At Geeks With Juniors, we believe that learning should be fun. Thus, when it comes to educational apps for kids, we always look for the ones that can balance between playing and learning.
Today, I have one such app to show you. Called Jungle Picnic, it is a colorful app that integrates three educational games in a lighthearted narrative to help juniors develop their early mathematic skills.
It's a Jungle Out There
The app starts by introducing three animal friends - Charlie the Monkey, Alice the Zebra and Ralph the Giraffe - who decide to go on a picnic together. As they prepare, the excited Charlie keeps messing up, annoying his friends and providing ways for the app to insert different tasks that highlight a specific math skill.
In the first activity, for example, we see Charlie throwing around the food needed for the picnic. In an attempt to get things back in order, you must help Ralph catch the correct food items that match the ones in his thought bubble and drag them to him.
Once all the food has been caught, we move on to the second activity. Here, you are asked to help Alice pack the picnic basket. Whenever you are handed a food item, you must sort and group them based on their shapes and colors.
Finally, the three friends are ready to go. Unfortunately, the clumsy Charlie accidentally knocks over the picnic basket as he swings down the tree. Alice and Ralph are angry, and you must remedy the situation by distributing the foods to each animal who request them.
Thanks to your help, the picnic is saved. To appreciate your efforts, the app rewards you with a sticker every time you complete an activity. To see all the stickers that you have collected, tap on the Star button in the mode selection screen.
Parents Need to Know
Jungle Picnic is a fun learning app that encourages the development of a number of skills, especially early math, in juniors aged 2 to 4. The topics highlighted in the app are matching, sorting, one-to-one correspondency, literacy as well as exercises in fine motor skills.
In Story Mode, juniors can read along with the story and then participate in the three activities embedded in the plot. This mode features an excellent voiceover and word highlighting for early readers. You can also tap on each word to hear it spoken.
In Game Mode, juniors who do not want to read the story can go straight to play the games. In this mode, you can play any of the ones that you like and repeat it as many times as you want. It is also worth noting that the app employs a punishment-free system.
Things I Like
To be honest, when I first tried Jungle Picnic, I was a bit skeptical. I initially thought that it was going to be another storybook app about jungle animals, which we see so often these days. Plus, the story was somewhat weak compared to the other storybooks that we have reviewed on the site.
However, as I spend more time with it (and after reading the informative letter from the developers in the For Parents section), my impression of it shifted. Instead of a storybook with extra activities, I like to think of Jungle Picnic as a learning app in which the tasks are unified by a story.
As an activity app, I do think that Jungle Picnic has done a wonderful job of highlighting several essential pre-number skills. I like that each activity is designed to be simple enough for younger juniors to grasp but still provide some challenge. Two of the games - Fruit Collect and Basket Sorting - start off simple but slowly get harder as you play.
One thing that I do wish to see in the app are more activities. While the ones included are good enough, I do think that juniors would benefit from more variety. If the developers could add three or four more games, then this app would be perfect.
In conclusion, Jungle Picnic is a great app. If you have younger juniors that are starting to learn math, then this app is a nice pick to prepare them for further development of their numeracy skills.
Get Jungle Picnic on the App Store.
Note: Thank you to the bright folks at Shiny Things for providing us with a promo code for Jungle Picnic. We had fun monkeying around with the app.