I’m not good with names, but I’m thankful that my four-year-old Noah is much better in remembering names than I am. At the very least, he can remember the names and faces of the 17 other kids attending his kindergarten class.
But if your kids are more like me and they keep forgetting people’s names, you might want to take a look at Name Play. It’s a relatively new app from Seven Academy that allows your kids to learn reading and writing, by playing 11 fun mini games.
Label the Lockers with Friends’ Names
You start by registering your first name to set up your locker. Then, you can add your friends’ names to set up their lockers. You can have up to 10 lockers at the same time. You can also rename any existing one anytime.
Once you have set up a locker, you can start playing. Some mini games are found inside the locker, while others are found outside. If you turn off the lights in the hallway, for example, pesky ninjas will arrive to damage your locker. To fight them off, you must tap on the ninjas that do not carry a letter in your name.
In addition to your name, the games also let you practice with other names. If you open your friend’s locker, you can try constructing their name by placing letters on a magnetic board. You can also use the typewriter to write an invitation letter, which contains your and your friend’s names.
Other games you’ll find the app include tracing names in both uppercase and lowercase, recycling leftovers from your lunch meals, and identifying the first and last letters of your name to open a safety deposit box. There’s also some old-school games, such as the Hungry Snake — where you control the snake to gobble up the letters that construct your name — and the Letter Invasion — where you steer the spaceship to catch the letters that construct your name while avoiding and shooting all the other letters.
Parents Need to Know
Name Play is developed based on Common Core State Standards, especially for Reading Foundation Skills for Kindergarten students aged 3+. The app allows you to personalize the gaming experience by changing the labels on the lockers with the names of your kids’ friends at school, other kids in the neighborhood, cousins, or close family members.
The app works great without Internet connection, and doesn’t contain third-party ads or in-app purchases. If you’d like, you can change the interface of the app to any of the 18 supported languages from within the Parental Dashboard.
Things I Like
If you happen to know the names of your kids’ friends at school, Name Play is a great way to help your kids memorize them. By labeling the lockers with these names, your kids will learn how to read or at least, memorize them. Through mini games such as magnetic board and notebook tracing, Name Play has helped Noah to write the names of his friends.
Name Play also comes with an app for Apple Watch. There are two modes of interactions that can happen with Name Play on the Apple Watch. First, when your kids doodle something on the notebook and tap on the Apple Watch icon, you can see the doodle on your watch. You can also choose an emoji or a sticker from the Apple Watch and have it shown on your iPhone. For example, you can show how you appreciate their doodles, or you can remind them to brush their teeth or go to bed.
I’ve never seen an app that encourages kids to remember their friends’ names. Name Play does this in many creative and playful ways. The fact that you can interact with your kids playing it on your iPhone through your Apple Watch is quite a fun gimmick.
Over the past week, Name Play has been one of our new favorite apps at home. I think you should give it a try.
App was provided for our honest review.
Other Apps from Seven Academy
Crazy Gears is a puzzle game where kids practice their spatial reasoning to manipulate gears, chains, rods, and pulleys, to solve the problems at hand. Kids learn how different mechanisms can affect one another in a really fun way. If your kids are interested in STEM topics, you should really give this one a try.