Thursday, January 2, 2014

App Review: Annie's Picking Apples 2

I am so happy to have the chance to share a math app with you -- Annie's Picking Apples 2 from RealFunLearning (@realfunlearning) -- recommended by the developer for ages four and up. However, I think it could be used for kids as young as three, especially if they seem advanced and are able to easily grasp new concepts. 

Before I get into the "meaty" part of the review, I'd like to share what happened while I tested the app. As I was working through Annie's Picking Apples 2, my son, who is eight years old, wanted to know what I was doing. That's a typical reaction I get when trying out apps. I was curious to see what he thought about the app, so I let him try it out, too. (I should note that his math skills are on track for second grade, and he's used to doing higher levels of math than what's in Annie's Picking Apples 2.) 

He had a blast! He loved the puzzles, which were a little tricky to figure out the first few times, and I helped him through them. (An adult should always be involved in kids using apps in my opinion.) He got to play with it for about thirty minutes before I reminded him it was time to do his homework. After he got over the disappointment of having to stop playing Annie's Apple Picking 2, my son gave a resounding thumbs up for the app. 

Trailer for Annie's Picking Apples 2 by Real Fun Learning 

Annie's Picking Apples 2 turns math into an interactive experience where the user is part of the story -- much more fun than the math apps I used with my own kids, which were basically flash card/memorization apps. In fact, if you are familiar with ReflexMath, Annie's Picking Apples 2 is kind of like that but doesn't require an account or subscription. In this app, users work on their counting, addition, and grouping skills as they help Annie gather apples. They can also work on puzzles or help Annie measure ingredients for making apple pies.  It helps younger learners master the foundations of math in a fun, interactive way. 

I think it would be as a math center in a classroom or school library. But parents could also use it to help their children master basic math skills. 

App Features (provided by the developer):
  • It provides parental control for parents and educators to track the child's performance
  • You can enable the time control screen and set the time the child will be able to play and manage turns among children.
  • Practice in 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and German
  • Highlights the achievements and progress in each level of play
  • Progressive difficulty in each level in each of the games
  • Original music
  • 27 worlds for children to play, have fun and learn.
The music is pretty catchy, and I like that Annie's Apple Picking 2 has an alternative game for Halloween. I think we all know how some children get tired of the same thing over and over again. But when fall comes around, you can switch the came to the Halloween version and it's an entirely different game. 

Home Screen of Annie's Picking Apples 2 

Annie's Picking Apples 2 is available on iTunes for $2.99. If you have any leftover money on gift certificates that you got for Christmas, I recommend giving this app a try. It's worth the price even if you don't have leftover gift certificates!

If you like the app, please remember to leave positive feedback on iTunes to help the spread the word! 

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