Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc. is a beautifully crafted app for the younger ones. It is an outstanding introduction to the natural world, and one of its stellar features is its gentle sensory friendly gameplay, allowing children to process all the sights and sounds of the forest and not get overwhelmed by extraneous demands or an endless looping soundtrack. It is now available on the Android platform as well as its presence already on iOS making it available to nearly everyone. Gameplay is flawless, and each scene segues into the next with clear and inviting graphics for self-directed exploration. Chipper the chipmunk is your guide in finding 12 different animals as you explore the inner workings of the forest. READ MOREHandwriting Heroes by Cheryl Bregman OTR/L of AppyTherapy is a developmentally dynamic learning to write app, where the emphasis is on a kinesthetic progression of letter formation rather than a more traditional linear A-Z format. Every teacher, parent, and clinician need an arsenal of learning to print apps in their toolbox to keep motivation high, and Handwriting Heroes is sure to be a favorite. The app begins with teaching lowercase letter formation through the use of animation, song, and stories featuring lively characters. READ MORE Pocket Sight Words by Cortes Global Pty Ltd. is a literacy learning app for teaching the age-old task of learning to read sight words in a brilliant one of a kind app! Sight words are the common words that are not usually phonetic in nature and therefore cannot be decoded or "sounded out" and as a rule are a challenge to learn. These words make up a list of about 220 words that keep appearing on almost any page of text, “the, he, was, does, me, come, and look” are all listed on the beginning lists first introduced to early readers. Pocket Sight Words helps teach children these high frequency/sight words for beginning readers and writers in an easy to use, concise, and engaging manner. FYI the pronunciation of these words is in an Australian dialect. READ MORE Social Detective Intermediate by Social Skill Builder, Inc. is a follow-up app to their outstanding Social Detective Beginner app. This intermediate app supports the foundational content of the first app and extends on the concepts involving everyday social interactions. Both apps are based on the graphic novel entitled, You are a Social Detective by Social Thinking. The genius behind this app is that it incorporates real-life videos where the applicability is immediately useful - fresh from the classroom or therapy clinic. Using videos of peers improves decoding skills so that kids can make "Smart Guesses" - by employing the "Smart Detective Tools", and ultimately rise to the level of becoming a "Social Thinker" and maintain awareness of the people around us. READ MORE Zap Zap Kindergarten Math has just released its first rendition of its kinder curriculum and it has the potential to be out of this world! TWA reviewed their first release back in May of Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games and loved the space theme and the slick graphics that come across as gender-free. Visual Math Interactive took the feedback given after that release and focused on the foundational skills addressed in kindergarten and incorporated the CCSS and clear verbal prompts for the young learners who are not yet reading. The app is a series of eight adventures that take place in outer space, each having a particular math game centered on great gameplay and a different primary math topic. READ MORE
Every year we pick the best of the best of the educational apps that we here at TWA have reviewed. This list is extra long and we apologize that the apps have not been separated into specific categories.... TBC. They are a great mix of STELLAR educational tools to supplement learning.
Math Tutoring and Homework Help by MathElf is an app in which students can actually talk with "live" math tutors to help them understand difficult math problems. This app is a perfect go-to for finding a master math tutor 24/7! What a brilliant idea and Math Elf has made it happen! And though it isn't a new concept (Khan Academy) this app has pulled out all the stops! These tutors are experts in math and strongly believe in working with the students to help them understand how to solve the math problems and explain the necessary procedures. It is seamless to use, students can take a picture of their problem and are talking to a tutor on demand on the spot. READ MORE Owl Eyes is a web-based application that provides a free etext library focusing on Common Core exemplar texts for English Language Arts with supportive annotations, critical analyses, and classroom management tools. They have your text covered with is an enhanced reading and annotating experience for classrooms. Find full texts with expert analysis in their comprehensive library. Their well thought out annotations are designed to equip teachers with further insights into texts. Each text can be assigned to a classroom and given a novel reading experience—you can manage the visibility of annotations and opt to use them for your classroom, or just allow students to create their own. Owl Eyes also allows for the tracking of student growth. It is an almost effortless set up for a classroom on any device, have your students annotating and exposed to higher learning in a snap! READ MORE Sown to Grow is a brilliant new web-based application to teach students how to set goals and write genuine reflections about their assignments. This tool just had a major update and is now easier than ever to set up and gives the necessary structure to help every student become a more competent and confident learner. It is a wonderful way for teachers to establish learning expectations and give purpose to student class work. Teachers can individually comment on the student's work or their reflections, and yes, it also charts growth automatically! Research shows that when students know the purpose of their learning they tend to set higher achievement goals. READ MORE Comomola Fireflies - Goodnight Stories to overcome a fear of the dark is a darling app to lull your youngster to sleep in a safe environment. This sweet story has gone to all lengths to be as calming and lets the child move at their own speed and liking. It will captivate the imagination and put any child at ease taking their minds away from the fear of darkness. Great story to be shared again and again! The