In years past, parents have relied on all kinds of toys and texts to help them help their kids learn to read and count. But these days, a set of wooden blocks, while still useful, is a little outdated. Thanks to advances in technology, there are now much more accessible and mobile tools available to parents and their children. And with no shortage of educational apps geared towards children as young as infants, you’ll have no trouble finding options that can help your kids through the complex process of growth and development. Even better, there are all kinds of applications designed for educational purposes, and if your toddler is just starting to learn numbers, the Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles app for the iPhone and iPad should be at the top of your list.
At $2.99 you might think this app is a bit expensive for a toddler. But there’s a reason it was awarded the honor of Excellence in Design by the Children’s Technology Review in 2013. In fact, there are several reasons. First and foremost, kids will be delighted by the creative and adorable monsters (Blobby, Blushy, Toothy, and others) designed to help them learn the numbers 1 through 10. Each number gets its own star treatment with pages that help kids learn to identify numbers by sight, sound, and counting objects. But there’s a lot more to this app than simply teaching young users how to count to ten.
With 40 unique, illustrated pages, 20 interactive screens, and 9 jigsaw puzzles, there is a lot of opportunity for entertainment. But each portion of the app is designed with your child’s learning in mind, and the result is that children will work not only on counting, but also on fine motor skills (thanks to tapping and swiping), listening, observation, logic, the ability to match shapes and patterns, and even vocabulary. In addition to pages that introduce kids to numbers, each monster is divided into 3-6 pieces to form puzzles that toddlers can put together for fun without frustration. In addition, children can work on their reading and language skills with features that let them tap any word on the screen to hear it spoken aloud, or simply read by themselves. And the full soundtrack and fun sound effects make for a complete package.
Of course, there are a few features that parents are sure to love, as well. Free updates and additional content are a major bonus, especially considering the cost of this app. But you’ll also appreciate the fact that Cutie Monsters is not only devoid of advertising, but it also has no outbound links for your kids to tap accidentally, taking themselves to outside websites or making purchases without your knowledge. It sounds like common sense in an application geared towards toddlers, but surprisingly few developers follow suit.
While you’ll probably still rely on other toys like alphabet blocks and Baby Einstein toys and DVDs to help your kids develop their language, reading, and counting skills, it’s nice to know that there’s an app that your kids will love for the purpose of learning. And perhaps the best part is that you never have to search for it or pack it up as you run out the door. When you have the Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles app on your smartphone or tablet you can easily bring entertainment and education for your kids with you wherever you go.