My family is big on technology. What can I say, it started young when my Dad taught me how to get online using BBS on his Kaypro Computer back in the day. I’m really dating myself, aren’t I? That means, of course, that my 4-year-old daughter has been indoctrinated in the joy of technology at a young age, too. Since she’s so young, she’s really taken to the Apple touch technology namely, the iPad and iPhone since she still has some troubles with a keyboard and mouse interface. I’m always on the lookout for quality iOS apps for preschool and will be sharing my favorites on the Homework Helper blog.
So…let’s get started!
Mickey Mouse Road Rally - Free for iPad
My Rating: Excellent!
This is easily one of the best uses of the iPad and it’s ability to interact with it that’s see to date. Not only are the graphics beautiful and the voice acting clear and to character, it allows kids to interact with the iPad and characters. Kids can, of course, make use of the touch screen but there’s also several areas where the app takes advantage of the iPad’s built-in microphone to receive voice commands too. However, the developers were smart enough to not rely on that input so even if the child doesn’t respond, Mickey will proceed with the next part of the story saying “Ready or not, here we go!” in typical cheerful Mickey style. Did I mention that we’re huge Disney fans too?
The app is under the Apple App Store “Education” category though I don’t tend to think of it as being educational in the standard sense. Kids will learn from it but it’s not as intensive as some of the other apps I’ve seen for learning something like the alphabet, for example. I do think though that what it does is make learning fun & entertaining while challenging kids to think about interacting with electronic devices in new, unconventional ways. Seeing it dawn on my kiddo that she was expected to actually talk back to the game was amazing and really eye opening for me too. Why hadn’t I considered the microphone an input device either!? Sheesh!
My daughter loves to play this game and it will keep her content for quite some time. It’s fun to listen to her interact with the game and she feels proud when she’s able to do “the right thing” in it. Even though the story doesn’t change, she’s come back and played in many times already and not showing any signs of becoming bored with it anytime soon.
Nothing is worse than the apps that try to trick your kid into buying things, right? Mickey Mouse Road Rally is a free app but is easily “paid for” quality and I don’t believe I’ve seen advertising or cross-selling in it either. I hope that the app developers make more like this one!
Bottom Line: This app comes highly recommend and gets this preschoolers parent’s approval.
What’s your child’s favorite educational iPad or iPhone App? Share your thoughts in the comments below.