developers have strived to create a safe haven, they have succeeded wonderfully with a magical, fun and positive environment showing kids everywhere a better world! Comomola's mission to promote the values that they believe in: friendship, tolerance, and optimism are well addressed in this engaging app, well worth the download! READ MORE Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge Ltd is a darling new app that not only supports the integrity and survival of animals, it teaches young children the importance of humane treatment of all creatures. This app is intended for the five and under crowd and it has been designed with meticulous attention for this specific age group. It starts out with a baby elephant performing in a circus ring and the intuitive navigation seamlessly implies to swipe the page. This first transparency sheet enables the child to move the young elephant over to the other side of the page and reunite it with its parent in its natural habitat. Wow, a rescue hero! Another swipe and you are on to the next animal. Or, children can choose from the 14 different animals surrounding the screen to decide the sequence of events. READ MORE Fido and Pumpkin Position Words by Sakura Imaginings concentrates on a highly important and often overlooked preschool skill: directional words.This is the understanding of words that indicate the position of objects such as: where the person, place or thing is. Prime examples of that would be under, over, between, inside, below, etc., what might seem obvious to an adult is still a rather abstract concept for the young child. Want to try before you buy? This adorable app is a perfect introduction to teaching this skill. The collage style graphics are colorful, playful, and easy to decipher for the young eye. The characters, Fido and Pumpkin are playful and engaging and they do a stellar job of demonstrating these concepts. READ MORE "Understanding Maths - Telling Time" by appp media is simply brilliant in its clean sleek design and thoughtful teaching strategies. It’s perfect for kids just learning to mark time and also sophisticated enough for older students. The outstanding features include being able to record a child’s voice in telling the time, and the gentle scaffolding of the needed skills to help a child learn how to set the hands of the clock and how to do maths when calculating periods of time. The play is intuitive and the reinforcers keep kids engaged as it allows kids to advance at their own pace. Teachers and parents will appreciate the ability to collect data, check progress, and adjust difficulty as a child gains mastery. READ MORE Astro Algebra by Andrew Lockett makes one heck of a great game to help get students ready to learn algebra in an outer space themed environment. Learning to think algebraically is a complex process and this app can fill the gap guiding the child from concrete concepts to the abstract. The developer has purposely geared the app for an initiation into algebra for students at an earlier age than the norm. Astro Algebra does this slowly with a learn, practice, challenge and at first, I wondered at first if it would be too slow for students. Wrong – it gets faster quickly and the advance to the next problem button became a blessing for both myself and students. READ MORE Gabriel's Seeds is a web-based app designed to reate personalized learning apps for kids. This is a great tool for teachers to create apps related to logic, math, reading, and so on, as per the likes of the students. If a student has a specific interest, the teacher can make an app about that particular topic, and use the apps for different kinds of exercises. This customization will certainly help get the students motivated to learn! Not only that, it is free to use! So if you are a teacher or parent who would like to have a tool to make a customized app then this is the app for you! It is a SNAP! Their website has a video tutorial for making an app, I highly recommended to view this tutorial prior to attempting to make an app. READ MORE Touchpress has always been synonymous with producing apps that are sheer perfection. The beauty of Molecules and Barefoot World Atlas has made them classroom standards as well as treasured reference material to explore at will for all ages. They have recently forayed into a subscription service for games that are intended for tweens and teens. They cover a broad spectrum of subject matter and are truly fun. InkBlott Underground designed by Schell Games is one of my favorite all-time games. In order to help Blott, our hero, save the Inkling’s kingdom, you must find pathways and collect morphemes (units of language) and combine them with prefixes and/or suffixes to make words. During play, you must dig your way to not only prefixes and suffixes, but also crystals within a certain amount of moves to successfully complete a mission. There are 30 missions, which are no easy feat. This game was one of the most awe-inspiring games I’ve played in a while. And it’s not like homework because it’s a game!!! READ MORE at Developmental Play and Learning. Curiscope Virtuali-tee implements a 21st-century method of learning about the body. Many AR apps usually use paper to project on, but this app uses a t-shirt, which makes it even more exciting to learn about the different systems in the body. The app also comes with a virtual expert on physiology and anatomy that guides us through the different parts of the body. An added bonus to this app is that it could also be experienced in virtual reality. Check out the video! READ MORE Freggers Play: learn to code in 3d by Spin AG is an app cleverly designed to teach coding by inspiring creativity and spatial imagination with storytelling, building, and the ability for children to make their own rules to run their own world, all in 3D! This visionary app leaves much of the gameplay to the child's own choosing and preferences. A player can dive right into the chosen landscape and zoom around getting a birdseye view of what the terrain consists of and then go to the book icon for story starters and character descriptions. Or a player can dive right into the box and pick a theme and start adding people, props, and animals as well as having them move bound about with special effects. READ MORE Math and Science Tutor by Math Tutor DVD is an application that has hundreds of videos lessons that cross different disciplines that range from basic math to mechanical engineering! It is amazing that