In recent months, I have been doing special posts to highlight the best new apps that were released in the past 30 days. Today, I will highlight three apps that I believe are the best among the newly released. All of them are high quality and have great impacts on both my sons' learning journeys.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Paint & Play HD
The first app on our list is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Paint & Play HD, which is one of the best coloring apps I've ever seen. One reason is because the app stars familiar Disney characters Mickey and Minnie, making it easier for juniors to adapt to the app.
I also think it's great that kids can color every object in the app, including Mickey himself, skies, grass, walls and floors. This way, it is possible to create different moods for the same scene, using different colors.
The third reason is more technical: the app has an excellent masking feature. Thanks to this, kids can focus painting one object at a time without worrying about going over the lines and into its neighboring objects.
Finally, the app also provides the most diverse set of painting tools I've ever seen. The UI control is designed perfectly to help you get the best of each tool without being overwhelmed by the options. Also, once juniors finish coloring, they can watch their creations turn 3D.
Sago Mini Doodlecast
The next app on our list is a drawing app that records your narration alongside the gestures that you make: Sago Mini Doodlecast. While I've been abusing the app to create short stop-motion animations, the app was actually designed to help juniors express themselves both visually and verbally.
With 36 built-in templates and 16 language options, I find the app really helpful for my sons. The questions included in the app are very junior-friendly, allowing juniors to express their answers easily. It really is a great tool to foster creativity.
Both my sons love to doodle with the app. If someone would ask me which drawing app I'd recommend for their juniors, Sago Mini Doodlecast would be my first pick.
Montessori Math: Add & Subtract Large Numbers
The last app on this list is an excellent Montessori math app from Les Elles Trois. Entitled Add & Subtrace Large Numbers, it's a sequel to their math app Montessori 1st Operations. In this app, juniors can learn how to perform addition and subtraction involving large numbers.
The app uses common Montessori tools such as color-coded stamps and beads, which I find very effective. My son Philip could learn these addition concepts relatively easily, and he was able to move from the more concrete ones (color-coded and numbered stamps) to a more abstract one (stacked numbers).
This app also has well-designed interactivity. It uses animations to explain the concept of carry-over and borrowing. Even in the stacked numbers approach, these concepts are very well illustrated, allowing new learners to grasp the concepts relatively easily.
The app also support multiple user profiles, so you can use it in a classroom setting or in a household with more than one child. Progress for each profile is saved locally, and the app's dynamic progression algorithm will use that information to properly set the difficulty level for each profile. If you want to override the difficulty level (usually to bring it down a bit), you can still do so manually by going through the setting screen.
With the ever increasing number of new apps introduced to the App Store on monthly basis, it's getting harder and harder for great apps to stand out among the crowds. Developers deserve appreciation for their great apps, but on the other end of the spectrum, parents also deserve the best educational apps for their juniors. I hope a curated list like this can help both developers and parents.