This is my first Android-specific app review! As I discussed in my Going Both Ways post, Speechie Apps will start reviewing Apple AND Android apps, since I am now the proud owner of a Nexus 7 tablet. 😀 A couple things are going to change to accommodate this addition. First, I will be adding a page with a list of reviewed apps for quick reference. These will be specified as Apple/Android/both, so it will be easy for readers to navigate. In addition, I will be editing my current posts to state for which operating systems (OS) the apps are available. Finally, in all future posts I will clearly note the operating system in the beginning of the review. As always, PLEASE feel free to comment, ask questions, and make suggestions. I hope you enjoy this new addition!
What It Is: A sock-themed matching, memory, and counting game by Mimoteo.
Price: Free (“Kids Socks”); $1.49 (“Kids Socks Plus”)
Version: 188.8.131.52 (“Kids Socks”); 2.7.1 (“Kids Socks Plus”)
How It Works: This game has three main minigames: match, memory, and count. In the basic (free) version, all of these minigames involve socks. In the plus version (which is what I am basing the majority of this review upon), multiple other clothing items can be used. In match, the player matches different colored/patterned items to items hanging on a clothesline. Memory is a typical memory game with eight cards to match. Count simply involves picking the correct number of clothes hanging on the clothesline at a given time. The games can be changed up a little by changing the settings. For example, you can make it a timed game (great for adding extra challenge as well as ensuring a built-in ending to the game).
Therapy Applications: This app can be used with older EI/early preK kiddos. It’s an easy way to begin to teach clothing vocabulary, particularly if you’ve purchased the full version. Even if you haven’t purchased the full version, the app is useful for teaching colors and simple patterns. It’s also good for teaching the basic skills that the app touts (matching, memory, and counting skills). Finally, the app can be used as a reinforcer that also contains educational value.
Pros: 1. Price. Try out the free version first to get a sense of if it could be useful with your clients.
2. Settings options. I will say I was honestly surprised at several of the more thoughtful choices in settings. You can, for example, turn on “baby mode,” which allows matches to be made by touching instead of dragging/dropping. As I mentioned above, you can also turn up the intensity by having the child play against the clock. If this feature is turned on, there will be a red line at the top signifying how much longer is left. This is a great visual for young kids who don’t yet have a good concept of time.
3. Errorless learning. If the child picks the wrong choice, the game response with a brief buzz and vibration (both of which can be turned on/off in the settings menu), and the child is able to make another selection. The feedback is appropriate for the age group and isn’t obnoxious for adults!
4. Bright and colorful. This isn’t exactly a quantitative observation, but the app is very cute! It’s pleasant to play and will keep younger children’s attention.
5. Multiple languages. In the count minigame, a voice says “three” after the child has pressed the number three (if it is correct). Not only is this a great verbal reinforcement of the correct answer, but it’s also possible to change the language from English to Spanish, French, or Italian.
Cons: 1. I get the sense the app could easily offer more. For example, in the future it would be nice to see different levels of difficulty.
The Take-Away: This app is basic but fun. It will work well for many younger clients. The full version has been worth the purchase but the free version gives the therapist a nice idea of its premise. Try out the free version and see how you like it! If it engages your kids sufficiently, the inexpensive purchase is worth it!
My Questions for You: Do you use an Android device? Have you found any similar apps? How do you think they would compare?