps and I was pretty sure that two of their iPhone apps, Eggy Add to 20 and Eggy Numbers 1-10, would give us a bit of a head start on the new school year.
Eggy Add to 20
My oldest daughter, age 6-1/2, is working on her number facts. Grudgingly. She is entirely unmotivated to learn them. She has, however, been loving the Eggy Add to 20 app. The Eggy Add to 20 app has 6 different games to play with 2 or 3 levels each. For each level you successfully complete you get a Mashie, a character in the app gallery.
All levels have you doing addition problems up to 20. In Balloons, you have to pick the balloon with the correct answer. The different stages use numbers, pictures of cubes representing 10’s & 1’s, number to word recognition & more.
Snowboarding is the hardest. You are snowboarding down a hill and you have to drag the snowboarder back & forth across the slope to avoid obstacles AND collect flags. Each successive stage gets faster and has more incorrect answers to avoid. If you mess up, you start the stage over.
In Teddy, a bear is hanging from a rope, you need to pair numbers that equal the total enough times to make him climb the rope. You can move the rows and columns to move numbers next to each other, if necessary.
Memory is pretty self explanatory except you are matching the problem to the answer.
Sheepdog was a pretty neat game. 4 rows of sheep are moving in alternate directions and you have to hop across the 4 rows by answering the questions at the top. If you hop wrong or get to the edge of the screen he falls off and you have to go back to the top. You have to go to the bottom and get a bone, then carry it to the top until you get all the bones. The sound effects on this one were particularly fun :).
Fishing was my daughters favorite, I think. You have to move the boat across the screen & then drop a line to catch a fish. Your goal is to catch 2 fish that equal the number at the top. The further you get, the more fish there are.
Overall, my daughter has really enjoyed playing all the games in Eggy Add to 20 and she is hooked on trying to earn all the Mashies. I was trying to get her to do math fact problems in a rapid-fire time-trial thing, but I don’t think she will ever hit that goal. I’m satisfied that she is making headway in knowing her addition problems quickly. And she’s having a blast doing it; I don’t mind giving her the screen time when I know she’s getting something out of it.
The app has not crashed my older smaller iPhone 4S, so yay for that! The sounds are not obnoxious and are actually quite fun. While you can pick your accent, I am partial to the Australian one :). Eggy Add to 20 had a bit of a game learning curve (we severely limit screen time), but it was super low compared to some things we’ve tried. It took a day or two (at 15 minutes/day) to really master the game play.
Eggy Numbers 1 to 10
We also downloaded a copy of Eggy Numbers 1-10 for my 3-3/4 year old. We haven’t spent a ton of time on number recognition and need a little work on 1:1 correspondence.
Eggy Numbers 1-10 has 2 sections. The first covers number writing & recognition and the second covers counting. You earn acorns for completed activities and like the Eggy Add to 20, Eggy Numbers 1-10 has little trophies you can collect. In this app, however, they are called critters and there are 18 to collect. You can earn critters for things like playing 30 minutes, using it for 4 days in a row, or earning 1 acorn on all activities.
In the number section of Eggy Numbers 1-10 there are 4 activities for each number from 1 to 10. The first is dot to dot, where the child draws the number by connecting the dots. This one was a little picky in my opinion. The screenshot above shows a failed 1. It looked pretty darn good to me! In Draw the Number, you draw it & it shows you what you should have done. You self compare in this one. In Copy the Number, you trace the shapes. In Number or Not, you say whether the number of items in the box is the number you are working on.
In the counting set of activities, there are 3 games with 2 levels each. The first game is called Counting With Buddy. The game gives you a number and an animal and you have to drag the correct number to the barnyard. The second is Number Ring. In Number Ring there is a circle in the center with a number of animals in it. Around the outside are circles with numbers 1-5 (or 1-10). You are to drag the animals to the correct number.
The Number Domino game is the hardest. You have to match up halves scrolling across the top with the ones at the bottom. And you have to drop it when it’s over where you want it to go. Sort of. Because the top box is smaller than the play area and its tough to drop it at the right time AND match top & bottom halves of acorns & such. It’s a lot for a 3 year old to get. Heck, it took ME a minute :).
I’m surprised at how much my almost 4 year old knew without us sitting down and teaching her and she picked up on it really quickly. I wasn’t a fan of the writing portions, but perhaps she will grow into those. An electronic salt box, if you will :). She enjoyed the Number or Not activity and Counting with Buddy the most. When left to her own devices, though, she had so much fun pushing buttons & dragging animals around that she didn’t learn much :). When guided through, though, she got a ton out of it. She also did a great job with the Number Circle.
Overall, we liked Eggy Numbers 1-10, too. She asks to play her “math game” nearly every day and she’s really starting to understand the 1:1 correspondence. Her recognition of 1-5 is pretty well there now also. I also love the summary screen showing activities, time spent, etc. I wish Eggy Add to 20 had a similar page.
The farm animal theme is fun & enjoyable for 3-4 year olds and cracking the eggs to hatch the critters is fun, too. Eggy Numbers 1-10 was also kind to my aging phone; not only is it a 4S, but I’m not running the new updated iOS (which isn’t so new anymore). It didn’t crash or hiccup and ran pretty well. Some activities were a little bumpy; my 3 year old is not known got her precision and an iPhone screen is small. Still the apps were well built for the small screen and everything was easy to read.
Overall, our family has really enjoyed using Eggy Add to 20 and Eggy Numbers 1-10. My kids have enjoyed being able to play fun games on my phone. I’ve enjoyed that their screen time is not a total brain drain. And hubby is grateful that they run well on my phone because he doesn’t want me to whine about needing an upgrade. He likes the content me, not the gadget-hungry one in need of a tech fix :). We’ve been really happy with the quality of all the iPhone apps we’ve tried from the Reading Eggs folks. I’m excited to see what they create next!
What math apps do your kids love?