Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Counting & Numbers, Shapes, Colors

What we like best:

The reward for success is—what else? More playtime!

What you should know:

There’s a direct, “unlocked” link to the PlayLab store as soon as you log on, so parents should supervise young children.
Full Review:

It’s always playtime with this innovative early learning app! This bubbly batch of mini-games for the preschool set lets tiny tots shake, rattle and roll all kinds of shapes and sounds.

There’s no text here—just a simple menu of touch-and-play tasks that illustrates basic preschool learning concepts like shapes, numbers and early color concepts. The perky narrator encourages little learners throughout, and all of the games are open-ended with no scores or time limits. Preschoolers can (and will) play this app as long as you let them—or until the adults get tired of hearing the frequently repeated exclamation, “It’s playtime!” The big bold colors and easy to operate interface conceal some surprisingly sophisticated integrated learning activities. For example, children don’t just identify colors. They can also experiment with mixing shades to create a customized palette. In another activity, kids touch the screen to identify a shape with a number inside. When tapped, the shape splits into the correct amount of pieces for a graphic representation of number and quantity.

The variety of games and the hidden complexity of the learning activities are awesome, and well worth a try … especially since PLAY123 is free! Additional games and upgrades are available as in-app purchases.

Reviewed 2013-07-27 on iPad mini iOS 6.0.1 by Roberta Munoz

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