About nine months ago, I reviewed Splash Math Grade 1, which provides math exercises for first grade juniors. Two days ago, the developers released a prequel app for younger audiences, entitled Splash Math Kindergarten.
In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle
Like other apps in the Splash Math series, the new Kindergarten version provides a comprehensive set of math exercises for its targeted age range. In each play session, the app provides a set of 10 random math problems, which comprises a mix of multiple choice questions, Yes/No questions, or simple fill-in-the-blank questions.
For every correct question, the app adds a ladybug to your progress indicator. When the ladybug count reaches 10, you are rewarded with three character choices. These characters consist of animals and trees that you would typically find in a jungle, such as lion, giraffe, and elephant. You can put your new character in your private jungle, which resembles a tiny planet.
Each of the animals has a unique set of animations built into them. Tapping on an animal would cause it to animate and/or make sounds. You can play in your private jungle for as long as you like. When you're ready to start a new session, you can switch back to exercise mode by tapping on the special button on the top left corner of the screen.
Splash Math Kindergarten has eight chapters, with many sub-chapters within them, ordered to represent the recommended learning curve. For example, you would need to recognise numbers from 0 to 20 before you can learn how to count.
This learning curve ends with the addition and subtraction chapters. The last two chapters, Geometry and Measurement, are not directly parts of the learning curve, but they are included as math-related concepts your juniors need to understand.
If you want to get a feel of what the app is like, I suggest you watch this promo video made by the developers:
Parents Need to Know
Inside the app, you can define goals and reminders for your juniors. For example, practice 10 questions/day, two prizes/day, or 30 minutes/day. You can also set up reminders at an appropriate time so that your juniors would not miss their practice sessions.
Even though you can modify these parameters, the app imposes some limitations on them. For example, the goals can only be set to a maximum of either 40 minutes/day, five prizes/day, or 50 questions/day.
Similar to other apps in the Splash Math series, you can also choose to activate the weekly email reports. With this feature, you can receive weekly progress reports via email on how your juniors are interacting with the app. This is completely optional, and you can always turn it off when you feel that your juniors have mastered the topics in the app.
Things I Like
Prior to playing with Splash Math Kindergarten, I have a very minimum pedagogical knowledge on how to teach preschool math to my sons. Hence, I am grateful that the app contains a full curriculum to show me the topics that Philip needs to learn. For example, he is quite fluent in performing additions, but he needs more practice in comparing numbers.
Once you have identified your juniors' needs, you can setup the syllabus for each of them separately. The app supports up to four player profiles, and provides personalised reports for each of them.
You can use this information to further refine each junior's syllabus so that they can start learning new topics after they finish the current ones. For example, if your junior has completed a topic with 100% accuracy, you can turn it off and unlock the next topic in the curriculum.
Because each session consists of no more than 10 questions, I would recommend you to select only a handful of topics at one time. If you select a bunch of them, the app will prioritize the easier topics over the harder ones.
Splash Math Kindergarten is an excellent math workbook app for your juniors ages three to six. The curriculum reference makes an essential app for parents to prepare for what their juniors can learn during their early years.
Granted, there are other apps that highlight each topic individually, but having all of them packaged in a single app makes Splash Math Kindergarten a continuous, personalized, and rewarding learning experience.
Update (Apr 25, 2013): The developers have just released a free version for the app so that you can try the app for yourself before purchasing the full version.
Splash Math Kindergarten is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.