Learning to tell time is a process that requires a lot of practice and patience. Still, it's an essential skill that kids need to eventually master. Fortunately, there are many apps that can make the learning process easier. Zcooly Time Ranch is an example of such an app. Available now for iPhone and iPad, it's designed to help kids learn to tell time with a fun, farm-themed game.
Set the Clock and Feed the Animals
In Zcooly Time Ranch, kids help the farmer Gunnart take care of his exotic animals. To feed the animals, kids must set the clock to the correct time. Each correct answer is rewarded with in-game coins, which kids use to get new animals or upgrade their pens.
Working with both analog and digital clocks, kids play through 10 levels with 7 sub-missions with each level. They start out with simple problems, such as setting the clock to full, half, or quarter hours. Then they gradually move on to more challenging tasks, such as setting the clock 55 minutes forward.
In addition to the main game mode, the app also includes a practice mode where kids can practice setting the clock. They can choose from several modules, such as digital to analog clock or text to digital clock, and set the difficulty level for each module.
Parents Need to Know
Zcooly Time Ranch is easy to use. It includes a tutorial that kids can watch to understand how to play, but they shouldn't have any problem regardless. It is also fully narrated.
The settings icon on the main screen lets grown-ups customize several elements of the gameplay, for example, whether the graphical clock should be shown together with the task, or whether the time should be displayed using AM/PM. You can also toggle sound effects and music on or off from this menu.
The app is designed for ages 5-9. The app has no third-party adverts or in-app purchases. All external links are secured to prevent kids from accidentally opening them.
Things I Like
Zcooly Time Ranch turns boring practice sessions into a fun game that kids like and want to play. Because kids get to collect coins every time they set the clock correctly, they are motivated to actually learn. The rewards that kids can buy with their coins are quite exciting: in addition to normal farm animals like sheep and pigs, kids can also get lions and dinosaurs.
Fun and games aside, the app covers all the important points of telling time. It allows kids to make the connection between text and analog and digital clocks, and introduces kids to proper English terms for telling time, such as referring full hours as "o'clock", half an hour as "half past" or "half to", and 15 minutes as "quarter past" or "quarter to". It also helps kids understand the the concepts of AM/PM by showing the difference between day and night activities.
Beyond teaching kids to tell time, the app also teaches other important life skills such as money management and taking care of animals. As kids play, they must decide whether they want to spend their coins on many cheap items, or save their coins to get the better, more expensive upgrade. This additional value is what makes the app stand out from the rest, and why I think it's a worthwhile purchase.
I highly recommend Zcooly Time Ranch if you are looking for an app to help your kids learn to tell time. It's really well done, and covers all the important points such as converting text to analog and digital clocks, proper clock terms, and when to use AM/PM. With 10 levels of gameplay and a customizable practice mode, your kids are sure to get as much practice as they need.
App was provided for our honest review.