these videos are geared for young students all the way to university level. The list of courses not only includes basic math, algebra, and geometry for young students but also encompasses physics, chemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering for students in universities. I don't think there are any other apps that teach across such a variety of grade levels within the same app! This is also one of the few apps available that teaches higher grade levels. READ MORE ReadAskChat has released a wonderful new app to share with the youngest children much like the traditional picture book experiences of earlier generations. Sharing books with young children is meant to be a joyful experience with FUN at the forefront of the activity. If children are engaged and enjoying themselves, they are learning. When children have positive interactions with literacy at a very young age it can transfer to positive outlooks about reading in the years ahead. ReadAskChat's mission is:“to empower families to engage children in joyful reading, singing, and conversation that build on their natural curiosity and validate their perceptions.” READ MORE We ARGH Pirates the latest release by Avokiddo is a brilliant super-challenging PIRATE adventure which will surely give you a run for your money! This app is not for lightweights and scallywags but is suggested for ages 6 and up. In it, they will find this exciting escapade over the top in its rigor. Shiver me timbers, this app is part scavenger hunt and part pure escapade from the everyday world. So set sail o'er the seven seas, where you will find daredevil stunts galore, silly pranks and all kinds of slapstick shenanigans to challenge the brain. The rogue Captain Rose, and his more than motley crew of Claire 'Long Hair', Ruprecht (AKA 'the Shovel'), and by far the Zaniest Granny you have ever encountered set sail around a string of islands in search of buried treasure. Oh, and did I mention get ready to dig? READ MORE Phonics Museum by Veritas Press is a multimedia adventure through an awesome art museum, a scavenger hunt of sorts for exploring the fundamentals of beginning reading. This app opens with William about to enter an art museum and he is far from thrilled. Suddenly, Percival, a young knight appears and he whisks William away into a magical learning land. We soon meet Miss Biddle, the eccentric museum curator or "teacher" who motivates kids with songs and games, she "comes to life," in videos and helps assist children with understanding the alphabetic principle. READ MORE Genius Plaza app covers educational themes, holidays, and histories. In addition, students can share their stories with an in-app eBook maker and video sharing. The app allows you to personalize learning with content to fit all learning styles, with voice recording in eBooks for linguistic learning, reteaching tools for kinesthetic learning, photos on each eBook page for spatial learning, and song-based videos for auditory-musical learning. Teachers, students, and parents can instantly find fun, educational videos filled with catchy songs and colorful animations. READ MORE Visible Body Atlas 2018 and frankly, all their A&P apps have always been my go-to reference for exploring the human body and its function. The major update of Visible Body Atlas from 2017 to 2018 is a must-have for all students, Health Care Professionals, and others that are interested in learning about life sciences. If you already own the 2017 Body Atlas, the update is free which is very generous on the part of the developer considering its new content. In the new edition, Visible Body has added in an Augmentative Reality feature in viewing the various systems and their interrelationships that is groundbreaking and will prove to make a positive impact in how we study and can learn from 3-dimensional structures. READ MORE Mussila by Rosamosi Studio ~ get on board with the Mussila band and learn the basics of music with an accelerated method designed with extremely FUN gameplay! Research shows strong connections between music and stimulating the brain to accelerate language development, speech perception, vocabulary building and even a connection to reading readiness skills. Music has the gift to increase the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. Music can be a calming mechanism, a memory tool and a wonderful creative channel for young children. READ MORE Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is the best Augmentative (AR) Reality app and toy we have used thus far with young children. What a privilege it is to review this masterly crafted playset. It has all the features of a true educational package that is respectful of a child’s developmental level and facilitates the skills needed to challenge a child’s skill base by using familiar play schemes. Gameplay centers on designing and mixing features of a home – floors, walls, furniture, and even the clothing for all the characters that we have grown to love in the Dr. Panda series. READ MORE by Developmental Play and Learning Parenting Hero by MYTHICOWL was made in conjunction with Joanna Faber and Julie King, internationally renowned experts on interactions and conversations between adults and children. The authors of “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen” an indispensable resource for anyone who lives or works with young kids were part of this app development. Parenting Hero provides effective responses to everyday occurrences that can be used to build a stronger rapport with children aged two to seven. By using Parenting Hero, this concrete tool with tips will help foster communication skills within families and cultivate a positive relationship based on trust. You as a parent foster security, respect, and compassion needed by young kids to grow into confident adolescents. Parent-child relationships are an integral part of maintaining a healthy family. READ MORE Comomla Planets is an imaginative and innovative puzzle-like game that invites you to place the interactive pieces in the proper place in order to complete the surface of the planet, all while the planets are in motion. The players must skillfully conceptualize and apply the knowledge to figure out what goes where! This new app is great for the whole family and continues in rigor as you advance from one level to the next. It contains both educational and entertaining content that will keep players playing and returning again and again. READ MOREHere's the Best in 2016: