Games for Kids

Games for Kids

by Wombi

Do you have a house full of toys that aren’t getting played with?  Would your youngster(s) rather play board games or cards? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you and I have something in common.  My five year old son can spend hours playing all kinds of games.  Developers and childhood friends of  Wombi apps have added to their collection of fun, educational apps.  Their most recent launch is simply called Games for Kids.  Designed for all your Apple devices running iOS 4.0 or later, you won’t be disappointed as you and your little one play six classic games on the go.  With eye pleasing graphics, 3D like animation, clear directions, various parental options and verbal reinforcements come build your vocabulary, memory, and such mathematical skills as recognizing patterns and sorting objects.  Through three levels of difficulty, each game can challenge children 4-7.  Games for Kids will keep your child so engaged that they won’t even realize that they will be learning.

Prior to playing, it would be beneficial to view the various gaming options that are available.  In the top right hand corner there is a cogwheel like icon, simply tap it twice and here parents will be able to set and/or change their child’s learning experience.  Such options include turning on/off the following items: show names of objects, use only uppercase letters in names, play voice over, play background music, speak instructions, and child lock options.  In addition, parents can manipulate the level of difficulties from easy to hard.  Games can be played in multiple languages: Swedish, English, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish and Norwegian.  If english is your primary home language, it might be interesting to experience Games for Kids in a different language as young minds are like sponges and learning a new language can be very valuable.  Lastly, parents can set the number of questions that need to be answered correctly, ten being the most.

From the main menu, Guess the Word is the first choice, however, games can be played in any order and repeated as often as necessary.  The narrator will very clearly say a word and with six choices you are to match the word with its picture.  Based on the options that were set in the parental guides, players will see a empty star graph at the bottom of the screen. The number of stars is based on the questions you need to answer correctly.  With every right answer, an empty star will be filled in.  If a player happens to miss what the narrator has said, simply click the question mark bubble and he will repeat the word.  With a tap of your finger tap the correct picture, if you tap incorrect, it will make a bouncing sound and will shake.  If correct, it will enlarge that picture and scrabble like pieces will be used to spell that word underneath.   A note to the developers – might it be possible prior to moving onto the next word to tap each letter so as to hear the sound that it makes.  In addition with one simple swipe over the whole word, could the narrator say the word one more time.   If this were to be added, it might be a good idea to add in a forward green arrow or symbol so users know how to get a new question.

Next in line is Odd One Out.  Here players will need to look at nine images, these images can be broken into two categories: fruit, vegetables, animals, instruments clothing to name a few.  The objective is to find three things that does not belong with the rest.  Knowing the population that these games will meet, it might be helpful to set an addition lock mode.  Sometimes our young friends are too quick to hear certain narrations/explanations because they have already clicked to move on.  Regardless of certain objects being the “odd ones out”, it is still important that they see and hear the vocabulary word.  Adding in a waiting time to hear and see each “odd one” before the next one can be selected.

The Sorting Game is very clearly designed.  At the top of the page are two to four categories and are represented pictorially and verbally.  Each  of these icons can be tapped on and will explain its meaning.  In the middle of the page are four to twelve objects, it is your littles one goal to drag and drop each item into its correct box.  The number of categories and objects will dependent upon which level of play you choose within your options setting.  With one simple tap of an object, your finger magically picks it up.  Simply drag it to a category and let it go.  Players will know that they are correct when the object is let go, the narrator will announce what that item was. If incorrect, the narrator will say nothing and that object will return to the choice tray.  A note to the developers – might it be possible in the easy level to add in the option of tapping items in the choice tray as it is read first.  Some items may not appear as they may know them. By adding this feature it would give those questionable items to children an opportunity to problem solve which bucket it belongs in.  Next in line of those games of choice is Memory. As you play memory the only difference that will be noticed is that there isn’t a star reward bar at the bottom of the page.  Depending on the level of choice chosen, this will determine how many cards will be placed upside down.  With their recall strategies, players are to find all the matching pairs.  When a match is located, a large image of that object is presented with the word spelled out below.  Sounds simple enough, but will certainly keep the attentions of your little one.

The last two games are The Parade and Jigsaw Puzzle.  The Parade immediately caught my attention as my kindergartner came home last with math homework that required him to make patterns.  According to our town’s district benchmarks, kindergartners should be able to: extend, describe and create a variety of patterns including visual, rhythmic and movement and be able to use rules to sort and make patterns.  The objective of the Parade is to drag what is missing to the empty spot, thus finishing a pattern of fruits, clothing, animals and such. Through the exploration of the Parade, children will be meeting these two end of year benchmarks.    The final exploration of play is Jigsaw Puzzle.  Jigsaw Puzzle takes those objects that they just made patterns, sorted, and matched with and cut them into various sized pieces depending on the level of difficulty that was preselected.

Overall, Applicable2U was very impressed with this interactive and educational app. It provides a nice amount of verbal reinforcement, it extends skills to meet the learning needs of multiple age levels and it rewards users with stars that are earned.  As players complete games successfully, bonus games are added for further interactivity.  Through our exploration, the firework popper was our all time favorite.  What will be yours?  For a simple .99¢ download, you can have your youngster gaming for a reason.  If you would like to learn more about Games for Kids or any other apps by the Wombi App development group, please visit their website here.  Or you can begin downloading this classical games to your Apple device by clicking here to access your  iTunes library.

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