Jewel River - Preschool and Kindergarten Math Game

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Counting & Numbers, Subitizing

What we like best:

There's no reading required—even the instructions are narrated—making this appropriate for pre-literate children.

What you should know:

There's no way to stop or re-start a game and there's no home button, which may be frustrating to some kids.
Full Review:

How many jewels does it take to build a house? As a colorful dragonfly considers how many diamonds, rubies and sapphires he’ll need to get to work, kids are prompted to drag the correct number of jewels over to him in this simple, straightforward drag-and-drop counting game.

Seeing and manipulating the virtual gems allow little learners to understand early math concepts without the usual rote counting or reciting. This innovative app—designed on the principle of subitizing, or rapid recognition of number quantities via visual cues—emphasizes instant and intuitive number sense. To complete each number set, kids must hold down the bug's "wings" until the arrow at the top of the page is full. This feature, along with the drop and drag interface, exercises fine motor skills along with basic math skills. The narrator gives helpful hints throughout and the quantities are matched to the right number symbols, reinforcing basic concepts via multiple pathways. The lack of text and required reading makes this app perfect for the littlest learners.

Unfortunately, the "menu" button was a bit buggy, and there’s no way to return to the home page or start a new game. Despite these minor flaws, this app’s still a solid early learning tool for any interactive library.

Reviewed 2013-03-13 on iPad mini iOS 6.0.1 by Roberta Munoz

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