Why does this app deserve a Happy Face?  Toddler Counting & Alphabet - Pond Life - Space Machine, Inc.

Toddler Counting & Alphabets - Pond LifeToddler Counting & Alphabets by KidSpring Studio is a wonderful app for children learning their ABCs and 123s. It’s Happy Face approved because this app specifically focuses on the sequencing of alphabet letters and numbers and offers rich entertainment for children as they learn. This app focuses on a specific educational aspect of learning and delivers! And does it well I may add.

The “Pond Life” theme is a playful theme which will enlighten any child’s day. The puzzle images are set to characters which would be found in or around a pond and the audio ambiance adds to the engaging experience. Nicely illustrated images of animals and insects are broken up into strips and given a number or letter, which when put in the correct sequence completes the picture. The picture then grows larger and a congratulatory graphic descends and gives a praising award.

The sound files are nicely recorded with a child’s voice which is great for the younger children to relate to. After each image is completed you receive a digital sticker as an additional reward for completing the image puzzle.

The menu offers four modes of play; Uppercase ABCs, Counting from 1 to 10, and two variations of counting from 1 to 20 (a single row of 20 pcs and a double row with 10 pcs). There is also a settings screen which can be accessed from the menu. The setting button needs to be pressed and held to unlock it so it’s unlikely a child who can’t yet read would be able to view this screen. On the settings screen there are options to turn off sounds and an interesting option to enter a parent’s email address and the child’s name. This is interesting because when a certain number of image puzzles are completed a special award screen is displayed which is personalized with the child’s name. This can then be saved to the device or emailed to the parent’s email account where the parent can then print out a hard copy version of the graphic award.

All in all, this app is well constructed and will truly help children learn (which is most important in my mind). At the time of this review the app sells for $1.99 and is compatible for the iPad and iPad2. It’s well worth the price if you have a toddler learning ABCs and 123s. There are a lot of apps developed for learning ABCs and 123s, but Toddler Counting & Alphabets does have a unique aspect in the sense that it does very well at targeting the sequencing aspect of learning which is one step beyond the recognition of the letter or number characters. For that alone, this app deserves a Happy Face, but with the added production value this app is a clear winner.

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