A Cute Kids’ App and Counting in Spanish

by Abby on September 13, 2013

If your kids are anything like mine, they love the iPad. Mine fight over it the minute their dad brings it home from work. My 7yo is trying to convince us he needs his own iPad mini. (He gave up on the iPhone, I guess.) Dream on, kid! I’m lucky if I can grab it for 20 min. to check recipes or go on Pinterest.

I get a fair number of requests to review apps and things, but I don’t that often because
a) some of the pitches are really bad and totally not related to my blog’s subject matter, and
b) lots of the apps people send me are just too darn hard to figure out.

If I can’t skim it, download it, and start using it within 5 min., it’s too complicated. This is doubly true for kids’ apps, because kids have the attention spans of fleas with ADHD. But this particular one captured my interest. It’s called the Tidy Kids app by Jolly Wombat. Through cute Claymation-type animation (think Wallace and Gromit) and a board-game style interface, the app claims it can get your kids to clean up after themselves.

TidyKids app

Sometimes I come downstairs at night after putting the kids to bed and the family room looks like this:

messy room

“Eh,” I think. “Too tired to clean up.” And I shove the mess aside with my foot and flop down on the couch. But, hey? Why not give this app a whirl?

My boys were immediately drawn in by the animation, the adorable British kid’s voice narrating the app, and the catchy music. My 4yo instinctively knew how to choose which animal character he wanted to be with a swipe of his finger. At first we had a little trouble figuring out who was supposed to go first, but soon we were off and running — literally. This is no sit-still app. You spin a wheel and when it stops it gives you directions, like “Tidy up something square” or “Tidy up while you walk on tippy toes” before the timer stops.

The kids dashed around the room, picking up toys and laughing. After a few turns, I wished the app would tell them “Tidy up FIVE square things” so we wouldn’t be there all night while each kid chucked a single block into the toy bin each turn. But hey, baby steps, right?

My 4yo thoroughly enjoyed Tidy Kids and that made it worth every cent — $0.99 on iTunes. After a couple games, my 7yo announced the theme song was “annoying” and stomped off to read a book. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. I’ll take whatever help I can get tidying up this place.

Little Pim DVD seriesBONUS REVIEW O’ THE DAY: My older son’s school recently cut its Spanish program and rolled it into an “enrichment” class that teaches science, technology, and world cultures, among other things. I see where they’re coming from — no one is going to be fluent after a 30-min. class once a week — but I want to expose my kids to other languages all the same.

The award-winning Little Pim series for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is sort of like Little Einsteins for foreign-language learners. (Angelina Jolie reportedly uses them to teach her kids French!) My 4yo and I watched the Spanish “I can count!” DVD. He was engaged watching the animated panda and the cute babies and animals counting colorful objects, but he wouldn’t repeat the words aloud in Spanish. Embarrassed, maybe? But by the end of the 35-min. video, he could count to 6 in Spanish and knew what “adios” and “más” meant. Muy bien, no?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Barr September 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

Hi Abby,
I love your blog! Thought you might get a kick out of how my children count in Spanish (I have barely-5-year-old twin girls): uno, dos, tres, sparkle, sprinkle, seis …
They started it when they were about three, and it gets such a laugh from people that they do it now to be funny.
Have a nice weekend!

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Abby September 13, 2013 at 8:42 am

LOL! That’s awesome, Sarah. 🙂

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