What makes a good learning app?
Parents use technology to keep their children entertained, let's be honest. If it can teach them something as well, that's a bonus for mom and dad! The truth is even if an app is full of educational activities, it won't matter if the children are not engaged. Keeping children/students engaged in the learning activity makes a good learning app.
We received a complimentary Wubbzy y El Tren Loco app to try out. My boys like the app mostly because of Wubbzy and his friends. They know him from his TV shows and are happy to see him on the iPad. It is an interactive story board about Wubbzy and his silly friends on their way to the carnival. They have a few challenges along the way but find their way there.
I like it because they play with the app in both English and in Spanish. I let them play with it in English first and then we switched to Spanish. They are familiar with the words and probably don't realize that they are even absorbing basic Spanish vocabulary because they are too busy playing with all the special effects. My boys are in first grade and pre-K and they both enjoy Wubbzy y el Tren Loco. My first grader can read the story out loud for story time and my pre-K'er can play and color.
This app comes from Cupcake Digital who is committed to providing opportunities for exposing children to a new language with the option to switch from English to Spanish with the simple touch of a button.
"Our objective is educate more people on how apps can be used in learning Spanish," Carmen Hernandez, Cupcake Digital.
Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features:
- Playful mini-games within the story and added learning games for practice of number, letter and sight word recognition
- Professional narration of the same story in English and Spanish is a good introduction for initiating natural language acquisition
- Individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and can be used to practice Spanish
- Three reading modes: Just a Book for quiet reading time, Read to Me and Read & Play
- Spanish subtitles have been added to three original sing-along music videos from the popular Emmy award-winning series
- Coloring pages with scenes straight from the story
- A Grown-Up’s Corner to guide parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing the story with kids
Here's a snapshot of the boys enjoying the activities on this app (in English):
Wubbzy y el Tren Loco is available for $1.99 on the Apple App Store, Amazon, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store™ for iOS, Android, NOOK and Kindle Fire devices. The English/Spanish version can be downloaded new or the addition of a Spanish language option is a free upgrade for those who already own the English version. For the holidays, look for Wubbzy's The Night Before Christmas app.
If you want to increase your activities with this app, visit Cupcake Digital's Educational Corner for Common Core Infused worksheets like Character cut outs to create your own storyline in English and in Spanish, as well as, a memory game with sight words.